Thursday, January 04, 2007
U.S. Congressman to be sworn in with Quran
The first Muslim elected to Congress says he will take his oath of office using a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson to make the point that "religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., decided to use the centuries-old Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday after he learned that it is kept at the Library of Congress. Jefferson, the nation's third president and a collector of books in all topics and languages, sold the book to Congress in 1815 as part of a collection.
"It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Quran," Ellison said in a telephone interview Wednesday.Read more: Quran
Europeans Choosy about Careers
A poll by global recruitment company Monster shows that attitudes towards loyalties in the workplace have changed drastically in recent years, with employees becoming more opportunistic.
Frequent Job-hopping and role changing within the company to improve career prospects are becoming the norm. This rise in employee ambition is creating a need for employers to promote themselves as offering a challenging and developmental environment for choosy careerists. The Monster Meter poll asked 24,932 European workers "Who do you feel most loyal to at work?"Read more: Monster
2/3 of Brits want to Learn New Language in 2007
Two-thirds of British people would like to learn a new language in 2007, a survey has revealed.
The survey of more than 500 people found that French was the most popular language choice, with 23 per cent claiming it is the language they would most like to learn. Spanish (20 per cent) finished in second place, followed by Chinese (Mandarin) (15 per cent) in third.Read more: Brits
Google Targets China's Mobile Users
Google said Thursday it will offer Internet search services to some China Mobile Ltd. (CHL) mobile-phone users early this year after it began a trial in December.
The California-based Internet company's move into the Chinese mobile Internet market comes as it struggles to wrest market share from local Web-search leader Baidu.com Inc. (BIDU) Google expects more people to access the Internet through their mobile phones in coming years.Read more: Google
Word of the Day: punctilio
punctilio \punk-TIL-ee-oh\, noun:
1. A fine point of exactness in conduct, ceremony, or procedure.
2. Strictness or exactness in the observance of formalities; as, "the punctilios of a public ceremony."
His godmother, Mary Delany, however, while acknowledging Garret Wesley's musical talents, found him rather deficient in 'the punctilios of good breeding', and had consequently been much gratified when he announced that he was to marry Lady Louisa Augusta Lennox, daughter of the second Duke of Richmond. -- Christopher Hibbert, Wellington: A Personal History
The utmost in punctilio was observed as each side was retired scoreless for two innings. -- Red Smith, Red Smith on Baseball
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Majority of People Favour More Diversity at Work
Most people in the UK think employers should do more to attract workers from diverse backgrounds, according to research.
More than half (56%) of the 2,000 respondents surveyed by Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions, said they would be more likely to use a business that had a diverse workforce. Eight in 10 (79%) people also said it was important for businesses to have an equality policy. Smaller business may find it even more difficult to diversify their workforce, according to Jobcentre Plus.Read more: Diversity
Forget French - Just Learn the Body Language
British travellers who have trouble speaking French are being invited by Paris tourist chiefs to learn Gallic gestures instead.
Ways of perfecting the Gallic shrug and understanding French-style handsignals are outlined on a new Paris Tourist Board website. A poll by the board found that two thirds of those visiting the French capital found communication with Parisians difficult. Many UK visitors rely on hand gestures and Franglais - a mixture of English and French - while 34 per cent make no attempt to speak French at all. The survey also found that being made more welcome by the locals was high up the wish-list for Britons visiting Paris.Read more: France
The Translation Costs of a London Borough
Croydon Council has spent nearly £900,000 of taxpayers' money over the past three years on translators for residents who can't speak English.
And expenditure on translation and interpreting services appears to be spiralling - as £400,000 of this was spent in the past financial year. Between April 2005 and March 2006 the council had to hire translators 6,911 times - to help speak-ers of about 75 different languages.Read more: Croydon
EU Welcomes 23rd Official Language
The linguistic diversity of EU bodies is not only being increased by new members Bulgaria and Romania – Irish Gaelic has also received official status, by special request of the Irish government.
Multilingualism is an EU trademark. The first European ruling in 1958 laid down the principle that all national languages within the European Economic Community (EEC) had equal status. Back then this was easy enough to implement, as the six founder members used only four official languages – German, French, Italian and Dutch.
As the EU grew, the principle of multilingualism remained unaltered. It now has several mentions in the draft constitution. However, did the founder members really foresee that 50 years later the EU would have to deal with 23 official languages?Read more: EU
The ToolBook Translation System
ToolBook Translation System is software that reduces the cost, time and complexity of creating multilingual content. Using TTS in conjunction with either ToolBook Instructor or ToolBook Assistant? the two authoring solutions in SumTotal's ToolBook product line companies can create multilingual content for their global e-learning initiatives. TTS identifies what elements of an online course need to be translated, serves up these elements to a translation expert and preserves any format or design in the course for the pending translation.Read more: ToolBook
Australian Government Services must be more "Migrant-Friendly"
In Australia, the Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission has called for better training of public servants to ensure State Government services are "migrant-friendly".
Vietnamese-born commission chairman Hieu Van Le said it was essential government services were "culturally appropriate". He warned the previously strong capacity of ethnic communities to care for their ageing population was diminishing.Read more: Australia
Word of the Day: favonian
favonian \fuh-VOH-nee-uhn\, adjective:
Pertaining to the west wind; soft; mild; gentle.
With dusk came cool, favonian breezes. -- Ed Darack, Wind, Water, Sun
As God said to Adam on one of those favonian edenic days, "Pick a bone, any bone." -- Norah Labiner, Our Sometime Sister