Whether it is a seafood lunch on a blistering hot Christmas day in Australia, opening presents by the fire on a freezing Christmas Eve in Germany, or ordering a bucket of KFC to share with your significant other as they do in Japan- Christmas is celebrated differently across the world.
Merry Christmas is expressed differently across other languages. From Joyeux Noël in French or Buon Natale in Italian to Maligayang Pasko in Tagalog or Merīkurisumasu is Japanese- each language has its own way to spread the Christmas cheer. Why is this important to note? Well in an international community not everybody’s Christmas looks the same. While it was once centered around Christianity, the traditions have grown and changed, merging with many other beliefs and practices. Decorating trees, sharing gifts, going to church- there are so many ways people celebrate this time of year.
You may say Merry Christmas, but your Spanish-speaking clients say Feliz Navidad. While some children are waiting for Father Christmas or Santa Clause, others are waiting for Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle. It all depends on where you are or who you are with. It is easy to get swept in the holiday spirit but understanding the language and culture of who you are working with can go a long way. A simple holiday greeting can go such a long way.
Another important consideration to make is that not everybody celebrates Christmas. They may be celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just enjoying the possibility of having some time off work. No matter what they celebrate though, there is no doubt that there is magic in the air and the sentiments of peace on Earth, the joy of giving and spending time with family deserve to be felt by all those around.
So if it’s Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, God Jul (Swedish), Frohe Weihnachten (German), 메리 크리스마스 (Korean) or 圣诞节快乐 (Mandarin), our team at Interlingual hopes you have a safe and happy festive season.