Amal Berry: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
1:02 Metro Airport Detroit Metropolitan Airport
140 communal connected, living with a sense of community
2:00 special education segregated classes for children with emotional problems and learning disabilities
2:30 brutal harsh, mean, violent
2:56 Arab descent having ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) with Arabian background
2:58 assimilated blended in, taken over, absorbed
3:15 hummus and grape leaves typical Mediterranean foods: hummus is a blended paste of chick peas, garlic, sesame paste, andÂ
3:30 Wonder Bread North American brand name of a kind of soft, white sandwich bread (In intercultural/interracial conversations, the name “white bread” implies homogeneous (dominant) whi culture without an understanding of ethnic diversity.)
3:52 kibbeh an egg-shaped Middle Eastern food made with cracked wheat, onions, ground red meat, and spices
4:00 transcended went beyond
4:17 MediterraneanÂ
5:02 heritage something that comes to a person from birth or inheritance, including ethnicity and culture
5:24 dressed up wearing clothing that is more special than the usual
5:30 our Sunday best our nicest clothing (expression from the Christian tradition of wearing the best clothing to church on Sunday)
5:31 if you will if you will allow me to use this expression in this situation
6:22 from within with internal (personal) motivation, not influenced by others
6:25 comfortable in my own skin content with being who I am
7:00 either/or must make a choice between two options
7:01 both/and can choose both options
7:17 melting pot blending (a metaphor for everyone being assimilated into one homogeneous culture, not allowing any ethnic or cultural distinctiveness)
7:18 mosaic an art form with many distinct shapes and colors working together to make a diverse, interesting image (a metaphor for unifying diverse people without making them lose their original identities)
7:33 ethos the character or beliefs and ideals that represent a group or nation
9:00 not tainted not spoiled or corrupted
9:08 without baggage without negative history that blocks someoneÂ’s current living or thinking
10:36 my Maker God (the Power or Life Force that created me)
10:55 modesty being humble, not showy or extreme
11:52 ethnic disparities outcomes that represent unequal access or results for some racial or cultural groups
12:10 initiatives new programs or projects
12:13 from the leadership on down beginning with the leaders and continuing throughout an entire organization
12:17 cultural competence ability to understand, respect, and work with people from various cultural backgrounds beyond oneÂ’ own
12:30 self-aware understanding oneÂ’s own personality and history
13:40 passionate having strong commitment and energy

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.