Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Dress and Clothes across Cultures

A brilliant IT strategist landed his dream job in Milan. While his plans and proposals were flawless and the company was destined for increased productivity, his ideas were greeted with a mere modicum of enthusiasm.

A native colleague politely informed him that his too-casual jeans, rumpled shirts, and unkempt hair were holding him back. Shocked that he should be judged on what he perceived as superficial, he looked around at his well-dressed counterparts. It was time for a change of attitude, and trousers.

While some countries treat attention to dress and clothes as frivolous, others view it as a sign of respect, says Susan Sommers of DressZing, a fashion consultant and business comportment coach.

Read more: Dress
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:51 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Bollywood Film Offends Afghanistan's Hazara population

Afghanistan, where Bollywood films enjoy immense popularity, has banned the screening of Indian director Kabir Khan's Kabul Express because the Hazara ethnic minority community found parts of the film offending.

"The film has some sentences which were very offensive towards one of Afghanistan's ethnicities, namely the Hazara. For this reason it has been banned," Najib Manalai, Afghanistan's minister of culture, said.

Read more: Afghanistan

Negotiating the British Cultural Maze

As any modern business executive knows, the hardest part of working outside your own country can be negotiating the maze of codes and values that govern work -- as well as life -- in that culture.

And, as many businesspeople have learned to their cost in the past, despite London's pre-eminence as a European business center, there can often be few people more mysterious than the British.

To help executives learn the dos and don'ts of the culture, a leading business school in the British capital has set up a series of events to teach overseas luminaries more about the culture.

Read more: The British

3M Launch Multi-llingual Warehouse Management System

3M, the provider of adaptable supply chain execution software, recently announced the latest release of its HighJump Software 'Supply Chain Advantage' product suite. This latest release addresses customer demand for new warehouse management system (WMS) functionality as well as including a host of new platform capabilities intended to help global companies roll-out the product across multiple countries and businesses. One of the new languages supported is Polish - a key requirement considering the growing number of Eastern Europeans starting work in UK warehouses every year.

'The adaptable architecture of our software allows users to choose the language they work in, so a Polish worker can work in his native language alongside colleagues working in English'.

Read more: 3M
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:43 PM
Categories: Translation News

Are Children missing out on Language Skills?

In the UK a national review was launched last year to see what could be done to encourage 14 to 16-year-olds to study more foreign languages.

It followed a backlash against a Government decision to allow students to stop learning languages at the age of 14. Academics in England and Wales expressed alarm at the slump in the number of pupils taking GCSEs in French, Spanish and German. They were concerned that we were seeing a crisis in languages in schools.

Read more: UK
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:41 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Travel warning for Sri Lanka

The FCO has today released the following travel information for Sri Lanka:

We advise against all travel to the north or east of Sri Lanka. If you are in the north or east, you should leave. For the purpose of this travel advice we consider the north to be all areas north of the A12 road (which runs from Puttalam in the west to Trincomalee in the east) including the Jaffna peninsula; and we consider the east to be the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, as well as coastal areas of Ampara district north of Pottuvil and east of the A25 and A27 roads.

Read more: FCO
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:39 PM
Categories: Business Traveller

Word of the Day: uxorious

uxorious \uk-SOR-ee-us; ug-ZOR-\, adjective:
Excessively fond of or submissive to a wife.

It is batty to suppose that the most uxorious of husbands will stop his wife's excessive shopping if an excessive shopper she has always been. -- Angela Huth, "All you need is love", Daily Telegraph, April 24, 1998

Flagler seems to have been an uxorious, domestic man, who liked the comfort and companionship of a wife at his side. -- Michael Browning, "Whitehall at 100", Palm Beach Post, February 22, 2002

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:37 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, January 08, 2007

Muslim Life Guards Kick Cultural Cliché

Australia's first Muslim life savers are due to qualify this week as part of a drive to represent more accurately the country's multi-cultural mix.

The bronzed, blond life saver has been the embodiment of beach culture for a century and ranks alongside the bushranger and jackaroo as a quintessential Australian icon. Mecca Laalaa, at Cronulla beach in Sydney, hopes to qualify this week as part of a drive by Australia’s life-saving association to update its image. But Surf Life Saving Australia, which represents 115,000 volunteers in more than 300 clubs, now wants to broaden its membership and its image as a bastion of white, working class Anglo-Saxon values.

Read more: Oz
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:16 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Report Highlights Importance of Diversity

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has welcomed research published by Jobcentre Plus highlighting the business imperative of developing effective diversity policies.

The research found that more than 50% of employees and customers believe that employers should be more proactive in improving workforce diversity and that having a diverse workforce could help boost sales and attract recruits.

Read more: REC
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:15 PM
Categories: Human Resources News

Learning Czech not that Difficult

It’s true that Czech isn’t the easiest language, but it isn’t as difficult or as complicated as most people think. Moreover, if you can manage even a little Czech, it can help you in work, social situations or simply going through the daily routine of shopping.

Knowing just a bit of Czech will help open doors. At least greeting people in Czech gets a very positive reaction and helps to smooth your way. If you can speak better Czech and manage to communicate with your Czech colleagues about work, then, we know from our own experience, you’ll work better as a team.

Read more: Czech
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:13 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Franklin Electronic Publishers to Showcase Language Learning Products at CES 2007

Franklin Electronic Publishers , a world leader in handheld electronic information, will showcase a new line of education and language learning products alongside several other new releases being featured today at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, booth 36232, in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Read more: FEP
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:12 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Chelsea Launch Chinese Website

Chelsea's drive to be one of Europe's biggest soccer clubs depends on more than simply winning back-to-back English Premier League titles.

Even capturing the prestigious Champions League for the first time won't be enough. "If we wanted to be internationally recognized, we had to be in China," Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said Monday, speaking in the Chinese capital to launch the club's Chinese-language Web site.

Read more: Chelsea

Multilingual Site Cashes in on Online Betting

99% of internet gaming is carried out in the English language. Crazylinks Internet Casino has solved this problem by making all of the traditional Casino games available online in 16 international languages.

By simply downloading the free Gaming software in your language of choice, you could find yourself playing Poker with an Italian, a German and a Korean. Or sharing the Roulette table with a Japanese, a Dane and a Greek.

Read more: Crazylinks
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:10 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

Translation of Movie Subtitles in China

China's pirate disk manufacturers are a diligent lot. Not only do they churn out the latest blockbusters, but they also often include subtitles that add a whole new dimension to the word "creativity."

The most outrageous example is Minority Report when it first came out in 2002. The counterfeiter, in an effort to woo more buyers, had put in an extra soundtrack for the Chinese translation that removed all the sound effects. One man and one woman played all the characters and did not try to vary their voices.

Read more: China
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:08 PM
Categories: Translation News

Word of the Day: sunder

sunder \SUN-dur\, transitive verb:
1. To break apart; to separate; to divide; to sever.
intransitive verb:
1. To become parted, disunited, or severed.

As the issue of slavery threatened to sunder the United States, President Abraham Lincoln, using biblical language, warned that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." -- Morris B. Abraham, "Using the bully pulpit at the United Nations", Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 20, 1997

Momentous business was at hand, as the last colonial ties with England were about to be sundered, and Madison was compelled to take his stand for both a separation from the mother country and the erection of a republican form of government. -- Robert A. Rutland, James Madison and the Search for Nationhood

Posted by Kwintessential at 7:36 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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