Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cultural/Language Adjustment: What's your most embarrassing moment?

Adjusting to a new culture can be similar to a roller coaster: a lot of ups and downs with plenty of unexpected turns. Sometimes, the mistakes we make are due to language and cultural differences. So what has been your most challenging, embarrassing, or exciting experience in adjusting to a new culture.

For me, trying to explain to a Japanese pharmacist in Tokyo that young daughter had constipation using body language was a real challenge, but after a while of using gestures and drawing pictures, we finally understood each other, and I got the "medicine" I needed. At least from the experience, I gained more confidence that I could handle other similar situations in the future.

Now, share your experiences.



  1. For me, Being in the foreign countries was a new and exciting experience.I was fortunate that I met nice people who helped me a lot,but I remember one day when my refrigrator was dead and it needed to be fixed.We had called Repairs Department in our appartment in order to fix it.After two days, they did not come and because foods and fruits would have been rotten, I decided to go to Commons Block Area and ask them personally to come to see our fridge.When I got there,I told the reciptionist that I had called them "two years" ago instead of two days ago and that woman suprisingly told me how I had called them "two years ago" and come that time.By her surprising tone, I understood that I made a mistake in my Speaking and I laughed so much.That was the time I made a BIG mistake in my conversation.

  2. When I went to the States to go sightseeing with studying for the first time,one young man asked me to the time. I only know one phrase until then. " What time is it now?"
    But he said "Do you have the time?"
    I was so surprised to hear that!
    Because I understood he asked me date at that time. It was so embarrassing.(*^^*)


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