Customer Reviews: Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot - And Cold - Climate Cultures
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars101
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Showing 1-10 of 78 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on June 6, 2002
As a college Professor, I have been using this book as a textbook to help my students learn how to communicate cross-culturally for almost 2 years now. It is a real eye openner both for students from Mid-America and for students from Latin America and Asia. It is so easy to be mis-understood. This study can heal the wounds and rejection that many people feel when they try to relate at work and in the community. Better yet, it can help us to prevent the hurts in the first place. I give it an A+.
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on May 27, 2004
"Foreign to Familiar" is a short very easy to read book that really is far more helpful than I could have ever imagined. As an anglo who has had relationships with hispanics my entire life I thought I understood hispanic people pretty well. After reading the book I now understand why some of the most important people in my life have made such stinging criticisms of me. They believe I am selfish and egotistical, I believed that they couldn't make decisions, were foolish with thier money, and let their family take advantage of them. I now understand why my friends act the way they do and can begin to see myself through their eyes. I wish someone could have taught me this stuff 20 years ago.
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on August 3, 2001
This book really opened my eyes to the differences in various cultures groups and why communications were sometimes muddied or difficult. My job often requires communicating by mail or email with professionals in other countries, so this book has been a tremendous help in learning how to understand people in other cultures. The author breaks down the world's cultures into two basic categories: hot climate and cold climate. She then discusses the cultural differences in these two groups including the ways they communicate. The explanations on how time is perceived differently by each group and on indirect versus direct communications were so valuable! The book has changed the way I correspond with Africans, Hispanics, and Asians totally! Thanks so much, Sarah, for knowing how important this information was and for putting it into a book!
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on February 8, 2007
This is a succinct and accurate guidebook on the basic differences between cultures. The author has personal experience of many different cultures and offers a practical framework from which the reader can evaluate experiences in differing cultures. My husband and I use it much in our international work/travel situations, give it away often, and lend our own copy out frequently to those traveling in or moving to new cultures. Great resource.
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on January 16, 2016
Short, concise, clear, and useful--I can't prove Lanier is 100% correct, but her ideas echo my experiences, and the concepts are great as starting points for serious conversation about cultural differences and expectations.
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on August 28, 2013
This may be my favorite work on the many cultural differences one experiences between cold and hot climate people groups. I have bought many copies of this work down through the years since its original publication as it is THE valuable resource for sales persons, teachers, pastors, missionaries, etc., who NEED to understand the differences between north and south and why they happen. As one who has bridged those cultural gaps before learning of this work, I realize how helpful it would have been earlier in my career. Ever wonder why no one in the South makes invitation to their home? Northerner's expect such, but in the South they just expect you to "drop in," But to do so in the North is to commit a major cultural faux pas, as there people value their time and "polite company" knows when to arrive and when to leave. No such thing as "dropping in unexpectedly." You may catch the people unprepared for visitors and to them that is embarrassing. Now, imagine a pastor who changes states and doesn't know that sort of information! That and more are covered in the book. Worth EVERY PENNY!
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on February 25, 2015
This book will really open your eyes to how similar and yet different we all are. The author does a wonderful job explaining the hot and cold climate personalities. It really helps my husband in the customer service industry to better understand his customers to help them. He serves people in New England, California area, in the southern states of the US, people in England, France and Germany, South America. It has helped us as a family when trying to help the refugees in our area to be able to understand them better to help them. This book is a great book all around. It can help you understand your in-laws, business associates and the people around you everyday. Let's face it our world is getting smaller and we're living amongst people of different cultures all the time.
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on March 2, 2006
As short as this book may be, the words and insight provided on these pages is essential for anyone from any walk of life entertaining the idea of world travel. It gives you something to work with in understanding other people's views. Excellent read!
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on July 31, 2015
One of the best books on cross-cultural understanding I've seen! Sarah Lanier does a wonderful job of bringing culture down to the personal level and expressing how differences don't have to be hard. Great read!!!
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on April 28, 2015
This is an excellent book to help understand people from different cultures. At first glance, it seems to be directed toward missionaries and visitors to foreign countries, particularly when the visit is for longer than a brief tourist stop where the encounters are mostly with people involved in the tourism industry. It's a different story when there are frequent interactions with the average people. This book is an excellent guide in a general sort of way, not only in foreign settings, but also the various segments of our own US of A. By extension, the book even gives valuable insight into people of different personality types and what makes them tick.

The book is NOT a behavioral or cultural guide for any specific nation or locality. It won't tell you what to expect culturally in Bulgaria, Tanzania, or Peru.
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