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This post is directly inspired by the European project “Fasten Seat Belts 2…“, within the Life-Long Learning Programme of the European Union. Further information is available at the official website Fasten Seat Belts 2 in many European languages.
Today travelling is necessary and accessible to more and more people. The increased mobility exposes millions of travellers every day to new cultures, customs and languages. Without education, dialogue can be difficult and misunderstandings can arise. We can get yourself into all sorts of trouble in other countries if we don’t have an understanding of the cultural language. Much of our behaviour can mean other things in other countries, some of it amusing, some of it extremely offensive. One gesture, or movement, or expression, may have many different meanings, just as our verbal language has words which may have different meanings.
Some people, when travelling to new countries, may forget to consider the different behavioural norms they are likely to encounter and behave exactly as they do at home. In such circumstances, even minor cultural differences can become major barriers to communication and cooperation. This project aims to demystify these cultural differences and encourage visitors to embrace them.
The objectives of the “Fasten Seat Belts 2” project are:

  • raising travellers’ curiosity towards new languages
  • breaking linguistic and cultural communication barriers
  • using innovative communication tools and learning methods :teaching through entertainment
  • offering free immediate access to educational information to travellers
  • and last but not least, helping to kill time intelligently

In Italiano:
Vi è capitato mai di voler salutare un inglese e lui – quasi schifato – vi concede la mano con una certa ritrosìa? Non perché io fossi abbastanza brutto, ma quando ero studente in Gran Bretagna osservavo come la “distanza prossimale” in quel paese equivalesse alla distanza fisica di 1 metro circa, specie se misuravo il tutto girando su me stesso. Toccare i piedi in qualche paese dell’Asia equivale a un gesto d’intimità estrema che potreste fare solo con una moglie (o compagna) e così via. “Fasten Seat Belts 2…” nasce come progetto finanziato dall’Unione Europea, all’interno del Programma d’Apprendimento Permanente (Life-Long-Learning Programme).
Fasten Seat Belts è una bella guida illustrata e animata, per evitare malintesi durante i viaggi, un modo innovativo per imparare le lingue e raccogliere suggerimenti culturali. Fasten Seat Belts é suddivisa in due grandi aree geografiche, AsiaEuropa, ma può anche essere consultata per cercare uno specifico PaeseSituazione. I contenuti delle singole schede possono essere vari, normalmente testo e video ma in alcuni casi anche solo audio, per averne subito un idea guarda tutti gli… Insulti paese per paese, che è qualcosa sempre interessante, no?