The stages towards biculturality


Alder(1975) further develops Oberg’s framework and approaches culture shock in a neutral manner rather than in a negative one. He describes the initial contact as the “the honeymoon” stage when the visitor experiences the curiosity and the enthusiasm of a tourist, but maintains their identity which is still well rooted in their cultural settings. The second stage includes the removal of the familiar cues, and the individual has to respond to the new requirements of the host culture. It is in this stage that the individual experiences self-blame and a sense of frustration for not being able to cope well with difficulties encountered. The third stage involves the reintegration of new cues and an increased ability to deal with daily life activities. The feelings associated with this stage are anger and resentment as the individual perceives the new culture as the root of the problems they have been forced to cope with. The fourth stage is when the reintegration continues. In this stage the individual continues to work towards a gradual autonomy and is able to recognise the good and the bad aspect of both cultures. It is when a more balanced view is achieved. The fifth stage is when supposedly the individual is totally confident in dealing with both cultures and therefore, has achieved biculturality of the old and new culture. However, there is some controversy over whether it would ever be possible to achieve this stage.

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Culture diversity: Italian business meeting protocol



Italians as most of Southern Europeans are relationship oriented, which means they are very loquacious and prefer to establish long term business relationships. Debating is for Italians an emotional issue where intense discussion is highlighted by the expression of strong opinions and detachment means disinterest in the business itself. The establishment of a reciprocal climate of trust is as relevant as the exchange of information about a specific business proposal.

Meetings are a tool to further study the business proposal rather than closing the deal right away.Therefore, they are more analysis-oriented than decision-oriented. The aim of the first meeting is usually to exchange details and information about the business deal but above all is about establishing a climate of reciprocal respect and loyalty.

Planning your business meeting with Italians.

To avoid language misunderstandings for the first approach, a written communication is preferred. A letter or a fax is best to introduce your idea following a phone call, however, a better way is to be introduced by somebody who already knows people in the company. Meetings take place usually at company’s office in late morning or early afternoon.

For more information on Italian business etiquette contact us.



Go beyond language, discover Italian culture.


Culture diversity


Italy is made of 20 regions; each one has its traditions, customs, traditional food and even dialects. Moreover, there is also a big difference in climate, with Northern Italy being colder during winter and Central and South enjoying mild winters.

Food and cooking

Even though each region varies so much, it can be said that they all have something in common when it comes to cooking. Indeed, all the traditional food is made with fresh ingredients, which guarantees a healthy nutrition for adults and children alike. The most traditional dishes are parmigiana aubergines, lasagna, gnocchi, cannelloni, pizza of course, fettuccine, and many more hailing from each region. As per desserts, we find the popular tiramisu, ciambellone the favourite Grandma s cake, ideal for the afternoon snack (merenda), strufoli, crostata (tart), panna cotta and many more. Eating is a big part of the Italian culture with people enjoying going out for a meal or staying at home and inviting friends for dinner. Drinking is mostly conceived as a complement to food and rarely people drink alcohol without eating.

 Cultural Values

The most important value in Italy is Family. Personal relations are scrupulously maintained with loyalty in the family and in the work environment. As per family, young people are encouraged by their parents to stay home as long as possible as especially mothers cannot conceive their children living in a separate accommodation. It must be said that the economic environment does not facilitate the moving. However, young people enjoy staying at home, they usually do not contribute to the expenses and their mother does all the house work. Only when they marry young people move out. However, it is a common practice to stay in a separate apartment in the parents’ house. The mother in law has a strong power towards their daughter in law and male Italians have dependent relationships with their own mother. That is why we usually refer to them as mammoni. As per work, people tend to stay in the same job for many years; they value their employer and establish loyal relationships with them.  However, the mentality of the job for life impedes self-development and does not improve the quality of work as especially in public posts where people assume a lying back attitude, neglecting their work duties.

Next business etiquette.

Go beyond language, learn culture too with Languages Alive.

World cup, one tournament, multiple cultures


We´ ve got used to the football world cup taking place every 4 years, however, before 1930 the world cup did not even exist. The first time it took place was in Uruguay and only 13 teams were invited by the FIFA. Below are the winners and hosting countries since its beginning.

However, I would like to point out how the football sub-culture embraced so many cultures that it  became part of culture itself. Even people, mostly females, who do not follow football in general become all of a sudden  wild-eyed fanatics. Especially with Italians there is a togetherness feeling which usually is not present in everyday’s life.

So is the world-cup an event to be together an rediscover our roots or is it a simple tournament which generates business and out of control salaries for footballers?

What’s your opinion on this?



Many Languages, One America. A history of Languages in US

Thanks to original source

Many languages,one america, an infographic from

Do you want a career in the EU Parliament? You MUST speak at least one more official language.

The continent with 24 official languages! By  SIMONA VERRAZZO

A beautiful mix of languages

A beautiful mix of languages

There is just one time, in the world, when 28 independent countries democratically vote all together: European Union’s elections. After that we will have a new European Parliament.

The 24 official languages of Euro-Parliament make a total of 552 possible combinations, since each language can be translated into 23 others.

So, if you want to survive in Brussel, in Strasbourg and in Luxembourg (where Euro-Parliament’s offices are located) English isn’t enough and you need to know other languages, also Italian.

In the European Parliament, all official languages are equally important: all parliamentary documents are published in all the official languages and all Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have the right to speak in the official language of their choice. It also ensures everyone is able to follow and access the Euro-Parliament’s work.

Euro-Parliament 24 official languages:


Bulgarian French Maltese
Croatian German Polish
Czech Greek Portuguese
Danish Hungarian Romanian
Dutch Irish Slovak
English Italian Slovene
Estonian Latvian Spanish
Finnish Lithuanian Swedish