Archive for the ‘Body & Language’ Category

WGy it is such a pain for Germans to live with me

Posted by Maria Kuzminova On May - 2 - 2011

First of all, I must say straight ahead that I don’t want to generalize, form (or prove) stereotypes, generate  prejudice, or turn the tide of foreign students coming to Germany over the next year. God forbid. I just feel the need to analyze my own miserable WG[1]-experience living with Germans and get at the roots of things.

I am Russian. I came from Moscow to Fulda to study Intercultural Communication.  Not being  a native speaker and being a guest in Germany makes me kind of less arrogant in terms of “my own ways of doing things” and having to do it.. so “When in Rome do as Romans do”.  I am doing quite well in the first task but totally failed in the second one.

I have lived in Germany for 6 months now: 4 months with a German guy, aged 24, 2 months till now with a German girl, aged 27. I didn’t even change the street, but in search of a better WG-partner ended up with the same problems: washing dishes, garbage separation, different perception of cleanness, economizing and as a result, life in general. Believe me or not, I am not a WG-pig: I wash dishes straight after using them, I wipe the table after eating, I leave the place as it was before me. I empty the dust-bin if it is full and if I have time, I even learnt to separate the garbage. It’s  just  I don’t make a cult of it – I think that a pot for boiling water doesn’t get dirty after that, I guess that a tea bag can go to an eco-garbage with a little paper tag unseparated.  I guess if it is still clean, you don’t need to clean just according to the Plan. My wasteful Russian nature tells me that cooking on a bigger ring doesn’t save so much electricity. And one more whim of mine is a warm radiator in the kitchen in winter. I know I am intolerable to live with. That’s why I recommend you’d better not.

[1] WG=Wohngemeinschaft – shared apartment

¡Olé, olé y olé!

Posted by Adriana Rodriguez Casamayor On April - 8 - 2011

I am sure you all know the word olé. But do you really know what it means? Have you ever wondered how you can use it an appropriate way? You are about to discover a cultural secret…
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The Secrets Behind Compliments

Posted by Katie Freeman On April - 7 - 2011

The giving and receiving of compliments is an every day experience for all of us. “That top looks good on you”, “you played well at the game yesterday” or even “you have a nice smile”. Unfortunately, compliments are easily misunderstood, especially by foreigners in Germany (including us).

The compliment is a suitable speech act to investigate when comparing cultures. It acts as a window through which we can see or view what is valued within a particular culture.
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Sex: let’s talk about it but nothing personal, please!!

Posted by Sabrina Colombo On April - 7 - 2011

The sexual affairs of our Prime Minister keep Italian newspapers and TV programmes busy for months. Girls and Escorts (yes, it is right: if a woman has sex with a common man, she is a prostitute; but if a woman has sex with the Italian Prime Minister, she is an escort!) have revealed the ins and outs of this affair without omitting particulars of the people involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Ssshh don’t tell anyone!

Posted by Jenny Lau On April - 7 - 2011

How would you make the “this is a secret!” gesture in your culture?

So next time when you tell someone a secret, don’t forget to use one of these gestures to make it safer!
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Bonjour, Guten Tag, Konichiwa…

Posted by Yuliya Shilova On April - 7 - 2011

View the album Intercultural Greetings

Intercultural Greetings

Greeting is the first thing you do when you meet a person. Do it with a kiss, a hug or a handshake? Have a look...


Bettina Storck, Nadiya Tsybulya & Yuliya Shilova

Intercultural vocabulary

Posted by Maria Kuzminova On April - 7 - 2011

Intercultural environment always implies interlanguage environment which in its turn implies a mix of different languages, creation of new words and expressions.That is why we, foreign language speakers, are artists, in this sense, generating small linguistic pieces of arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Bettgeflüster – Pillow Talk

Posted by Ariane Seitz On April - 7 - 2011

What do you wear to bed?  How do you prepare for bed?  Who sleeps where?
Come along as we find out what the rituals are in Kenya, Syria, Indonesia, and the USA.



Survey on direct questions…

Posted by Adrienne Stickel On April - 7 - 2011

We provided a survey on direct questions; we assumed that there would be a concrete answer for each question, according to the different cultures (based on nationality). We were proofed wrong.
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Hand gestures

Posted by Adrienne Stickel On April - 7 - 2011

Does Ok-gesture mean Ok everywhere?

Cultural Secrets in Hand Gestures

All the time we tend to use hand gestures to substitute or support our words. But we should be aware that non-verbal signals hide much more culturally bound secrets than we could imagine.
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Are you crazy or what?

Posted by Jenny Lau On April - 6 - 2011

How do you demontsrate in your culture that someone is crazy? In our little project, we asked people from different countries to get crazy for a while in front of the camera. Maybe you will find some similarities or your gesture is completely different. However, try to keep in mind those differences! Who knows, maybe one day you might have to say someone is crazy in one of these countries!

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