Friday, January 14, 2005

Useful Phrases

Some of our readers may not be aware that the Kwintessential site has a number of guides on useful phrases in foreign languages. At present 25 languages are covered and we plan to expand in this in the near future.

Kwintessential's Useful Phrases

Soaring EU Bill for Translation

The European Union's bill for translation will have to balloon by nearly 60 percent to over 1 billion euros a year to prevent the bloc from turning into a Tower of Babel after its eastward enlargement.

The European Commission said the annual cost of written translation was expected to grow to 807 million euros in the next few years from 549 million in 2003, when Brussels institutions already translated a staggering 1.3 million pages.

Expenditure for oral interpretation of 50-60 meetings held each day in Brussels is forecast to increase to 238 million euros a year from 105 million euros once the EU's expansion to 25 from 15 members last May is fully digested.

Read more: Soaring EU Bill for Translation
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:16 PM
Categories: Translation News

Language Barrier Foils Bank Robber

A quick-thinking Croatian bank teller managed foil a robbery attempt when she pretended to not understand what an Austrian bank robber was demanding when he handed her a piece of paper with "I have a bomb, give me the money" written on it.

The female bank clerk claimed she did not understand the note and asked him to tell her what he wanted. When she kept asking him to repeat his demand he said it louder and louder until he finally lost his temper and shouted: "I have a bomb - give me the money."

The cry alerted armed security guards, who wrestled him to the ground and held him until police arrived.

Posted by Neil Payne at 12:14 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Expats need Cross Cultural Training

The best case scenario for expats working abroad is that in 6 months everything should be running smoothly. The expat employee is being productive at work and enjoying the fresh challenge, the spouse should be finding new friends and settling in fine.

However, this is rarely the case. Unhappiness usually manifests as both partners fail to settle into their new lifestyles and roles. This in many cases is due to lack of preparation in terms of cross cultural briefings coupled with poor candidate selection.

Read more: Expats need Cross Cultural Training

Marketing students get lesson in etiquette

"In the business world, especially in sales and marketing, first impressions really matter," explains Linda Smith, instructor for the Marketing Education program at Northeast Technology Center, Oklahoma. "And, more times than not, you will be meeting clients over lunch to discuss business proposals. How you greet people, how you eat, and how you converse during the meal can leave a lasting impression, and we want that impression to be a good one."

To assist students in their etiquette needs, Smith runs the "Manners for the Marketing Professional".

Read more: Marketing students get lesson in etiquette
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:04 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

Best-Selling Human Resource Training Videos of 2004

The first annual list of best-selling Human Resource videos was released this week by The Richardson Company Training Media, one of the Web’s most popular HR training resources. The HR training videos are ranked in 10 categories, ranging from Sexual Harassment and Customer Service to Overall Best New Releases.

Read more: Best-Selling Human Resource Training Videos of 2004

Hooters in China

An interesting cross cultural adaptation of the American restaurant Hooters has manifest in Shanghai, China. Unlike its American counterpart, the serving staff attract customers not with sex appeal, but with friendliness.

In a country not known for sweet and courteous waiting staff, Hooters is successfully drawing in local patrons. Hooters is a recent example of how Western concepts are coming to China with culturally attentive outlooks.

Read more: Hooters
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:14 AM
Edited on: Friday, January 14, 2005 11:57 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural Business News

word of the day: slake

slake \SLAYK\, transitive verb:
1. To satisfy; to quench; to extinguish; as, to slake thirst.
2. To cause to lessen; to make less active or intense; to moderate; as, slaking his anger.
3. To cause (as lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water.

intransitive verb: To become slaked; to crumble or disintegrate, as lime.

My companions never drink pure water and the . . . beer serves as much to slake their thirst as to fill their stomachs and lubricate conversation. --Philippe Descola, The Spears of Twilight

She had the money he gave her (never enough to slake her anxieties). --Nuala O'Faolain, Are You Somebody

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Posted by Neil Payne at 11:06 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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