November 23, 2015

US Idioms to End a Meaning and Implications (Podcast)

"By the looks of it, we will have to pick up tomorrow where we left off." 

An American could surely end a meeting with this friendly, collaborative statement. But, what does it actually mean? 

Believe it or not, many non-native English speakers may get totally lost with this sentence we take so for granted in the US. Why? It's actually not plain English! It's full of phrasal verbs (also, sometimes mistaken as idioms). 

What does this phrase mean? Listen to the podcast to learn more about it. 

What are some possible responses? 

  1. "Great, talk to you then!"
  2. "Sounds good."
  3. "That's a good idea. When do you want to meet tomorrow?"

What other responses can you think of? 

How should you NOT respond? 
By simply saying "ok." In general, I suggest you NOT to use ok as a conversation cue. Not only can it be misinterpreted, it doesn't inspire conversation and coins you a lazy conversationalist. There are many ways to improve your answers with simple English that reflects the actual conversation, no need for fancy vocabulary! 

What does it mean when someone says "By the looks of it, we will have to pick up tomorrow where we left off"? 

If this sentence or series of idioms are used, does it mean things are going smoothly with your client or is your working relationship on the rocks

In general, it's probably not a bad thing. It's not as bad as hearing "this meeting is all over the place, let's reconnect and start over tomorrow." (See a video tutorial talking about the meaning of the idiom "all over the place."

However, if the meeting has not been organized effectively, and it's a long standing behavior (that your team is working with a US client, but not taking a consultant's role), then, hearing this could be a reason to think believe the US citizen may not be very happy in this working relationship or how the project is progressing. 

We understand that when you work from offshore, understanding these cultural nuances can be a challenge. We can help you work this out through our coaching and language consulting services and how to solve these kinds of relationship snafus to get you back on track. Ask us how and for case studies!  

Original post date: 11/15, updated 7, 2020

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.