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From India

I like your site very much - it is very informative!


From France 

I was reading your examples of Japanese pronunciation of foreign words and would like to give one piece of information and one example:

"Anketto" is given as example for "questionnaire", I think it comes from the complete French expression "questionnaire d'enquête", which means "enquiry form" so "enquête" gives "anketto".

From Seattle 

"Your website is fantastic - would love to use your website as a link for cultural resources. Would it be okay to use your website address as a recommended website?"

From the USA 

"Can you help me with the proper definition of the Japanese word 'Sumaato'? I am a product designer and I am interested in using this word as a new company identity and product line. I have been led to believe the word translates to "smart" i.e. intelligent in English." 

Answer: The word "smart" or "sumaato" in Japanese usually means attractive, well shaped, good figure, particularly when used to refer to a woman's shape. It has been used to mean thin, as opposed to fat. Also, it is used as a reference to style, e.g. modern (modan) and hip, cool, fashionable.

From New Zealand 

"Suggestion - Information regarding Japanese meetings, i.e. policies and procedures, do's and don'ts would be great."

From Australia

"In view of Australia's economic reliance on overseas visitors, to be competitive in today's global hospitality market, food and beverage service staff need to continually maintain a high level of cross cultural training and knowledge." 

From Chile

"This site is really useful. I am a teacher of English looking for up to date written material for bilingual secretaries in Chile. We really enjoyed it!"


From Southeast Asia

"Thank you for the site. It helped me put together a one-pager for my CEO who will be visiting Asia Pacific for the first time." 

From Peru - What is the proper etiquette for opening gifts?

A visitor wrote to Cultural Savvy and asked whether or not, in Peru, it is proper etiquette to open a gift in front of the giver.  We consulted with the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

"In Peru, as probably it is in most Latin America, It is good manners to open it immediately and thank the person right away."

From the USA - Why You Should Learn Another Language...

Two mice were trapped in their hole by a large cat lurking around and refusing to move.  

One mouse said "I know how to get the cat go away."  "Really? How?" asked the second mouse.

"Just watch - I will teach you a lesson about the benefits of learning another language.  

The first mouse went to the entrance of the hole and, in a loud voice, said "Bow, wow!!!"   The cat immediately ran away! 


From the USA - Great website! 

"Your website,, is amazing! Thank you very much for coming up with a brilliant idea! You helped me ace my school project, and I will be sure to come here again!"    

From Korea an English teacher writes... 

"I'm from Korea, and I'm an English teacher. To learn a language, include the culture of the countries where the language is spoken. Your information at is helping me a lot."

From the USA 

A reader asks about the proper etiquette for arrivals and departures in Japan.  

From Japan 

"I may be wrong but the U.S. is not a country which appreciates culture, as it seems the business people still think that their money can cross cultures and national boundaries. Money talks, yes. But to a certain extent, people are born of cultures and histories and religions, and no matter how global the earth goes, these things stay as part of our DNA. 

Japan is still behind global IT age, and more and more emphasis has been placed on the use of English and global development as a result of the weakened economy. Global companies, seeing opportunities even in the weakened economy, have been coming to fill in the gap where Japan is losing out. Younger people are looking for jobs with foreign companies in the areas of financial services, distribution and information technology. 

Women are the key to the 21st Century. There are many IT networks for women now in place. They are going global, more so than men who are still stuck with old structures. With extensive Japan experience and cultural savvy, you are well positioned to connect with Japanese women and provide much-needed information and training."

From the USA - Stone, Pebble & Sand

There here is a story of a philosophy professor who wanted to convey the concept of "If you take care of the big things, the small things will take care of themselves." In other words, don't sweat the small stuff! 

He proceeded with the following demonstration: He picked up a large jar and filled it with rocks, with each rock being about two inches in diameter. He asked his students whether or not they considered the jar to be full. They answered that the jar was full. 

Next, the professor poured a box of pebbles into the jar, and gave it a slight shake. The pebbles rolled around and settled in the spaces between the rocks. He again asked whether or not the jar was full. Everyone agreed that it was.  The professor then poured sand into the jar. The sand immediately filled up all the remaining spaces. 

The moral of the story...

The jar represents our lives. The important things in life are represented by the rocks - family, children, friends, health. If we lose these important rocks, our lives are often destroyed.  The pebbles represent other important things that help us live better lives - our work, our home, our possessions. The sand is everything else - the small stuff. By putting the sand in first, there will be no room left for the pebbles or rocks. The same is true of our lives. If we spend all our energy on the small stuff, there is no time for the bigger more important stuff. 

* The author was listed as anonymous


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Copyright © 1999-2021 Cultural Savvy.  All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use