It is the adventure of being far away and still feeling at home....


sábado, 27 de marzo de 2010

IF YOU CAN´T MAKE IT ON FRIDAYS, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN US… Tuesday 30th March: "How much do you know about Lunfardo Porteño?"



- Book your seat -


Intercultural Coffee Meetings for Foreigners & Argentinos in Buenos Aires

"How much do you know about Lunfardo Porteño?”
Tuesday 30th March, 6.30pm

Palermo, Buenos Aires
More info:


Nómadas Globales Argentina organizes Weekly Intercultural Coffee Meetings for the community of travelers, expatriates and international students living in Buenos Aires.

If you are a foreigner or ciudadano argentino and you are interested in exploring and understanding cultural differences, this is your place!

Next Meeting: "How much do you know about Lunfardo Porteño?”

Tuesday 30th March, 6.30pm

Café Lopez. Scalabrini Ortiz 2401 (corner of Güemes). 1 block away from Scalabrini Ortiz station– subway D. Palermo. Bs As.

Pre-booking required. To confirm attendance, send us an email today:

Spanish language and Porteños identity go hand in hand!

Whether you are a Porteño or a foreigner trying to make of BA your new home, learning Lunfardo (Porteños slang) is almost a condition to better understand BA locals identity and improve your own communication skills!
In our next Coffee meeting, we (Argies and expats) will explore together Lunfardos main words and expressions - through fun learning activities! Where does Lunfardo come from? What expressions do you need to know? How to realize in which context you can use each expression?

Attendance fee is of 40 Ar$/person.

If you come with a friend, 70 Ar$ for both.

If you book 3 meetings in advance, 100 Ar$/ person!

Limited seats available. Pre-booking is required.
To confirm attendance, please send an email to


Let´s go global!

Dynamic training session and fun & innovative group activities (role playing, simulation, exercises and lively discussion)
Hosted by Natalia Sarro (Argentine Intercultural Trainer & Psychologist), we learn and discuss about Porteños mentality, challenges of living as a foreigner in BsAs and cultural differences between Argentina and other cultures represented in Buenos Aires.
We offer you a space to learn, share your experiences, have fun and meet other locals and foreigners, all in a relaxed and informal atmosphere – el Café Porteño!
We enjoy working in small groups. Topics change every week.
Only requirement: possess an intermediate level of English – as the Meeting is held entirely in English language.


lunes, 15 de marzo de 2010

Figuring out how to work with Argentines…. PART 1!

Below you´ll find pics of our last Friday 12th March´s Get together in Café Lopez. As usual, we meet every week in Palermo to share our knowledge and experiences on a variety of intercultural related topics. This time we focused on a “clásico”: Working and Doing business with Argentines Part 1. 

We started the session with a round of introductions to get to know each other: at least 7 different nationalities coming from Latin American, European and North American countries were represented in the group of 11 participants - making the encounter rich in diversity and multiple perspectives!

In this pic, from left to right: Jed (US), Robert (Arg/UK), Kathy (Belgium), Flor (Honduras), Daniel (Arg), Kris (Arg), Menko (Paraguay/ Germany) and Madi (US).

We continued with a presentation on the concept of Culture. Why is culture important? How does it influence our behaviors and decisions? And why should we be aware of our cultural orientations when we interact with people from other nationalities?

After a bit of theory, the action started!

In small groups, we discussed and tried to clarify some typical cross-cultural misunderstandings taking place in different business settings between Argentines and employees/ managers from other cultures. Where is the misunderstanding? How does our cultural background lead us to misinterpret Argentines or to be misinterpreted by Argentines?

We had to fine tune our senses to figure out behaviors, actions, underlying values and beliefs of people coming from different cultures. Some of the questions we managed to answer were: How do Argentines deal with uncertainty at workplace? How do Argentines relate to their Managers? And how does this differ from relationships between Managers and subordinates in other cultures?

To close the training session, each participant had the chance to fill up a personalized questionnaire to get to know their own cultural orientations better.

So whether you came to this meeting or not, everyone is invited to join next week´s session to keep the discussion ALIVE....


Join US! Friday 19th March, 6.30pm - Café Lopez, Palermo.

TOPIC:  "Working & Doing Business with Argentines"

- Relationships at workplace
- How do we deal with time and space across cultures?
- Why is harmony and saving face so important in Argentine business culture?

martes, 9 de marzo de 2010

Doing business in Argentina: How do we deal with cross-cultural misunderstandigs at workplace?

Globalization multiplies our opportunities of interaction with clients, colleagues and managers living outside of Argentina who know little about el “asado del domingo”, the Argentine dulce de leche or the “viveza criolla”.
As Argentine professionals or expats working in Buenos Aires, we face frequently the challenge of working as part of multicultural teams.

Let´s imagine different scenarios.

An European Manager was just transferred to the company´s offices in Buenos to lead a team. Or we report to a Regional Vice-President in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Or our company sends us periodically to negoiate contract with Asian clients.
Each of these interactions across cultural boundaries confirms that the way of measuring professional success, the importance of business relationships and the concept of time management at workplace, among other variables, are far from being universally valid.

On the other hand, these elements depend more on cultural related contingencies than what we can imagine.

Consequently, Argentine professionals and expats intending to work or do business in Argentina need to give serious thoughts to those questions that our European neighbors –in their melting pot - have been asking themselves for many decades now.

How to deal with possible disagreements and cross-cultural misunderstandings at workplace? What role does the Argentine idiosyncrasy play in our performance and well being in business settings?
Following the contributions of worldwide renown Interculturalists, such as Gert Hofstede, we know that, when doing business with partners coming from other cultures, we could go down a wrong path  if we base our decisions merely on cultural practices from our home country. We need to become aware of the cultural glasses that color our worldview.

Therefore, it is as essential to identify our own values, attitudes and communication style, as much as exploring cultural preferences of our business counterparts.

Call me "Licenciado"
To apprehend the real impact of cultural differences, let´s think together about the following situation.

In business environments, should I report each of my decisions to my superior? Or only when there is a specific issue that needs to be solved? Is it expectable to treat my Manager as an equal and feel free to express disagreement? Or should I follow rules and orders without questioning? This issue sheds light on the concept of Hierarchy across cultures.

Here is an example of cross-cultural misunderstanding based on the way we define hierarchy.

In Argentine-based organizations, titles (such as “Doctor” or “Licenciado”) and rank in chain of command are synonyms of power and authority, and they must be respected as such. On the other hand, US culture considers equality and egalitarianism as highly regarded values. So US based organizations tend to be less hierarchical and expect less power distance between employees and Managers.

Le´ts take now this national differences to a cross-cultural management scenario in a multinational company.

How could a US Manager perceive an Argentine employee who doesn´t feel comfortable discussing and sharing freely his point of view with superiors?
And the other way around…

How do you think that an US employee can be perceived by an Argentine Manager if, “forgetting” his lower rank in the organization, the US employee insists on questioning decisions made by his superiors?

Developing intercultural competencies

Intercultural Training is an innovative solution that addresses the needs of Argentine organizations and foreign companies doing business with Argentina, who envision the importance of training their work teams to face the challenges of international assignments.

Intercultural Training programs helps us determine our cultural preferences and compare them with those of our foreign business partners we interact with on a daily basis.
Only by becoming aware of these differences, we will be able to bridge cultural gaps,  wear the shoes of our foreign counterparts and interact more effectively with their needs, wishes and concerns.

Beyond the concept of hierarchy, intercultural training focuses on developing intercultural competencies to improve our business and personal performance in a wide variety of aspects.
To mention a few examples:

Group dependence: Do I depend on resources of others? Or do I tend to rely on my own strength and knowledge?

Diversity receptivity: Do I prefer to be around people different or similar to me at workplace?

Status attainment: How do I measure success? Through accomplishing professional goals? Or by having fulfilling relationships with family and friends?

What other elements would you add to the list?
What other topics could cause cross-cultural misunderstanding in a multicultural work team?
Do you have any experiences to share? How did you bridge cultural differences?

If you want to learn more about this topic, join our Presentation on "Working and Doing Business with Argentines" - Next Intercultural Coffee Meeting for Expats and Argentinos.

Friday 12th March, 6.30pm in Palermo.
Limited seats.

To confirm attendance, please send an email to

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Haciendo negocios en Argentina: Cómo lidiamos los argentinos con los malos entendidos culturales?

A una velocidad casi impensada, la globalización multiplica diariamente nuestras oportunidades de interactuar con clientes, colegas y jefes radicados fuera de la Argentina y que poco saben del asado del domingo, el dulce de leche y la viveza criolla.

Como profesionales argentinos, nos enfrentamos cada vez con mayor frecuencia al trabajo conjunto con equipos multiculturales.
Ya sea porque un gerente europeo acaba de incorporarse a nuestro grupo de trabajo en Buenos Aires.
O porque reportamos a un jefe regional ubicado en San Pablo.
O bien porque nuestra empresa nos envía periódicamente a  negociar contratos con clientes asiáticos. Cualquiera sea el caso, en cada una de estas interacciones con otras culturas comprobamos que el modo de medir el éxito profesional, la importancia de los vínculos laborales y el manejo del tiempo en la oficina, entre otras variables,  están lejos de ser universales.

Por el contrario, estos elementos dependen en mayor medida de la contingencia cultural de lo que podemos imaginar.

Habida cuenta de esta realidad, los argentinos necesitamos comenzar a preguntarnos más seriamente por aquello que nuestros vecinos europeos -en su crisol de razas y etnias- se preguntan hace décadas.

Cómo lidiar con los posibles desacuerdos y malos entendidos que surgen debido a las diferencias culturales? Y como influye nuestra idiosincrasia argentina en el desempeño y bienestar en nuestro lugar de trabajo?

Gracias al aporte de especialistas en Interculturalidad como Gert Hofstede, sabemos que si hacemos negocios con socios provenientes de diferentes culturas y tomamos decisiones basadas en el modelo de operatoria al que estamos acostumbrados en nuestro país de origen, nos arriesgamos a tomar decisiones equivocadas. Por lo tanto, a la hora de poner el foco en nuestro desempeño internacional, es tan esencial comprender nuestros propios valores, actitudes y estilos de comunicación tanto como lo es explorar las preferencias de nuestros colegas extranjeros.

Dígame "Licenciado"

Para comprender el alcance de las diferencias culturales, pensemos juntos este escenario.

En el ambiente de negocios, debo reportar cada una de mis decisiones a mi superior o solo cuando exista un problema concreto? Es esperable tratar de igual a igual a un Jefe y exponer libremente mis desacuerdos? O debo acatar órdenes sin  cuestionamientos?  Este interrogante alude al concepto de Jerarquia.

Tomemos un claro ejemplo de malentendido cultural en relación a la jerarquía.  
En organizaciones argentinas, los títulos (como "Doctor" o "Licenciado") y rango ocupado en la cadena de mando son sinónimos de autoridad y poder, y como tal deben ser respetados. Por el contrario, en culturas como la norteamericana, donde la equidad e igualdad son valores altamente preciados, las organizaciones son menos jerárquicas y suelen esperar que sus empleados desplieguen menor distancia respecto de sus superiores.
Llevemos estas diferencias nacionales al vínculo empleado argentino - jefe norteamericano de una empresa multinacional.

Cómo podría percibir un jefe norteamericano a un empleado argentino que no se siente cómodo debatiendo y compartiendo libremente su punto de vista?

Y al revés... Qué podría pensar un gerente argentino de un empleado norteamericano  que insiste, desfachatadamente,  en cuestionar las decisiones tomadas por sus superiores?

Desarrollando competencias interculturales
El training intercultural es un servicio innovador que cubre la creciente necesidad de las organizaciones argentinas de entrenar a sus equipos en el proceso de expansión hacia horizontes internacionales. Gracias a los programas de capacitación intercultural, podemos determinar cuáles son nuestras preferencias culturales y compararlas con las de aquellos colegas extranjeros con quienes interactuamos diariamente. Solo identificando las diferencias, podemos tender puentes que nos permitan leer la realidad desde los zapatos de nuestros socios lejanos e interactuar más efectivamente con sus necesidades, deseos e inquietudes.

Además del concepto de jerarquía, el training intercultural aborda un sinfin de aspectos esenciales que nos permiten desarrollar competencias interculturales. Por mencionar algunos:

- Dependencia grupal: Dependo de los recursos de otros? O me siento más cómodo confiando en mis propias fortalezas y conocimientos?

- Receptividad a la diversidad: Es preferible estar rodeado por personas diferentes o  semejantes a mí mismo en mi lugar de trabajo?

- Obtención de status: Cómo mido el éxito? Por el logro de objetivos profesionales? O por una relación plenamente satisfactoria con mi familia y amigos?

Qué otros elementos agregarías a esta lista?
Qué aspectos podrían causar malos entendidos en  un equipo multicultural?
Tuviste alguna experiencia concreta? Cómo resolviste las diferencias?


Para debatir sobre la cultura de negocios en Argentina, te invitamos a sumarte al próximo Café Intercultural para Extranjeros y Argentinos - Viernes 12/03, 18.30hs en Palermo

Informes e inscripción:

Are you joining us? "Working & Doing Business with Argentines" - Friday 12th March, 6.30pm

This is not just another Coffee Meeting... so don´t miss it!

In our next training session, we will provide you with an innovative tool utilized by the largest Intercultural Training Companies around the globe: the  Cultural Model questionnaire.
By completing the questionnaire and obtaining your personal results,  we´ll work together on:

- helping you understand your cultural orientation at workplace and the orientation of people of other cultures you work with

- exploring Argentina´s business culture in 5 main areas: hierarchy, chage tolerance, group dependence, diversity receptivity and status attainment

- share success & failure stories with other Argentines and expats living and working in Argentina.

To confirm attendance, please send an email to

Going local: Expats arrimando el bochin to real Argentine Lunfardo

Did you ever hear Argentine expressions such as “tirar la casa por la ventana”, “arrimar el bochin” or “mandar fruta”? ...Well, neither our expat participants ... until last Friday evening´s coffee Meeting.

Curious and open-minded as they are, Newcomers in Buenos Aires usually fall for making their living abroad experience as real as possible.  One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by improving their knowledge of Argentine Spanish - the hidden side of the local slang that you won´t easily learn in your formal language training. 
So this was the focus of  last 5th March´s Coffee Meeting & Training Session on Lunfardo in Palermo:
We started the training session with some fun icebreakers, revealing the most instinctive & animal aspects of ourselves. Don´t say it--- draw it!

From left to right: Kim (US), Dina (Canada), Kendra (US), Jim (US) and Kirsty (Scotland), figuring out the ins and outs of Argentine Spanish & Lunfardo

Afterwards, we explored the origins of Lunfardo and the level of familiarity of participants with the local terminology, usually overheard among Porteños, whil watching an Argentine movie or when talking to the "tachero" or taxi driver- only to find out that their Lunfardo language skills needed some improvement...

To learn to speak like locals do, they had the chance to explore the 50 most popular Lunfardo words & expressions and work in small groups to reveal its meaning through dynamic exercises - in a creative way.

Kim & Kirsty, wondering how to draw a "brasuca" (Brazilian native) and a "gallego" (a Spaniard)

Many questions, coffees and drawings later, the group had successfully learned some of the main Lunfardo expressions. And with it, they achieved a better understanding of Porteños communication style, which takes them one step further in their immersion process to the Argentine culture.
Living abroad can be a quilombo sometimes... so our training sessions aim to help expats make their global transition ... un toque más facil.

Thanks Jim, Kendra, Kim, Dina and Kirsty!


lunes, 1 de marzo de 2010

Lunfardo: How much do you know about Porteños Slang? Friday 5th March, 6.30pm - Cafe Lopez, Palermo. Join our next Coffee Meeting!

Spanish language and Porteños identity go hand in hand!

Whether you are a Porteño or a foreigner trying to make of BA your new home, learning Lunfardo (Porteños slang) is almost a condition to better understand BA locals identity and improve your own communication skills!

In our next Coffee meeting, we (Argies and expats) will explore together Lunfardos main words and expressions -  through fun learning activities!  Where does Lunfardo come from? What expressions do you need to know? How to realize in which context you can use each expression?

Pre-booking required.  To confirm attendance, send us an email:

Nos estamos viendo!