When it comes to the competence of my own personal level of intercultural communication I admit, I was born with a slight advantage. As the daughter of Greek immigrants, I was brought up with the values and cultural influences of my family’s heritage and learned to speak, read and write in Greek.
The experience of living in a bi-cultural family has also been valuable to me in my professional life as a traveling performer that toured throughout Europe during the 1990s. Greek is not widely spoken outside of Greece however, it is one of the oldest tongues and at the root of many European languages spoken today. As I toured in each major country, to help me overcome the language barrier, I learned the basics of each one: Italian, French, German and Spanish. As someone that spoke fluent Greek, I discovered that many words were the same, if not similar. I was surprised with how quickly I picked up each language, and the locals were equally impressed with my conversing in their native tongue. It made a world of difference in how we were embraced as foreigners and welcomed as one of their own.
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