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When you begin to learn a new language, whether it is English or any other language, you start with the basics - vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar. As you get better and better, however, you begin to realize that some words don't really have a translation in the other language, or that when you say them properly, the translation is somewhat indirect.

For example, in American marketing, it is common to use the phrase "Get the inside scoop." I myself heard this phrase for the first time when I listened to a conversation with a friend recorded using an automatic call recorder for iPhone. However, in Spanish, there is no short phrase that communicates this same idea - that you would find out knowledge that is generally limited to a small, insider group.

Learning a second language doesn't just allow you to communicate - it gives you insight into a new culture. It's not just about the words, but the underlying sentiment, because sometimes language is as much about what you don't say, as what you do say.

In America, writing is generally very direct and to the point. Short sentence structure is preferred, as well as simple wording. For non-native English speakers from countries like India & Mexico, this can be very difficult, as they are generally used to writing in longer sentences, to be polite and avoid offending anyone.

However, writing for a British audience can be very different, as the British are more likely to use longer, more complicated sentence structure than Americans. British English can often be more polite and flowery than American English. In Britain, there is a higher emphasis on general good manners and saving face than there is in America, and thus, things that you would hear used commonly in the USA could be construed as rude in the UK. In the UK, sometimes Malaysians and Chinese have an issue of coming off as rude, because much like Americans, they generally write and speak in a more direct manner.

Thus, directly translating what you would say in your native language or country, can sometimes get you into trouble in another language. Language is window into another culture, and to truly ensure that you're getting your point across in the right manner, it is critical to ensure that you understand the culture of the language you're writing in, or that you get your content or materials reviewed by a professional, native English speaker. That's why we created English Edits.

Interested in reading more about what you should & shouldn't say in English? Real Simple posted an article of 18 common phrases you shouldn't use in conversation, especially in the USA. You can find it here.

And let us know in the comments - what things are taboo in your native language or culture?

Business trips are usually fast and can be stressful. In some cases, if we are not prepared ahead of time, we can suffer from negative external impacts such as flight delays, loss of luggage, jetlag, loss of time on transfers and waits in security lines. Knowing that these factors can hardly be eliminated, what can be done to minimize them in order to have a more productive business trip?

During business trips, people tend to deliver a lot of information and receive a lot of information as well. This process usually happens in a short amount of time. That is why being organized is crucial. First, it is important to make sure that the tasks you have at work are being taken care of by someone who will supervise them while you are away. Second, always know how to manage your time, have a planner and make sure everything is written down ahead of time. Do not only fill you planner with things that are work related, you can spare time for yourself and take a break. Finally, make sure you take with you all the digital information you need, your documents, insurance, flight information and all the presentations or what you need to meet with your customers.

When traveling for business, you may not always be able to choose when you have to travel but it is always wise and beneficial to look at the flight options the airlines offer and choose the one that will best fit with your timing. Therefore, it is a good idea to explore your options before the trip, investigate travel times from one place to another in order to schedule your tasks in the most efficient way and make the time most productive.

Frequently, companies look for the cheapest flights in order to save a little money but this may contribute to lost time and unnecessary exhaustion. If you’ve spent three hours at the airport, you made connections and the hotel you were booked at was also very far from the airport, you will surely arrive exhausted and might want to rest right away. Those are mistakes that can be avoided when trips are planned and the time is managed well.

Travel insurance is essential for any type of trip, so a business trip is no different. Having a good travel protection plan means that you have coverage for the unexpected. A travel protection plan may cover you in case you have a medical emergency or if you unfortunately encounter some kind of flight delay. For those who travel frequently, AXA Assistance USA offers a Platinum Plan which provides coverage of up to 100% of the insured trip cost for covered unforeseen events.

Another important aspect of business travel is to pack intelligently. Business trips can be affected if we take a lot with us, so consider packing only the necessary things. Check the weather at your destination and pack accordingly.

Don't forget to bring the electronic devices and accessories necessary for your trip, such as a computer, chargers, camera, if necessary, tablets, and electrical adapters. Make sure the electronics are fully charged before leaving your home that way you can use them without worrying about finding a power station during the trip.


If you have a long flight, take advantage of the time you have on the plane. Although you will probably not have internet, you can write emails to send later, review or finish presentations, check information, make notes, or simply bring an interesting book. If you travel at night, that is a perfect opportunity to rest and save energy.

If you are caught in unfortunate circumstances such as the delay of your flight, issues due to weather, or if you get where you need to be earlier than expected, don't worry too much, make the most of it! Take advantage of the extra time, catch up on personal aspects, take a walk or get to know the city, if time allows.

Of course, it is okay to do non-work activities during your trip, as long as everything is well planned and only if the timing works just fine. In that case, get some rest and clear your mind. Get some exercise, visit a park, try new food. Enjoy the little free time as much as you can and make the trip memorable, not only for business but also for the discoveries.

It doesn't matter if it is a business trip or not, traveling in general doesn't have to be stressful. If you know how to organize your time, your business trip will not only be an opportunity for career growth, it will also be an occasion for you to travel to another place, meet different people and make new discoveries.

We really hope you have an excellent and productive business trip; remember that AXA’s trip protection plans can accompany you no matter what type of trip you are taking.

At AXA, wherever you go we'll be with you, quote your travel protection plan now.




Chuck Frey is a mind mapping expert for the ages, so imagine our delight when he reviewed Lucidchart on his mind mapping site.

Here are a few highlights from his review. If you have a co-worker or friend in need of a diagramming tool, why not point them to Chuck's analysis?


"Lucidchart is the most impressive diagramming application I've seen in some time. I love the way it speeds the development of new diagrams, through features like the pop-up that appears at the end of a line so you can quickly add another shape when creating flowcharts, as well as the ability to set the app's default formatting for shapes and lines. With other diagramming programs I can't even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent selecting and adjusting the formatting of multiple objects. Lucidchart does away with all of that and lets you get down to business."

"Its integration with Google Drive and Microsoft Office 2013 are also very impressive. Considering that these two productivity suites are used by a critical mass of the world's businesses, Lucidchart has positioned itself to enable teams and individuals to do much more than was ever possible before. especially with the growing emphasis on visual thinking today.


When it comes to reviewing software, nothing irks me more than unintuitive user interfaces - functionality that leaves me scratching my head and wondering, "What the hell were they thinking?" I'm pleased to report that Lucidchart did NOT give me any of those moments. In fact, it was quite the opposite experience. The application was well-behaved, intuitive, and a pleasure to use. This was supported by some excellent tutorials, which helped me to get up to speed with it quickly. Kudos to the development team on a job well done."


Thanks, Chuck! Click the links above to read the rest of his review. If you haven't already done so, try Lucidchart in Jive by clicking on this link: Congrats to Lucidchart, Jive's First Third Party Pre-installed App!

The Electoral College…what a trip.  Every four years, like clockwork, I go shamefully to Google and ask, “How does the electoral college work?”  So to assist my fellow citizens, I created a simple diagram in Lucidchart which explains the basics of the election process.  It doesn't include every possibility, but it comes close.  Click here for a high-res version and here for an image you can share.

Nobody likes staying up late, staring blearily at their computer screen, and clicking "refresh" every five seconds as they wait for a promised email update on a crucial project.  But what choice do you have?  Well, if you haven't heard, Lucidchart announced an integration with Jive !App Experiences less than six months ago.  For Jive users, this means that document updates--from you or any number of collaborators--are automatic and seamless.  It means that you never have to leave the Jive community while working on a Lucidchart document.  It also means that an unlimited number of users can work on a document at the same time, from anywhere in the world--no refreshing necessary.

Getting started is simple.  When editing in Jive, users simply type a "!" character and choose !Lucidchart to immediately select an existing diagram or create a new diagram.  Users can then embed and share a huge variety of visual communications, from org charts to mind maps to wireframes.  In addition, Jive users can seamlessly import, edit, and export Microsoft Visio documents using Lucidchart.


Install Lucidchart from the Jive Apps Market to begin diagramming today, and don't forget to take advantage of our
tutorial library.

Introducing Lucidchart


Lucidchart is an HTML5-based visual collaboration tool that makes drawing diagrams fast and easy. The app can be used to create flowcharts, UML diagrams, UI mockups, mind maps, network diagrams, org charts and more to visually communicate with others. In addition to creating new diagrams, Lucidchart has made it easy to import existing Microsoft Visio documents directly into Jive!  And if you're working with colleagues or clients who haven't yet made the transition to the cloud, Lucidchart can also export to Visio.



Collaboration is key


In the past, one person was often responsible for creating the diagrams and collecting all the suggested changes from colleagues. This workflow generally wasted time and led to duplicated or lost changes. With Lucidchart, it’s easy to get everyone on the same page - literally! With real-time collaboration, multiple users can edit the same diagram at the same time, with everyone’s changes synced and merged instantaneously.


Don't agree with a change that’s been made on the diagram?  No problem. Use the robust revision history to easily roll back changes or start a new diagram from an old version.



Take a quick tour


Want to learn more before jumping in?  Watch the quick video below to see how Lucidchart smoothly integrates with Jive to bring visual collaboration to your team.




Install Lucidchart today!


Install Lucidchart for free from the Jive Apps Market today! Still have questions? Visit Lucidchart’s website to explore other powerful features of the app.