Cross-cultural embarrassment – don’t be Kinki!

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international-communication TB

If you communicate internationally – it’s vital that you try to avoid embarrassment.

On a recent trip working in Singapore – I had two hearty chuckles at two examples of cross-cultural communication challenges.

The first was when I read about how a Japanese university was changing its name – because the name (though spelled differently) sounded like something “undesirable” in English.

See for yourself:

Kinki Japan

The second example:

One of the people I was helping was of Chinese background and Westerners were constantly getting his name wrong or finding it hard to say.

He decided to be known by his initials of his two given names – and they were KY.

As you may know –  KY Gel is the name of a lubricant made by Johnson and Johnson.

In Australia, the name is often shortened to KY – AND it is often associated with use as a sexual…

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