Sullivan Uniting Communities Through Greeting Fluency Programs


By- Gian Singh Kotli

VANCOUVER – Former NPA mayor Sam Sullivan is still active in Vancouver. He says he is actually getting more things done outside the city hall than inside it. Sam Sullivan now heads the Global Civic Policy Society, a non-profit think tank.

Recipient of the Order of Canada Sam keeps him busy in bridging the gap of communication between communities by providing them knowledge of other languages. In this respect his “Greeting Fluency” initiative is providing useful basic knowledge to the citizens to learn at least few words of greetings in the language of their neighbors.

This is his favorite project which involves organizing public salons where prominent speakers from various disciplines give well prepared and meaningful presentations on language issues lasting about seven minutes. Similar meeting was held on March 8 at The Westin Grand Hotel Vancouver and at least 18 speakers discussed to make the coming “Greeting Fluency” program of March 31 a grand success. I had the pleasure to attend it as a representative of The Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia and media personality.

Actually, Sam Sullivan, the founder of Global Civic has made an effort through his life to learn the basics of the languages of his neighbors and he hopes to share the benefits with others. He emphasizes the Greeting Fluency can be achieved by learning few simple phrases in another language and thereby experience the sounds and structures that define a whole culture and open doors to a community of neighbors. Greeting Fluency is defined by Global Civic as the ability to say up to nine useful phrases in another language.                                                                        According to Sam Sullivan, “Although it is very unlikely that many from the more established communities will become fluent in the languages of their newer neighbors it is very possible that they can become Greeting Fluent”.