Accurate Body Language Interviews Multilingual Aida Dismondy, Esq.
At the age of 23, Aida Dismondy moved from Albania to the Unites States and has lived in Michigan for the past 18 years. Aida is multilingual in the following languages:
- Body language
- Albanian (native fluent)
- English (fluent)
- German (proficient)
- Italian (proficient)
Where in the World is Albania?
Being MULTI-Lingual has Brain Advantages:
Learning about other cultures and languages expands both brain, cultural, and interpersonal relationship horizons. Accurate Body Language invites you to listen to Aida’s in-depth interview regarding Albanian and American cultures and the importance of body language:
Aida Dismondy LOVES Learning Languages, “Albanian, my native language is the first language I learned to speak. Whereas English I began to learn in fifth grade all the way through high school and the first 2 years of University. It was mandatory throughout Albanian education to learn a foreign language; at the time it was English, French, and Russian. In school, we had foreign language 3 times a week for 45 minutes.
Personally, I did not have any problems learning a foreign language. Maybe because I was fascinated by languages in general; a fascination, that I followed later on in life through my studies as a linguist.
I must admit, that regardless of my fascination there were challenges to learn a new language. It requires training the brain to think differently, to think of grammatical and syntax structures that are different from the native language, until the language itself becomes second nature. In the process of learning, one consciously switches gears to adjust from one language environment to the next.
To this day for example I have to stop when I use the verb ‘do’ accompanied by another verb, because I make the mistake to place the second verb in past tense, as is in Albanian grammar rules, versus present tense, the English grammar rules.
Fast forward, later in life when I learned Italian and German, navigating through those language environments came easy. However, I must admit Europeans are at an advantage when it comes to maintaining the language proficiency because people have the opportunity to be exposed to another language via media, movies, traveling.
Whereas in the Unites States there isn’t, via the usual media outlets, too much exposure to different languages. For example, in Europe in the radio one hears not only songs in English but also songs from different countries, hence the brain is in constant exposure to sounds that are different from the custom native language.
Exposure plays a significant role too in language learning, I believe all those factors combined, desire to learn, great teachers, and a diverse linguistic environment play a role in facilitating language learning.”
Aida shares with Accurate Body Language Ten Tips about the Albanian Culture:
Tip #1: Albanians LOVE to Learn!
Albanians are highly literate (i.e., over 95% literacy rate) and speak several languages beyond native Albanian. With each new language, the brain expands, absorbs, and becomes trained to perceive and compare the systematic patterns and structure among languages.
Aida explains that as a child, “I learned to become very attuned to the similarities and differences that exist in the grammatical structure and also the syntactical structure between the native language and the foreign language.”
Like a muscle during exercise, the brain absorbs, expands, and grows when learning new languages. The neurological pathways and structure strengthen and becomes more cognitively efficient when acquiring new language skills and fluency. The window of opportunity is BEST when children, starting at the age of 3 can hear and learn more than one language in the home or school environment.
Tip #2: Greetings
Upon initial Albanian greetings, it is more appropriate for opposite genders to give firm handshakes rather than cheek kisses or hugs. Young Albanians (e.g., 15 – 20 years old) may kiss each other on the cheeks.
Albanian men may hug or greet each other, even in the initial encounter, by touching or kissing the cheeks of the other man. Albanian men may link arms when walking together.
Likewise, women may touch or kiss the cheeks of other women. It’s not a smooch is similar to how French people meet and greet. Also, it is common for women to hold hands in public or link arms when walking together. Same genders hand-in-hand, or arm-in-arm, walking together is not typically seen in public in the USA.
Tip #3: Head Nods, ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’ and ‘No’ Means ‘Yes.’
In Albanian culture,
- a side-to-side head nod (with a little bit of a head wobble) means “Yes.”
- Vertical up and down head nod means “No.”
- ‘No’ is usually signaled by a slight raising of the eyebrows, sometimes accompanied by a gentle click of the tongue “nc,” but mostly the Albanian word “No.”
- “Nc” is very informal.
Tip #4: Family is Important
Albanians place great importance on core and extended family members, heritage, obtaining education, honoring their elders and friendship.
Albanian families are primarily patriarchal with men as the head of the family, and women are the head of the house. In business, both genders value education and careers.
Tip #5: Double-Headed Eagle:
The double headed eagle is on our flag, our native symbol, and signifies the fact that we are Albanians. So whenever we make the gesture, it is somewhat like saying “I love Albania.”
Tip #6: ‘OK’ and ‘Thumbs-Up’ hand gestures among Americans may not be OK among Albanian people
In Albania, the American ‘OK’ hand gesture has a similar meaning as the offensive ‘middle finger’ hand gesture. It is best to be polite and refrain from using the American “OK” hand gesture. Instead of displaying the “OK hand gesture, verbally say the word “OK” to get your message across to Albanians.
Instead of a ‘Thumbs-Up’ hand gesture common among Americans, Albanians may convey the same meaning by patting the other person or giving a “high-5” hand pat.
Tip #7: Remove Shoes Upon Entering Albanian Homes
When visiting with Albanians, it is polite and preferred to remove your shoes when entering into their homes. Guests may be offered to wear a pair of indoor house slippers or plastic sandals.
Tip #8: Courteous Greetings
When guests arrive to visit, Albanians get up and say, “Hello!” regardless of their age, or the age of the person that walked in the door. While visiting with Albanians, it is polite to ask how their family members are doing. For example, ask: “Hi, how are you, how is your mom…, your dad…, your sister…, your brother?” And then go on to the next person present in the room and ask the same questions.
Albanians will mutually reciprocate and then ask how your family members are doing. The best response is “Good, Thank you! How about you?”
Tip #9: Meal Time and Goodbye Sayings
When sitting at the table, Albanians say their version of “Bon appetite,” and “Thank the cook (usually the mom) for the meal prepared.” At the end of the meal, Albanians give thanks that the meal they just enjoyed may bring us good health, “na bëftë mirë.”
Albanians also accompany guests to the door when they leave. So don’t be surprised if the entire Albanian family sees you to the door and bids you a warm,“Goodbye.”
Tip #10: Get to the point!
Albanians feel comfortable getting to the point of the matter and offering direct feedback. A firm tone of voice and distinct straightforwardness is common. Public displays of affection or negative emotions such as anger, loudness are not common among strangers.
Aida invites you to contact her for more information about Albanian culture as well as questions of a legal and business nature.
Aida, is a licensed attorney in the State of Michigan. She specializes in business law. She is the founder of ALBEX LAW, PC located in Plymouth, Michigan. You can reach her at email@example.com or via telephone at 734-386-0302.
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