My membership team were a little sceptical at first, but I soon felt that I was winning them around. “Sarah, you are so strong” they would often say – which I took to mean that they respected my firm management style.
It wasn’t until some months later that someone explained to me that ‘strong’ basically translates as ‘fat’ in Vietnamese. So rather than admiring me as a fearless ‘woman on her own in a foreign land’, they were actually just pointing out that I was a bit on the chunky side!
LESSON: TAKE TIME TO UNDERSTAND CULTURE AND LANGUAGE.