Russian Keys

And what’s your CQ level?

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open. – Sir James Dewar, scientist
Caught like a possum in the headlights – New Zealand colloquialism

There’s an ancient Chinese proverb about the frog who lived his entire life inside a well and he didn’t know about the ocean. His world was very small – his well and a slice of sky at the top.

Are you aware of the world beyond your own community? Are you able to adapt and thrive in the rapidly changing global environment – and do deals which really matter? Do you understand how language and culture can be used to prepare the ground to your advantage? Or how they can create the conditions for failure? Do you know how best to recognise the significance of culturally appropriate interaction where a linguistic mistake will be forgiven but a cultural mistake will not be forgiven? Can you function effectively and do the real business in culturally diverse situations?

Take this quick Cultural Intelligence (CQ) self-assessment quiz to find out.

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Russia Experts See Thinning Ranks’ Effect on U.S.

“I have to do a TV broadcast now, can I call you back in maybe an hour?” Angela Stent, the director of the Russian studies department at Georgetown University, said when she picked up the phone. An hour later she apologized again.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to call you back.” For Ms. Stent and other professional Russia watchers, the phone has been ringing off the hook since Ukraine became a geopolitical focal point. “It’s kind of a reunion,” she said. “Everyone comes out of the woodwork.”

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Russian Language to Be Taught at Syrian Schools

Syrian schools will offer Russian language courses to their students in the next academic year, giving teenagers in the war-torn country an alternative to French, the Syrian Education Ministry said.

Syrian children have to start learning English in elementary school, and pick up French as a second foreign language in the fifth grade, but will soon be able to pick Russian instead, the ministry said in a statement, AFP reported Monday.

"By the next school year, the ministry will have completed all the preparations to begin teaching Russian language at its institutions," Education Minister Hazwane Wazz said.

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What the Language You Speak Says About You


What if you could blame some of your inability to save money on the fact that you speak English (or any other strong-future language that makes tomorrow feel so very far away)?

Bad at planning for the future? You might be able to blame your language. Differences in the way various languages talk about the present and future could help explain why Germans urge free-spending Greeks to adopt their fiscal discipline, and why Americans are baffled by China’s low consumption and high savings rates, according to research published in the American Economic Review in April.
Keith Chen, a behavioral economist at the University of California-Los Angeles, researches intertemporal decision-making, or how people make choices when the consequences of those choices are spread out over time. Do you spend your money on a fancy sports car, or save up for retirement? Spend a spare hour working out, or relaxing in front of the television? He noticed that a group of countries whose thrifty behavior baffled economists had also attracted attention from linguists. “Every country economists thought of as an outlier in savings behavior was also an outlier in grammar,” Chen says.

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