Friday, January 06, 2006
dutch troops in pakistan show intercultural awareness
It was refreshing to read of the intercultural awareness of Dutch troops helping earthquake survivors in Pakistan. Unlike their counterparts in the Spanish and English army, Dutch defence ministry has banned its soldiers from consuming alcohol while serving in the Muslim country.
Unfortunately the English and Spanish seem to have taken a different approach: "The Spanish drive around with cars full of Heineken ... and the English laugh at us when they show up at our campfire drunk," a Dutch soldier said.Read more: Pakistan
brits abroad becoming more cultured
Britain's image abroad seems to be changing for the better. Rather than the usual "boozy Brits abroad" stereotype prevailing it seems Brits are becoming a more cultured lot.
Although the Halifax travel survey found that British people were the most likely to get sunburn, over-indulge on booze and get into trouble with the local police, they are also the most likely nationality to speak to locals in their own language.
Vicky Emmott, senior underwriting manager at Halifax Travel Insurance, said: "We all know that a few bad apples give us Brits a reputation for being holiday hell raisers, so we thought we should see if there is another side to the story. When you look at the overall results Brits do actually come across as adventurous, determined to join in and get under the skin of the country they are visiting."Read more: Brits
indian taboo against women in sport changing says star
India's first female tennis start, Sania Mirza, believes the cultural taboo against women in sports is changing in India. "They (parents) do want their children to come out and play a sport now and being a doctor or a lawyer is not the only thing that matters," said Mirza, ranked 34th in the world on the sidelines of an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong this week. "I think right now people are starting to believe that tennis can be a profession, which people didn't believe," the 19-year-old said.Read more: Mirza
demand for korean language rises
The popularity of Korea, its culture and language across Asia has seen a sharp rise in the number of Korean students taking Korean language training courses in order to obtain teacher’s certificates.
The number of educational institutes providing the teacher training programs, such as universities, graduate schools and language institutes, has increased fivefold from about 40 in the first half of last year to 200 as of now, according to the International Korean Language Foundation Friday.Read more: Korean
noddy's new side-kick to boost language learning
Noddy, one of the UK's best-loved children's characters, has a new friend -- Whizz the Robot. Whizz is on a mission to teach foreign languages.
Whizz is the first new character to appear in the Enid Blyton cartoon in nearly 15 years. If all goes to plan, he will introduce pre-school children to different languages as co-presenter of "Say It With Noddy", a new television series due to start on January 16 on five. The first language is Mandarin, followed by French, Spanish, Swahili and Urdu.
"These five have been chosen to reflect languages from around the world that pre-school children in the UK might hear spoken today and to help make them aware of other languages," a spokesman for the show said.Read more: Noddy
language skills = global competitiveness
The news from America spells a bright future for foreign languages. President Bush has put his backing behind a national initiative on the teaching of critical foreign languages.
As well as the need for linguists due to security and secret service requirements the initiative is also being drawn up to address the global competitiveness of the USA. Simply stated, having a population with language skills means you are able to communicate and do business globally.
Below are some of the interesting facts released by the U.S. Department of State:
* More than 200 million children in China are studying English, a compulsory subject for all Chinese primary school students. By comparison, only about 24,000 of approximately 54 million elementary and secondary school children in the United States are studying Chinese.
* According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, only 31% of American elementary schools (and 24% of public elementary schools) report teaching foreign languages. 79% of those schools focus on giving introductory exposure to a language rather than achieving overall proficiency.
* Only 44% of American high school students are enrolled in foreign language classes as reported by the 2002 Digest of Education Statistics. Of those students, 69% are enrolled in Spanish and 18% in French.
* Less than 1% of American high school students combined study Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Russian or Urdu.
* Less than 8% of United States undergraduates take foreign language courses, and less than 2% study abroad in any given year. Foreign language degrees account for only 1% of undergraduate degrees conferred in the United States.
pts labs targets spanish speakers with new website
An example of a firm reacting to the growing diversity within their customer base comes from the USA where PTS Labs LLC, a maker of ReVital pediatric health products, has launched a Spanish language website. The move is meant to target both the national Hispanic market plus the millions of Spanish speakers abroad.
“As an innovator in pediatric health products, we are the first company to develop pediatric electrolyte packaging that is fully bilingual in both English and Spanish,�? stated Mary Kay Staten Long, President and CEO of PTS Labs. “The logical extension was to provide additional information to our Spanish speaking consumers via a Spanish language website. Fortunately, we were able to complete it just in time for the flu season.�?PTS Labs
multilingual sites are the future
We hope that readers to this news page would have got the message that multilingual websites are the future. To add to the mounting evidence, new research out this week is showing that those wanting a firm place in the future internet need to start thinking about translating their websites to capture the millions of potential readers/customers.
The research shows that China has become the world's second most populous internet nation, with 20 million new users going online last year. Rapidly increasing internet adoption in Asia is seeing huge markets (still in their infancy) in India and Indonesia. "Much of future internet user growth is coming from populous countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia," said report author Dr. Egil Juliussen.Read more: The Net
word of the day: recondite
recondite \REK-uhn-dyt\, adjective:
1. Difficult to understand; abstruse.
2. Concerned with obscure subject matter.
And his fondness for stopping his readers short in their tracks with evidence of his recondite vocabulary is wonderfully irritating. --"Books of the Times," New York Times, February 23, 1951
Among his playmates he counts the Italian novelist and semiotics professor Umberto Eco, whom he befriended 15 years ago when they engaged in a fierce ottava rima competition that lasted for weeks. They still trade complicated riddles and recondite guessing games by mail. --"Roberto Benigni: The Funniest Italian You've Probably Never Heard Of," New York Times, October 11, 1998
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Global Traveler survey
The results of Global Traveler's annual reader survey, published in the magazine's January 2006 issue, cover the best products the industry has to offer. The survey reveals readers' picks for the best in business and luxury travel in categories ranging from Best Airport in the World, Best Airline in the World and Best Frequent Flyer Program.
"readers are unparalleled when it comes to their frequency of travel and their broad range of travel products they utilize," said GT Publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher. "No magazine's readership is more qualified to vote in these categories. Our readers are eclectic and diverse and travel on more airlines and rack up more hotel nights than any other magazine."Read more: Travel
Merrill Lynch's diversity policy changing
When Merrill Lynch said in an e-mail message to employees that its progress in improving diversity has been slower than it would like, it was a shift from the brokerage's previous stances when fending off discrimination charges.
In the past, Merrill Lynch's knee-jerk reaction to discrimination charges was to deny them, but the brokerage now seems more open now to discussing flaws in its diversity program, said Linda Friedman, a lawyer for McReynolds at Stowell & Friedman.Read more: Diversity
us children to begin language learning earlier
Confronting a dire shortage of U.S. foreign language speakers, the Bush administration on Thursday announced a plan to boost teaching of critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Farsi.
"Our goal is in essence to ramp up the mastery of these critical languages, not solely for national security reasons but also in terms of America's standing in the world," said Assistant Secretary of State Barry Lowenkron.Read more: USA
Expatriate Weekly launces Expat Property
Expatriate Weekly launces Expat Property the new real estate or property magazine for expatriates and non residents. Expat property contains property listing, classifieds, buy sell, rent, lease, and invest offers in property, room hire and many useful information for expatriates over 100 countries.Read more: Property
web use topped 1 billion in 2005
The number of Internet users surpassed 1 billion in 2005 according to eTForecasts. The industry analysts expect to see the 2 billion Internet user milestone reached in 2011 with most of the growth coming from developing countries. Much of current and future Internet user growth is coming from populous countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia.Read more: Web Use
word of the day: exegate
exegete \EK-suh-jeet\, noun:
A person who explains or interprets difficult parts of written works.
All the things said in this passage are clear and should be paid attention to, without an exegete interpreting. --Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates' On the Nature of Man
He is far more a man of prayer, a witness, a confessor and a prophet, than a learned exegete and close thinking scholastic. --Adolf Deissmann, St. Paul, A Study in Social and Religious History