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Briton in space, multlingualism and intercultural competence

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015, 17:44

I suppose I am showing my age if I state how interested I have always been by space exploration.  So, I have been very interested in newspaper coverage and television coverage of Tim Peake's flight.

One of the aspects that drew my attention was his need to study Russian during his training,  This was not surprising as he is traveling in a Russian craft and the Star Gazing programme last night mentioned how Russian is naturally the working language for the Soyuz flights although English will be used on the ISS.  The international nature of the ISS also presumably means there would need to be a high degree of intercultural competence on the part of the cosmo/astronauts.

Probably most viewers would have been aware of his physical, psychological and scientific skills but linguistic and intercultural competence must also be vital for these cosmo/astronauts.

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May I recommend 'An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth' by Chris Hadfield (the ex astronaut who was advising Brian Cox and Dara O'Breain on the Stargazing programme on Tuesday when the hatch was waiting to be opened.) 

It's a brilliant read and quite fascinating and Chris has spent more time than anyone else on the ISS, having been up there 3 x times.  He's a Canadian and is also the guy who sang 'Life on Mars' whilst floating about on the ISS, which went viral and was viewed over a million times!  He's also the only astronaut ever to have the need to actually say: 'Houston, we have a problem' and the the circumstances that elicited statement are trulty extraordinary.

The book tells everything about ISS, ;language,logistics, all the stuff about Star City in Khazasthan etc.

If you're really looking for procrastination tools for avoiding the TMAs, try the NASA Live Stream to the ISS - Fascinating!

Regards

JoAnn

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Thanks for the recommendation, JoAnn.

I am aware of Chris Hadfield from things I have read and seen although I have not yet read his book.  He was speaking about the language issue on the television programme I read.

These astronauts are quite remarkable people as they need so many skills and abilities and the social, psychological and intercultural capabilities seem to be among the most important.