Don't speak the language? Here's help

Business Jet Traveler » December 2008
in a foreign country, travelers can simply point to a picture to communicate.
Monday, December 1, 2008 - 4:00am

Do you resort to charades to make yourself understood in countries where you don't speak the language? If so, you'll appreciate ICOON, a book based on an idea so simple you'll wonder why no one thought of it before. Described as a "global picture dictionary" by German publisher Amberpress, the 100-page, softcover book contains 2,800 icons and 400 photos of items travelers might want to describe. To communicate across language barriers from Reykjavik to Rawalpindi, all you have to do is point to the appropriate images, which are arranged in 12 categories, such as food and beverage, travel, accommodation, hygiene and health.

Those images are surprisingly specific. Looking for chocolate-hazelnut spread to put on top of your rice cake, or saffron to go with your pomegranate? The pictures you'll need to explain these are here.In the health section, meanwhile, a series of drawings depicting various maladies would certainly suffice to tell a doctor what ails you.

The compact volume, which slips easily into a briefcase or backpack, is available online at

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““CEOs go to their vacation homes just after companies report favorable news, and CEOs return to headquarters right before subsequent news is released. More good news is released when CEOs are back at work, and CEOs appear not to leave headquarters at all if a firm has adverse news to disclose. When CEOs are away from the office, stock prices behave quietly with sharply lower volatility. Volatility increases immediately when CEOs return to work.” —David Yermack, a New York University finance professor, whose recently released study shows a correlation between when CEOs take their private jets on vacation and movements in their companies’ stock price ”

-David Yermack