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The ProLingua Global Podcast

ProLingua Global's podcast features a series of short interviews with business people who’ve had their fair share of intercultural experiences, either in the corporate sector, or when working for a small or medium sized business.They share their insights as to how understanding the language and culture of their partners / colleagues / clients has benefitted them (or would have benefitted them), their business relationships, and their company.

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Lesley McMillan on what strategies worked for her when learning German, why she continues to do so after more than 10 years studying, and what fluency actually means

Lesley McMillan is a legal secretary at DAC Beachcroft, an international law firm and she works in the City of London. Lesley doesn’t learn German for work, she learns German at work. Her motivation is very personal, and she has been learning German for 10 years or so.  We talked about why she learns German, and why she continues to do so despite having achieved a degree of fluency and spontaneity. She recalls what strategies have worked for her to reach the level of fluency that she's at now, and also what sort of challenges she still faces on her language learning journey. A super inspiring talk.

25mins

30 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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James, finance professional on the challenges of learning German, the opportunities it has opened up for him, and why having the confidence to go out there and just talk is such a key part of learning a language successfully

James is director and head of short term interest rate products at the London branch of a German bank. In this interview, James explains why he wanted to learn German despite the fact that as an English speaker, he could have got away with just speaking English. He talks about the challenging aspects of learning a foreign language, like understanding different accents, speaking despite knowing that your sentence is not going to be perfect, or his German colleagues having to slow down and readjust their German to make it easier for him to understand. And he also talks candidly about the appreciation and respect he gets when German partners see him speaking their language, as well as the business and career opportunities that learning a foreign language can bring. At the end of our conversation, James shares what strategies have worked for him when it comes to improving his German and how he feels about dealing with the inevitable mistakes  and occasional embarrassment that are part of the language learning process. About the host, Gabriella Ferenczi: Gabriella Ferenczi is a German and Hungarian language coach, founder of ProLingua Global, a London-based language training company. Gabriella is a linguist and language enthusiast. Her mission with ProLingua Global is to help Uk businesses to operate more effectively in a global, multicultural and multilingual world, take advantage of more opportunities and strengthen international trade relationships.  Gabriella believes that learning a new language promotes understanding between people, businesses, countries and cultures. It bridges gaps and enables to build meaningful connections. www.gabriellaferenczi.com www.prolingua.global info@gabriellaferenczi.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellaferenczi/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabriellaFerencziOfficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabiFerenczi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabriella.ferenczi/

25mins

29 Jan 2019

Rank #2

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Laszlo Badenszki on how being genuinely interested in understanding others can help to overcome the language and cultural barrier and bring huge international teams together to realise something great

Laszlo Badenszki is branch manager of Royal Brinkman Hungary, a global company with headquarters in Holland. They are one of the largest international horticultural suppliers in the world: they do products, systems and services in the field of crop rotation, crop care, crop protection & disinfection. Laszlo explains how English was an integral part of his professional success and career as he feels it bought along opportunities, friendships, new lands, countries and memories he would never have encountered. He talks about English being used as a common language all across Royal Brinkman in Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the world and how he communicates with colleagues, partners and clients in different countries. He then recalls working for Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, where English was again an integral part of his job. One of the projects he was working on was creating a large seeds data base that would support the business for years to come. International companies from all over the world were involved in this massive project, Brits, French, Indians and Hungarians among them just to name a few. Laszlo talks about the challenging aspects of working with these cultures. He talks about what he feels was the key to overcome the language and cultural barrier, even in difficult situations like telephone conferences where not even facial expressions  can give you a clue as to what’s being said. He also mentions how social programmes organised by the company helped to bring huge international teams on the same page and how it helped them understand each other better, not only in terms of language but also when it comes to understanding different ways of thinking and destroying  potential prejudices that may have prevented progress. Laszlo walks us through how he learnt English initially at school and then how he built upon that by himself, learning on the job.  At the end of the conversation, Laszlo shares some very practical tips on how he maintains the level he achieved and how he continues to develop his English - with time-saving tips and methods that can work even for the busiest people. Feel free to reach out to Laszlo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laszlo-badenszki-25a30849/ About the host, Gabriella Ferenczi: Gabriella Ferenczi is a German and Hungarian language coach, founder of ProLingua Global, a London-based language training company. Gabriella is a linguist and language enthusiast. Her mission with ProLingua Global is to help Uk businesses to operate more effectively in a global, multicultural and multilingual world, take advantage of more opportunities and strengthen international trade relationships.   Gabriella believes that learning a new language promotes understanding between people, businesses, countries and cultures. It bridges gaps and enables to build meaningful connections. www.gabriellaferenczi.comwww.prolingua.global info@gabriellaferenczi.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellaferenczi/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabriellaFerencziOfficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabiFerenczi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabriella.ferenczi/

45mins

21 Oct 2018

Rank #3

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Norbert Kim on the similarities and differences between British and Japanese working cultures, practical tips on what to do and what not to do when doing business in Japan and how cultural rules may alter when an Asian company sets foot in a Western city

Norbert Kim is an equity trader at Asset Management One, a Japanese company that is one of the largest asset management firms in Asia. Norbert trades Japanese equity and foreign exchange markets and executes Japanese, European and US equity orders. At present, he also studies to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. Norbert comes from a linguistically and culturally diverse background which has helped him to embark on an interesting career path in finance that spans from Asia to Europe. He is bilingual, a native Japanese and Hungarian speaker. In this conversation, we talk about how he learnt English as a foreign language in Japan as well as in Hungary, how he feels about accents and being a ‘foreigner’ in both Japan, Hungary and in London. A fascinating account of what it is like growing up and working in an increasingly global, multicultural and multilingual world. Norbert explains vividly about loads of interesting aspects of the Japanese working culture as opposed to the British one, as well as how working for a Japanese firm in London changes things around and alters even strict cultural rules and expectations a little. He talks about questions that Westerners may find a bit intrusive or even offensive, however the answers to them are essential to establish the right sort of hierarchical positions in Japan. We talk about leadership styles, how Norbert and I feel about Japanese, Hungarians, Germans and Brits being direct or rather indirect, we talk about punctuality, etiquette and politeness and Norbert quizzes me on how I would go about if a colleague or potential business partner took me to a restaurant and I didn’t like the food. As it turns out, I’d certainly offend a Japanese if I went my way and weren’t culturally sensitive enough. At the end of our conversation, we talk about the meaning of the word ‘foreigner’ in London and in Japan. Feel free to reach out to Norbert on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/norbertkim/ About the host, Gabriella Ferenczi: Gabriella Ferenczi is a German and Hungarian language coach, founder of ProLingua Global, a London-based language training company. Gabriella is a linguist and language enthusiast. Her mission with ProLingua Global is to help Uk businesses to operate more effectively in a global, multicultural and multilingual world, take advantage of more opportunities and strengthen international trade relationships.    Gabriella believes that learning a new language promotes understanding between people, businesses, countries and cultures. It bridges gaps and enables to build meaningful connections.  www.gabriellaferenczi.comwww.prolingua.global info@gabriellaferenczi.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellaferenczi/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabriellaFerencziOfficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabiFerenczi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabriella.ferenczi/

59mins

23 Aug 2018

Rank #4

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Tomas Svitorka on learning English, accents, and why knowing the culture and grammar are so important in the language learning journey

Tomas Svitorka is a professional life coach, speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, and the founder of OK is NOT Enough - the core philosophy he uses to coach ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals to help them raise the standards of their performance and lifestyle, so they can create the results and life they daydream about. He's coached hundreds of clients from different backgrounds, including industry leaders, celebrities, billionaire entrepreneurs, fitness trainers, and rising stars in global corporations. He's also delivered workshops for corporations and organisations both in the UK and abroad, to transform their teams into high performers and equip them with business best practices. To date he’s been featured on Vice, Virgin Media, The Unconventionalists, and various radio shows and podcasts. Through his coaching sessions, workshops, and seminars, he has helped people achieve their biggest (and sometimes wildest!) dreams and goals to date. In this conversation, we focus predominantly on how Tomas learnt English initially, to the point where he felt that had to re-learn the language alongside culture when he moved to the UK. Tomas looks back on his native tongue Czech and reflects upon subtle cultural differences that he encountered since living and doing business in the UK. We also talk about our massive respect for anyone trying to crack a language, especially a language that's not among the most common foreign languages like Czech or Hungarian. At the end of our conversation, we address the perennial dilemma of whether we should ask ask the question 'Where are you from?' when meeting someone, a seemingly harmless and perfectly normal question. You can reach Tomas on his website www.tomassvitorka.com as well as on Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.svitorka http://twitter.com/TomasSvitorka https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tomassvitorka https://www.instagram.com/tomassvitorka/ About the host, Gabriella Ferenczi: Gabriella Ferenczi is a German and Hungarian language coach, founder of ProLingua Global, a London-based language training company. Gabriella is a linguist and language enthusiast. Her mission with ProLingua Global is to help Uk businesses to operate more effectively in a global, multicultural and multilingual world, take advantage of more opportunities and strengthen  international trade relationships.    Gabriella believes that learning a new language promotes understanding between people, businesses, countries and cultures. It bridges gaps and enables to build meaningful connections.  www.gabriellaferenczi.com www.prolingua.global info@gabriellaferenczi.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellaferenczi/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GabriellaFerencziOfficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabiFerenczi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabriella.ferenczi/

44mins

9 Jun 2018

Rank #5