Thursday, January 12, 2006

met police face racism charge

A Muslim police officer was racially abused while undergoing training as a recruit, a tribunal has heard. Zaheer Zamir said he was discriminated against while at the Metropolitan Police training school in Hendon, north London.

He said he was the only Asian Muslim in his class and was "singled out" and "made to feel different". The claims, which the Met denies, were being heard at an employment tribunal in Stratford, east London.

Read more: MET

participants wanted for translation survey

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent research and consulting firm, has released a call for participation in its first-quarter 2006 Global Business Confidence Survey™ for the translation and localization industry. The survey, which polls buyers and suppliers of language services and technology about their current business situation, plans, and expectations for the near future, is open for participation until January 15, 2006.

Read more: Survey

language and the world cup 2006

There are just 173 days, and counting, to the soccer World Cup in Germany. More than 100,000 England fans are planning to travel there in June. But will any more than a tiny handful be able to speak even a few words of German? BBC journalist Mike Baker very much doubts it......

Read more: BBC
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:58 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

expats kidnapped in nigeria

Nigeria's oil production has been cut by 10% after an explosion and the kidnapping of four foreign oil workers. In the southern Delta region, gunmen in three boats boarded a vessel and seized the men, said a spokesman for oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.

Diplomats say the hostages come from the UK, the US, Honduras and Bulgaria, although Shell has not confirmed this.

Read more: Nigeria

doing business in europe - where the us is going wrong

The CEO of a large technology company made a rare appearance at his European headquarters. The European team, proud to have their leader over for a visit, organised a large event for their customers. But when the CEO took the stage, all he could do was talk about baseball, putting his audience to sleep in less than five minutes.

Instead of hearing an industry pioneer’s vision for the future, all the audience heard was how great the company was doing in the US. Instead of hearing why the company’s products will meet their current and future needs, all the audience heard about was “The World Series�? baseball tournament (which contrary to its name, includes only American teams).

Europeans don’t play baseball. Nor do we play football (well, we do, but when we play football, we’re actually playing soccer). Europeans also don’t believe in working 80 hours a week or giving people a 24 hour notice before they’re fired.

In fact, there are painfully few similarities between the way business is conducted in Europe and in the US. Yet despite the obvious differences, many US companies continue to treat Europe as if it’s simply a geographical extension of the US market.

Read more: US-Europe

university of oregon hold conference on cultural competency

The Center on Diversity and Community at the University of Oregon is organizing a two-day conference to provide students, faculty, staff and the community an opportunity to consider, inquire and voice their opinion on cultural competency.

What is Cultural Competency? A Series of Conversations�? is designed to answer questions regarding the term “cultural competency,�? such as its origins, why it is controversial and how the term differs from “diversity.�?

Read more: Oregon

us failure in iraq down to lack of intercultural awareness

According to a senior British Army officer, US troops' lack of intercultural awareness has led to their alienation from locals.

UK Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who spent a year as deputy commander of the team training the Iraqi army, claims US troops in Iraq lacked any cultural competency and failed to understand Iraqi local values. He added that if the US were to succeed in Iraq, its army must evolve and realise that “mere destruction of the enemy was not the answer�?, and it should instead introduce proper training so that its soldiers finally understand Iraqis' mentality and behaviour.

“It is a common complaint of Iraqis that US troops do not respect their culture, for example by wearing shoes in mosques or by men searching women,�? he went on. Instead of trying to win “hearts and minds�? they saw “destruction of the enemy as a strategic goal in its own right�?, the brigadier said adding that the objective should have been “to understand how to manage a population�?.

Read more: Iraq

us pharmacy offers multilingual customer service

A nice example from the US on how cultural diversity is impacting upon the need to offer multilingual services to customers comes for Walgreens, a 'drugstore' (chemist for our British readers) chain. In order to assist customers from non-English speaking backgrounds it has developed a new service that will make it possible for customers at its counters to receive a telephone consultation with a pharmacist in their native language.

The system will allow pharmacy staff to search for on-duty pharmacists fluent in the appropriate language and automatically call one. "This service strengthens our commitment to delivering the highest level of pharmacy service to our increasingly diverse patients," said Walgreens vice president of pharmacy services Don Huonker.

Read more: Walgreens

beijing improves translation of signs in run-up to olympics

Chinese officials are making sure that foreigners to the country do not get lost through better translation of signs.

The Foreign Affairs Office of Beijing Municipality expects to improve signs written in English on all the major roads and shopping malls by the end of this year. The capital city currently has 650,000 people from overseas working and living in Beijing. The figure is set to swell even further in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics.

Read more: China

ICIS-LOR Launch Chinese Language Report

China's increasing importance as an economic power can interestingly be traced in the increase in Chinese translation services. One example comes from ICIS-LOR, the global market pricing and intelligence service for the oil and chemical industries.

In order to include the Chinese audience it is launching a new polyethylene report written in Chinese and focussed on the Chinese domestic market. The report will include assessments of China domestic market prices and provide insight on the market relationships between China and its key trading partners in Europe and the United States.

"China is a key polymer market that has significant influence on price trends globally. The entry of new polymer joint ventures into China has created increased interest from local and international companies on how the Chinese domestic market works. We felt the time was right to produce our first report written in Chinese by full-time reporters in China." said Andy Soloman, Global Editorial Director for ICIS-LOR and ICIS news.

Read more: ICIS

czech and slovak languages growing apart

It seems that just as the two nations that once made Czechoslovakia seperated, the same is now happening with the languages.

More and more people are changing channels as Slovak language films are aired in the Czech Republic, causing TV bosses to now dub most Slovak into Czech. The Slovak and Czech languages have so much in common that former Czechoslovak officials once considered them two versions of the same tongue. But 13 years after the split into two republics, the ties that bind the two languages are fraying. Some experts believe the day will come when Czechs will barely comprehend their Slavic neighbours.

"I think Slovaks felt Czechs would always understand us," said Mira Nabelkova, a Slovak linguist at Charles University in the Czech capital Prague.

Read more: Language
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:31 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

sony to launch TalkMan in May 2006

Sony has announced that its multi-language translation assistant 'Max' will be launched in May.

Creator Yoshi Yamamoto originally came up with the idea when he sat next to a girl in Florence, Italy and could not actually say anything to her because she didn't understand English or Japanese and he didn't understand Italian. TalkMan doesn't just translate phrases between English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, but uses a little on-screen bird called Max to animate proceedings.

Read more: Max
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:25 PM
Categories: Translation News

nec produce chinese-japanese translation tool

NEC has announced the creation of a real-time speech translation program to assist speakers of the Chinese and Japanese languages. The program will offer translation in both audio and text formats and will even allow for different accents spoken across China.

The emphasis would be for people on the move as the software is designed for mobile devices running Windows CE. The software contains a library of 36,000 Chinese and 50,000 Japanese words frequently used by travelers.

Read more: NEC

new tamil web browser developed

The move towards the global, multilingual internet marches on. News from India tells of the development of a Tamil internet browser to help rural people understand web pages.

The Tamil browser, 'Valaiyodi', capable of translating English data, would be distributed free of cost.

Read more: Tamil

uzbekistan internet use up 33%

Statistics last week predicted global internet use would reach 2 billion by 2011. The figures surprised some but many do not appreciate the infancy of the internet in many countries and the potential for growth. One example is that of Uzbekistan - the number of internet users in Uzbekistan reached 855,000 in 2005, a 32.9% increase from 2004.

Read more: Uzbekistan
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:12 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: renascent

renascent \rih-NAS-uhnt\, adjective:
Springing or rising again into being; showing renewed vigor.

Their goal: to give voters in the June presidential elections a realistic choice between the rough-and-tumble reforms of President Boris Yeltsin and the Soviet-era nostalgia of Gennadi Zyuganov, leader of the renascent Russian Communist Party. --James O. Jackson, "Can Opposites Attract?" Time, May 13, 1996

Where are the new ideas upon which a renascent Toryism can build? --David Aaronovitch, "There's no setting for Hague's Tories at the nation's kitchen table," Independent, March 11, 1999

Posted by Kwintessential at 7:08 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

oracle expands indian workforce

Software giant Oracle plans to increase its headcount in India to 10,000 this year by employing a further 1,400 staff in 15 cities. The company's current 8,600-strong workforce is spread across six locations, but Oracle wants to increase its overall headcount and establish a wider presence in the country.

Read more: Oracle

over-eating greater crime than cheating for italians

Most Italians feel more guilty about over-eating than they do about cheating on their partners, a survey has found, suggesting that people in Casanova's native land care more about staying slim than staying faithful.

The survey, by psychology magazine Riza Psicosomatica, found that excessive eating and spending topped the list of what people considered the most guilt-inducing vices.

Read more: Italy
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:16 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

translation of finnish novels increases

Increasingly many Finnish books are being translated into other languages, as Finnish literature begins in the 21st century to grab an ever more prominent position in the gritty European market for translated fiction.

Read more: Books
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:14 PM
Categories: Translation News

interpreting via video conference

At least twice a shift, emergency-department nurse Susan Brooks needs an interpreter to help her talk to patients. The OSU hospital system had 15,000 requests for translators last year. Since May, Brooks has been able to push a computer cart to a patient’s bedside and press a button to be connected to a translator. Cameras on both ends allow translator and patient to see each other.

Read more: Brooks
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:13 PM
Categories: Translation News

Orientalism is Forever: Islam, Hip Hop, and the remaking of Asian-American Studies.

Few people understand the term “Orientalism�? and especially how it’s used in the media and in connection with ethnic groups. Sylvia Chan-Malik, a doctoral candidate at the University of California-Berkeley, spoke to about 40 people Tuesday evening in a speech titled “Orientalism is Forever: Islam, Hip Hop, and the remaking of Asian-American Studies.�?

Read more: Orientalism

Cultural Jambalaya - cultural awareness through pictures

Take a talented local photographer with a penchant for travel to Third World countries. Add some talented local women who believe in the importance of diversifying the corporate world. Stir in lots of hard work and planning and the result is Cultural Jambalaya, a new Twin Cities nonprofit.

Cultural Jambalaya’s mission is “to promote understanding and respect for all cultures.�? They intend to do that by providing businesses with striking photographs of people and places from around the world for use in a variety of marketing materials.

Read more: Cultural Jambalaya
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:10 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

hong kong considers curbs on expat perks

The Hong Kong government has proposed an 'anti-racism' bill that would make it harder for companies here to offer generous packages of perks to foreign expats, the South China Morning Post reported.

The newspaper said that the measure, already at an 'advanced stage of drafting,' would require firms to prove that employees have expertise not easily available already from locals in the Chinese territory.

Read more: Forbes

TEFL Taster Cafe

The TEFL Weekend Organization is cooking a fresh free new recipe with Chef TEFL Taster in the sterile world of Teaching English as a Foreign Language ( TEFL ), or Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages ( TESOL ) programs.

Read more: Press Release

taiwanese parents want english to be 2nd language

Up to 80 percent of Taiwan parents hoped the government would declare English the second official language of Taiwan, according to findings of a survey released yesterday.

The survey was conducted by King Car Education Foundation in December 2005 on 2,059 parents around Taiwan. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The survey showed that 90 percent of the parents lack confidence in their English ability.

Read more: Taiwan
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:04 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

msn launches beta chinese search engine

Microsoft MSN has launched MSN searching engine (Beta) for Chinese users, and did test publicly for its Chinese searching service. The move shows that MSN has also joined the over-heated competition for searching engines. However, the searching services remain to be finished so far. MSN announced that the official launch time of the service would be upon user's feedback.

Read more: MSN

Japanese use Internet to Find Health and Treatment Information

The Internet is becoming a major source of healthcare and treatment information in Japan. New research shows that surveyed consumers in Japan spend the most time online compared to surveyed consumers in the US and Europe. Regional and personal factors have contributed to consumers high adoption of the Internet and have created new demands for online tools and services.

Read more: Japan
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:00 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

chinese train passengers to get internet

Multimedia information and Internet access will be available on most Chinese trains in the coming years as high-tech information systems are installed.

The Beijing Railways Bureau said here Wednesday that the bureau has started a trial operation of such systems in several of its railways. According to the bureau, modern information systems, including a multimedia terminals and LAN Internet service, have already been installed on a group of trains running on over 30 railways.

Read more: China
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:58 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: pugilist

pugilist \PYOO-juh-list\, noun:
One who fights with the fists; especially, a professional prize fighter; a boxer.

I had escaped my years as a pugilist with few of the badges that gave fellow-veterans of the ring the appearance of ruffians--missing eyes, mashed noses, or suchlike disfigurements--and had no more to show for my beatings than some small scars about my face and a nose that bore only the mild bumps and jagged edges that come with several breakings. --David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper

Posted by Kwintessential at 7:49 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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