• Thought Catalyst Partners

#LIVE 001 - Cultural Stereotypes: Language & Accent by Christian Barmen, John Ho & Margot Ling



Christian thinks one of the advantages of coming from a country like Norway is that English is the 2nd language. So they could speak it in an easier way when talking to Asians, especially when compared to the Americans or British.

When foreigners go to Asia, it is inevitable to come across miscommunication and sometimes both foreigners & Asians are speaking in their 2nd language. It doesn't mean the people are stupid simply because they don’t understand the contents during a conversation.

Margot agreed that not everyone needs to achieve the fluency & proficiency of a native speaker of English.

John felt like speed & simplicity matter. Going slow and basic for sure helps with communication & break down language barriers.

Also, Margot thinks accents reflect your background and culture. There is no right or wrong and we should be more open-minded to people with a different way of articulation.

Finally, Christian mentions eye contacts are important. In case it’s really getting difficult, draw it out.


About the Speaker:


Christian Barmen, the Norwegian business entrepreneur with decades of experience in Asia. Dedicated Biohacker and certified Ben Greenfield trainer. Runs a frontier technology lab that explores fundamental questions of biophysics. Produced 2.5 million portable solar cell lamps for UNHCR in Africa. Christian is currently based in Chiang Mai of Thailand with offices in China.


Mr. John Ho is a social media marketing strategist and co-founder of Alt_. He grew up in Hong Kong and after graduating from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he spent his first 10 years in Hong Kong working in the hospitality sector. Later on he pursued in network marketing business and also became one of the pioneers in mobile live-streaming with Periscope (Twitter Live App). His global audience is more than 60,000 combined with over 5,000 hours of stream time across platforms like Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. He helped built a Facebook page (Martial Tribes) to over 4 million page fans and also created the page "Married to Chiang Mai" with highly engaging content in various formats. John and his family are currently living in Thailand and he is creating his first co-living and co-working space in the old city of Chiang Mai.


As a Global Mindset and Growth Mindset evangelist, Margot Ling is one of the Certified Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Facilitators in Greater China from a business background. In recent years, Margot is also a performance & empowerment coach for tech start-up CEOs and global executives. Using her unique background in digital media and coaching, she created the A.G.I.L.E. performance coaching model to help clients to achieve sustainable growth. Margot has been a guest speaker in public institutions and universities in Hong Kong. She has also trained a wide range of content partners in the region, including China state-owned media, international media and private technology companies. Margot's Cross-Cultural Performance Workshop participants over the last year rated their satisfaction at an average of 94%. She speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese.



#Culture #CulturalStereotypes #Accent #Language #ChristianBarmen #JohnHo #MargotLing #UnconsciousBias


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