Americans aren’t known for being culturally sensitive.
Although we can’t change this perception overnight, as writers, there are ways to become more informed and better-rounded in our craft.
Whether you work in PR or another communications capacity, learning world capitals can open up all sorts of possibilities—and might help enhance your
Although it seems arbitrary and tangential to writing, committing all the world capitals to memory has made a surprising difference in my life.
In addition to getting kudos from strangers on trivia nights, learning the world’s capitals has ignited an international awareness and cultural curiosity
in my ability to communicate through text.
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It also guarantees you’ll have at least one potential common interest with every person in the world—always a plus for PR types. I once got to park for
free after casually dropping a Banjul reference after hearing the parking attendant was from Gambia.
If you seek to better your writing or facilitate your networking—or even just find some free parking one day—memorize these world capitals:
Maldives/Male—Unfortunately, it this beautiful Indian Ocean archipelago nation may be underwater soon, but in the meantime, show solidarity by learning its capital city.
El Salvador/San Salvador
Brazil/Brasilia—The next time some idiota tells you that Rio or São Paolo is Brazil’s capital, you can set them straight.
São Tome and Principe/São Tome
Turks and Caicos Islands/Grand Turk
Tuvalu/Funafuti—This one requires singing, but once you get the rhythm, it will forever be embedded in your brain.
United Arab Emirates/Abu Dhabi—Most “Garfield” fans should know that Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Did he ever succeed in shipping
poor Nermal there?
San Marino/San Marino—Although it’s not to intended to bring the outstanding Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino to mind, if he were a capital city, he’d
be the greatest, tannest and most hopeful city in the world.
Although these are only some of the easier ones to remember, your writing will improve if you keep going.
Robby Brumberg is a writer and editor. A version of this story originally appeared on