Monthly Archives: July 2012

Beware of Your Body Language in International Business

Beware of Your Body Language in International Business

“Beware of Your Body Language in International Business”  – Business without Borders, Globe & Mail, July 31st, 2012 – Communication Coach & Body Language Expert Ric Phillips is interviewed to discuss body language and gestures for Westerners to be aware of while doing business overseas.  We specifically looked at China, Japan, Thailand and Russia, areas I have travelled to and/or worked in.  There is an article as well as a 2 minute video here:
You may have to sign up for a free account to view the article and video.  I apologize for that in advance.
Thank you!

(UPDATE:  the link above does not send you to that article and video – they have expired.  It sends you to a general Globe & Mail webpage with online videos.)

Don’t Be Gormless! Gen Up on British Slang | Visit Britain – Shine from Yahoo! Canada

Don’t Be Gormless! Gen Up on British Slang | Visit Britain – Shine from Yahoo! Canada
Communicating when you travel to Britain should be easy. After all, it’s an English-speaking country. But you will quickly discover nuances of the language that could catch you off guard (and make it all too obvious that you’re not familiar with British culture). Not only can the accent be difficult to decipher for an unaccustomed ear, slang terms and phrases sometimes make you feel as if you need an English-English Dictionary.

For example, if you need a washroom in Great Britain, you might be better off asking for the loo. To report a stolen wallet, you’re going to want to talk to a bobby. If you’re sweet on someone and looking for a kiss or a bit more, across the pond you’re looking for a snog, and if you’re engaged, you’re busy. Chuffed means pleased, while cheesed off means peeved.

A lorry is a truck, and if one cuts you off in traffic, you may hear more colourful swear words than the four-letter invectives we use. A welly is a rubber boot, but “give it more welly” means putting in more effort or going faster in your car.

Most of us know “cheerio!” as a cheerful greeting or parting word (like the Hawaiian “aloha,” it can work in both directions).

But how many of us understand that when looking for a tailor-made suit, you should ask for bespoke, and a bird isn’t just a flying animal, it’s also a slang term for a woman? Knowing a few simple phrases and words may not seem like much, but when you’re out on the town and chatting with local blokes (guys), it can keep things from going pear-shaped (that is, very wrong) because of how gormless (clueless) you’re being.

Some British terms mean the exact opposite of what they mean here. According to Mike Etherington, author of “The Very Best of British: An American’s Guide to Speaking Brit,” if an event “went down like a bomb, then it would mean that the people really enjoyed it.”

Of course, slang terms in any language are constantly evolving and changing, so learning just a few things will only take you so far. In the UK, this is even more true given how quickly slang terms emerge.

The structure of Cockney rhyme slang, which originated in the east end of London, relies on taking a word, finding a few rhyming words (usually no more than two or three) to go with it and then abbreviating that phrasing down and dropping not only the original word but also the word that rhymed, leaving the original meaning clouded in mystery for the uninitiated.

For example, “stairs” becomes “apples” in cockney rhyme slang from the rhyming phrase “apples and pears.” Though that particular example is rarely used in common speech today, it is often cited to help explain how cockney rhyme slang works.

Things can get further complicated when the original word is a British slang word. Working backwards to find a rhyme that makes sense is tough if you’ve never heard the original term in the first place!
If all this seems like too much to gen up on (learn about), don’t get shirty. Half of the fun of traveling is meeting new people and learning about differences. As long as you’ve got an open mind and a smile, you’re unlikely to encounter any serious difficulties in communication.

But just so everyone is clear: Not every Briton has an Auntie Beeb. That’s just the affectionate nickname they’ve given to their national broadcaster, the BBC.

By Leigh Bryant
(Original post: )

ELC Study Zone: Adjective Order

ELC Study Zone: Adjective Order


In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before a noun — for example, “He’s a silly young fool,” or “She’s a smart, energetic woman.” When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order, according to type. This page will explain the different types of adjectives and the correct order for them.

1. The basic types of adjectives

Opinion An opinion adjective explains what you think about something (other people may not agree with you).
For example: silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult
Size A size adjective, of course, tells you how big or small something is.
For example: large, tiny, enormous, little
Age An age adjective tells you how young or old something or someone is.
For example: ancient, new, young, old
Shape A shape adjective describes the shape of something.
For example: square, round, flat, rectangular
Colour A colour adjective, of course, describes the colour of something.
For example: blue, pink, reddish, grey
Origin An origin adjective describes where something comes from.
For example: French, lunar, American, eastern, Greek
Material A material adjective describes what something is made from.
For example: wooden, metal, cotton, paper
Purpose A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. These adjectives often end with “-ing”.
For example: sleeping (as in “sleeping bag”), roasting (as in “roasting tin”)

2. Some examples of adjective order

Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material Purpose
a silly young English man
a huge round metal bowl
a small red sleeping bag
When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.

A World of Confidence

This is a quick plug for a man and a product I believe in.

Sean McPheat is a world-renowned life coach in the U.K.  and he has created a place for building confidence and self-esteem.  It’s called Confidence World.

This site offers a free 7-part confidence building course, 30 free articles, a free 120-page confidence ebook and also you can listen to 4 free recorded confidence building tele-seminars.

If interested, you can check it out HERE.

That’s it for now, thank you!

Coach Ric