Intercultural communication and English classes

I am so hungry. Shall we grab a bite? “Yes, ahorita we will go to a restaurant.”

Hey, I think the tires of the car should be replaced. “Indeed, we will do so ahorita.”

Can I please have my contract? “Of course Miss, I will hand it to you ahorita.”

After an hour wait I was still hungry and just then we left to the restaurant. A couple of weeks after we found out that the tires had to be replaced, the car was taken to the mechanic. I received my contract two days later, because I really pushed it – due to the fact that a contract is VERY important.

Maybe you can make a guess about what I am trying to say here and why I chose Ahorita YA as the name of my initiative and company. Ahorita is another word for ‘indefinite time’. It derives from the word ahora, which literally means: now. Mexican people tend to use ‘ita’ (feminine) or ‘ito’ (masculine) after a word: this is used as a diminutive. In Mexico, the following rule is very important to know: the more diminutives are being used, the more indefinite time will be. Ahorita has a lot of different meanings to express time. It MAY mean within two minutes, but it may also mean half a day, or (oh yes!) never.

How about the YA part in Ahorita YA? Ya also means ‘now’. Here I present to you the connection between Mexican culture and misunderstandings that may exist when you are a foreigner in Mexico, seen from a Dutch point of view. Literally, it thus says: NOW NOW. Because, when a Dutch person says ‘now’, he means to say and to do so. Many times in contrast to the acts of a Mexican. This leads to hilarious and frustrating moments, which I will describe in my blog posts. Did you ever experience something like this?

Dutch culture vs.
Dutch culture ‘Hi, I just want to have some coffee!?’ vs.
Mexican culture
Mexican culture ‘I just came to say hi!?’

Especially when trying to do business, this can cause a lot of problems. As a Cultural Anthropologist (MA) with a specialisation in Intercultural Communication, I offer workshops intercultural communication, provide cultural advice and teach English. This could work for all kinds or businesses: International organisations, hotels, or other parties in the tourism industry.

As a Cultural Anthropologist I am fascinated by Mexico’s culture and people, as by the Spanish language and the cultural misunderstandings that exist when being in touch with another culture. Those are the moments when I learn, feel, and laugh. And being able to laugh is one of the most important steps to feel good in another country, according to me.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hi!4


Debbie Vorachen 






© 2016 by Debbie – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.
Photos © 2016 by Debbie – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.




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