Saturday, January 01, 2005
In probably one of the more complex translations heard of in recent times, Beatrix Potter's classic children's book The Tale of Peter Rabbit has now been translated into ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by the British Museum.Read more: Ancient Translation
Language for Food
Politicians in the US have recently taken a hard line on welfare recipients who smoke and eat junk food. Now a legislator wants to make sure immigrants learn English to qualify for welfare.
Minnesota already requires immigrants to sign up for English classes or apply for U.S. citizenship within four years of becoming permanent residents, in order to get state assistance.Read more: Language for Food
Cross Cultural Incompatability and Mergers
Tough economic times over the past five years have seen an unprecedented number of companies going through the mergers and acquisitions process, however, according to Robert J. Thomas, 50-80% of companies that have merged fail to match their previous performance. In many cases, the failure is caused by a cultural clash.
In the Outlook Journal, Thomas suggests that many recently failed mergers and acquisitions such as Daimler-Benz and Chrysler and Citicorp and Travelers Group can be attributed to cultural incompatibility.Read more (membership required): Cross Cultural Incompatability and Mergers
Tsunamis wash away expat homes
Expatriates who ploughed fortunes into building dream homes and holiday villas on the sun-kissed shores of paradise islands in Asia were left counting the cost of Sunday’s destructive tsunamis.
Luxury properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars were not spared the ocean’s wrath as huge tidal waves swept many into the sea and inflicted heavy damage on others in popular expat havens such as Thailand and Sri Lanka.Read more: Tsunamis wash away expat homes
Embracing Cultural Diversity
IN the USA, York Regional Police are approaching cultural diversity in a refreshingly postive way.
"We embrace diversity, we don't just tolerate it," said Sgt. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police diversity and cultural resources bureau, who acts as a liaison with York Region's communities, understanding their cultural needs and passing that knowledge on to frontline officers.Read more: York cops 'embrace' diversity
'Chivalry' - meaning: courteous behaviour, especially towards women
Many would argue that this is a part of our culture (especially here in the UK) that is on its last legs - i.e. dying.
Read more in Rules of the Game - an article that looks at the concept of chivalry and the etiquette involved.
In-flight Web surfing
Recently, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) introduced high-speed Web access on selected flights from Copenhagen and plans to roll out the service on its long-haul fleet by February.
Other commercial airlines signing agreements to use Boeing's Connexion Internet service include Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Air, and Singapore Airlines (SIA).Read more: In-flight Web surfing
Making Cultural Differences
Running a business on the internet is not quite the same as operating a small retail shop at your local shopping mall. On the internet, you are for all intents and purposes opening your business to the world. And when that happens, it's important to note some points about international business.For tips on dealing with international clientele read Making Cultural Differences Work
The Pew Research Center
Some interesting cultural and generational differences were highlighted in a 2004 Pew Global Attitudes survey.
Among the results of the study was that people all over the world and of all ages are proud of their cultures. Yet it is only in the West (North America and Western Europe) where that pride is markedly stronger among the older generations. In the U.S., 68% of those ages 65 and older agree with the statement "our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior," while only 49% of those ages 18-29 agree. The generation gap in Western Europe is similar. More than half of older Western Europeans (53%) are culturally chauvinistic, compared with only one-in-three (32%) of their younger counterparts.Read more: Adapting to a New World
American Express, China Bank Launch Credit Card
Another of the many cross cultural ventures between American and Chinese firms took place in early December. American Express Co. launched its first branded card in partnership with China's top commercial bank hoping to tap China's fledgling credit market and growing middle class.
Under a deal sealed in March, American Express will share technical and marketing expertise, while state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), issues cards bearing the U.S. card giant's logo and extends credit.Read more: American Express, China Bank Launch Credit Card
Word of the Day: transmute
transmute \trans-MYOOT; tranz-\, transitive verb:
To change from one nature, form, substance, or state into another; to transform.
intransitive verb: To undergo transmutation.
[I]t now seems as if she no longer had the strength or will to transmute life into art. --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "Changes Not for the Better," New York Times, February 28, 1974
Sand that once was rock becomes rock once again as it slowly sediments and compresses into layers of sandstone, which, in turn, transmute into sand. --Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker, The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth.