Jun 8, 2011

Transformative Power of Intercultural Experiences

Original Title in English
By Author Anh Tho Andres @YourVietnamExpert.com
Source: Blog Transformative Power of Intercultural Experiences 


"Sharing on my personal intercultural experience: As a South Vietnamese growing up in war torn South Vietnam, I benefit from both French and American culture in my younger years. After the fall of Saigon (or the "liberation" of South Vietnam), I was among the 800 successful candidates among the 43'000 who sat for entrance examinations to various universities of the newly unified Vietnam. Upon graduation, I worked as a professional translator and interpreter in 5 languages, among which Russian and German. Later on, I also acquired Swiss German and Norwegian in my set of languages as translator. With this background, I had experienced a lot of scenario where cross-cultural communication plays a very important role, even within the same ethnic group, sharing the same beliefs, speaking the same language. In my studies of Buddhism, I learnt that we are shaped by the perceptions that we have of the world through inputs we receive from our immediate entourage and senses, and the way to consciously neutralise negative thoughts and build up positive thought through the process of meditation. I am still working on this and find that it helps a lot to develop compassion to understand the "other" while you are communicating with them. From my readings on Vietnam war stories, I also noticed that a lot of destruction and losses of life could have been spared if both sides had been given the opportunities to understand the opponent's position. For me, understanding others' culture start with an open mind to accept that there can be many solutions to problem-solving, and nobody can be holding the absolute truth. If we learn how to listen actively, we may find a solution of resolving a conflict without having to use coercitive methods to impose our own thinking." Posted by Anh Tho Andres on May 2011.
About the Author
A native Vietnamese born in South Vietnam during the American war. French educated at Couvent des Oiseaux and Lycée Yersin. Got last French Baccalaureat in 1975 during the last days of Saigon Government. Anh Tho Andres was among the first few (southern Vietnamese) graduates in post-war Vietnam in 1979. Her first job with the National Oil Service Company in Vung Tau, as a 5-language interpreter and customer relations officer, gave her a rich insight on Vietnam's relations with foreign investors and problems that expats faced while living and working in Vietnam. Later, as a Translator-Consultant and Interpreter based in Singapore - while doing her English MBA with Hull University (UK), she accompanied businessmen on their business fact-finding trips to Vietnam. She also started her method of  "Learn Vietnamese in 8 Hours" and trained over 1000 Singaporean businessmen to be relocated to Vietnam. She was also the first business-women entrepreneur who organised conferences and seminars on various subjects for Vietnamese official delegations to visit Singapore, Malaysia and Switzerland, acting as their guide-interpreter and consultant. Since 2007, she attended legal trainings in Swiss and English Law, and specialises in legal translation, providing translation and consulting services on Vietnam, through her network of YourVietnamExpert colleagues. Her first published book 'Basic Vietnamese'  with Europhone (1994) was sold for over 50'000 units.  Her second book named 'Business Vietnamese, Useful Tips for a Succesful Venture with your Vietnam Partner', is to be published in Autumn 2011. She is also preparing her manuscript and film script for her second novel 'Back to Square One', relating her life experiences in Vietnam, Norway, Switzerland and Singapore. Now based in Geneva, she is coordinating the project initiated hereunder to help younger Vietnamese in their translation techniques and general knowledge in Vietnam studies.

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YourVietBooks is a collection of books on Vietnam for Readers who are interested in Vietnam's History, Culture, Language, Economy, or Business. Most titles are in English, but some are only available in French or Vietnamese. Our qualified and experienced translators can provide interested parties an accurate translation of some parts of the books for your research purposes. Contact yourvietbooks@gmail.com for more information.