Yes. Gestures, symbols, even colors have a vast array of meanings around the world.
And sometimes up means down and even really big companies make really embarrassing mistakes!
- Raise your eyebrows to an American and you’re skeptical or surprised, but a Greek will think you simply agree.
- Even English can be confusing: In the U.S. to “table a motion” means that it will not be discussed, while in Great Britain the same phrase denotes “bringing it to the table for discussion.”
- Recently, in China, there was an uproar over insensitive use of two culturally loaded symbols—the dragon and the stone lion—in advertisements for Toyota, Nippon and Nike.
At InterNation, our cultural experts around the globe can help you say what you mean and avoid confusing—not to mention embarrassing—cross-cultural gaffs.