It is uncommon for Japanese people to live abroad. Tokyo alone holds upwards of 13 million people, yet there are only about 2.5 million Japanese descendants living outside of Japan. But here’s a kicker. About 60% of those Japanese descendants are living in one country. And it’s not in Asia. And it’s not the United States. As it turns out, the largest Japanese population outside of Japan is in Brazil. A Brief History In 1871, the han system, which was basically the…
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To the student of the Finnish language, you’ve probably already realized that you have your work cut out for you. Finnish is very difficult to learn for native English speakers due to its isolation from Indo-European languages. In addition to this, outside of the classroom it can be hard to find anyone to practice your speaking skills with, as Finns have a reputation for being introverted. But if you launch a conversation quickly about Finland and the Finnish culture, they will be…
You’ve just gotten the big news that you’ll be heading to Italy for business and you’re ready to start packing! But as you begin throwing items into your suitcase a cold chill runs down your spine. You realize that you have no clue what food and drink etiquette is like in Italy! Don’t let fear of a faux pas keep you from taking that exciting journey though, instead consider these 7 food and drink mistakes you should avoid while in Italy: 1….
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa that has Spanish as its official language. French and Portuguese are also considered secondary official languages now, however Portuguese was only recently recognized as such. Below are some interesting facts about the country and a few of the political and cultural implications that Spanish has had on its people. First Things First, Where Exactly Is It? For those who don’t know their African geography, Equatorial Guinea is found on the…
Everyone has been panicking over the language crisis currently affecting UK schools, in which British teenagers are falling staggeringly short of the European standard for proficiency in a second language. Educational and economic authorities have raised up a stir about the disadvantages Britain will suffer as the current youth generation enters the workforce, including missed financial opportunities and a decrease in innovation and productivity in the workplace. Fortunately, after years of decline, something is finally about to be done to reverse this…
We live in an interconnected world and to be a successful businessperson in the modern age, more than one language is required. The norm is globalization: more business, more communication, and more transactions across borders. If you are considering making your company more global-friendly, read on to discover how to keep your business (and yourself as an employee/employer) on the cutting edge of the world’s interconnected web through bilingualism. 1. Define which language matters to you. When it comes to becoming a bilingual…
In order to maintain good business relations it is important to be familiar with business etiquette in the country you are visiting. India is a country that is becoming more familiar with western ways of conducting business but you still need to be aware of traditions. Here are a few pointers, that will help your offshore relationships run smoothly. 1. Handshakes A simple handshake is the best way to greet your Indian colleagues but make sure that you greet the most senior…
English is widely agreed to be the current universal language, but what disadvantages come from English-speaking countries’ position of privilege? As English increasingly permeates the world of business, finance, and international, native English speakers are becoming more comfortable with the fact that wherever they go, they will be able to communicate. This has led to a sizeable decline in the study of foreign languages among students in the UK. Regardless of the cultural, diplomatic, and educational toll (studies have shown that bilingual…
Mention a business trip to Italy to your friends and they are sure to be jealous. Whilst work will be top of your agenda, you will want to take time to relax on your days off. With over 45 million visitors each year, Italy is packed full of things to do during weekend breaks away from the office. 1. Florence Florence is a haven for art lovers, with dozens of galleries for those seeking a culture fix. The impressive Uffizi Gallery and…
As English increases in its position of global importance, interest in other languages often falls by the wayside. Especially in English-speaking countries, it’s easy to become overconfident in our ability to get by without knowing any second languages. In fact, the UK currently has an alarming shortage of language skills, with fewer students interested in investing their time in learning a foreign language beyond their core requirements to graduate. The value inherent in speaking multiple languages is being lost in the demand…