Cultural Crossroads, Inc. will host a multilingual sharing event at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Plaza Library, 4801 Main St. Kansas City. The event is part of a year-long “cultural conversations” series presented on the second Tuesday of each month this year at the library.

Cultural Crossroads, Inc. will host a multilingual sharing event at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Plaza Library, 4801 Main St. Kansas City. The event is part of a year-long “cultural conversations” series presented on the second Tuesday of each month this year at the library.

Mary Gibson McCoy is president of Cultural Crossroads, an Independence organization that promotes “mutual respect and understanding of diversity through cross-cultural education by focusing on commonalties.”

1 What is the purpose of the event “Talk to the World?” The ability to communicate is basic to all humans and the ability to express at least basic courtesies provides a bridge between cultures and increases one’s confidence level and comfort zone in multicultural situations and in the global economy. “Talk to the World” provides an introduction to several languages in one event, allowing participants to compare phrases, obtain a basis for further study, and a deeper understanding of our own language.



2 How can people use a foreign language in our area to make their lives more fulfilling? Our community has become a microcosm of the greater global community – students from many different cultures are in our schools and we meet adults from other countries throughout the city in various situations. All people share the desire to know and to be known and simple phrases like “hello” and “thank you” help smooth our lives and enhance peace in our community.    



3 Why is it important for people to learn, at least a little, different languages? A fundamental knowledge of other language groups enriches our ability to learn and understand. Just knowing some of the pronunciation sounds of other languages eases everyday activities, from ordering dinner at a favorite ethnic restaurant to being able to pronounce newly-encountered English words.



4 What do you hope people take away from this event? We hope people leave with a greater understanding of the commonality of all peoples, and a greater appreciation of the role of language in helping us to build those bridges I mentioned earlier. We also hope that people find a greater comfort in dealing with those from other cultures and develop an excitement to learn more.



5 Give us some examples of simple courtesy phrases in different languages. HELLO/GOOD MORNING: Bon jour (French), Ohayo (Japanese), Hola (Spanish) a salute (American Sign Language) THANK YOU: Grazie (Italian),  Spasibo (Russian) Tapaidh leat (Scots Gaelic), move fingertips from mid-chin outward (American Sign Language)