Thursday, January 27, 2005
MultiCultural Bite to eat?
The UK's cultural diversity has been recognised as the inspiration behind Edward Antononi's victory at this years Delifrance Internatioanl Sandwich Challenge in Lyon, France.
Antononi's spicy America chicken panini sandwich, which was designed to reflect Birmingham's Balti heritage, was praised by judges for its unique flavours.
Who said cultural diversity isn't a good thing?Read more: Birmingham Sandwich
Cross Cultural Training
An intersting cross cultural development is taking place between a Chinese and Indian company. An Indian company has agreed to train 1000 Chinese software managers with a view to helping the Shenzhen area in China becoming the outsourcing capital of the country.
The Chinese trainees will learn etiquette, communication and negotiation skills as well as international standards for the software outsourcing industry.Read more: International Training
Managing Thais - a tale of two expat managers
Expat managers often enter the new office in a foreign location with preconceived ideas as to what they want to achieve and how they plan to do it. Many will have been chosen due to their success at home, i.e. the US or UK. However, competencies do not usually travel well across international and cultural borders.
Prior to managing a foreign team it is critical that the manager tailor his/her management style to harmonise with the local culture. If this is not considered, either through cross cultural training or self-preparation the common outcome is lack of trust, poor communication and an ineffective team.
In this article, Managing Cultures, the story of two expat managers in Thailand is used to illustrate the different ways expat managers approach their new roles and their results.
New scanning technology for arabic language
Computer scientists at the University of Buffalo, USA, are developing software to scan Arabic documents.
The aim of the technoloy is to help with intelligence gathering and in the future to cover modern and ancient Arabic manuscripts. The software will allow the script to be digitized and therefore available on the internet.Read more: Scanning Arabic
Global Basics seeks partner for multilingual search technology
Global Basics, Inc., announced today that it is actively seeking a partner for licensing or acquisition of eNameWiz, it’s highly interactive, multilingual name generation and search technology.
eNameWiz offers a web-based naming solution developed in 10 languages that cover 180 countries and 80% of the top 50 e-commerce markets worldwide. The system is powered by robust thesauri in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian and produces investor-quality, single language and mixed-language domain names.Read more: eNameWiz Press Release
Future immigration policies must consider employers argues CIPD
Conservative Party leader, Michael Howard's recent use of the immigration issue has caused widespread debate in the UK this week. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has joined the debate warning that immigration policy must take into account the needs of employers.
Reseach by the CIPD points the fact that there is currently a great skills shortage in the UK creating recruitment difficulties for employers due to low levels of unemployment. Many employers now look overseas to fill in gaps.
The CIPD's Chief Economist, Dr Philpott explained, "Skills shortages are forcing employers overseas as they struggle to fill vacancies. Recruitment of migrant workers has thus been acting as a safety valve against excessive wage pressure in the jobs market. This puts the heated political debate about immigration into perspective. Sensible reform is needed to balance the needs of employers against those of the wider society."Read more: Immigration
Nortel's cross cultural venture into Chinese cellphone market
Nortel Networks Corporation has agreed to terms that will establish a joint venture with China Putian Corporation. The two will produce 3G (3rd generation) wireless equipment to Chinese cellphone users.
Nortel's move is one of many in the past few years by American companies keen to capitalize on the growing Chinese market. However, it may also be one of many cross cultural joint ventures that leads to failure due to lack of cultural synergy. Research has shown that up to 3/4 of mergers and aquisition failures are due to cultural differences and lack of foresight by senior management and HR departments to implement intercultural training.Read more about Nortel: Nortel - Putian
word of the day: moeity
moiety \MOY-uh-tee\, noun:
1. One of two equal parts; a half.
2. An indefinite part; a small portion or share.
3. One of two basic tribal subdivisions.
Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety. --Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Cut off from news at home, fearful of a blood bath, anxious to salvage a moiety of the reform program, the Prague leadership accepted Moscow's diktat. --Karl E. Meyer, "Pangloss in Prague," New York Times, June 27, 1993Provided by Dictionary.com
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
New country profile: portugal
A new country profile has been added to the Kwintessential site for Portugal.
The profile answers questions travellers to the country may have on issues to do with the language, etiquette, culture, the do's and dont's. For example, did you know not to bring wine for your host if invited for dinner? Thats lillies are used only at funerals? That fruit is eaten with a fork and knife? or that you should never remove your jacket at business meetings?Read more: Portugal Country Profile
The Benefits of Online Language Tuition
Online language tuition has grown in popularity in the past 5 years. Users have continued to give positive feedback and demand continues.
Many, however, claim that online language tuition is a gimmick and ineffective, arguing that face-to-face lessons are a must. At surface level there may very well be nods of agreement, yet upon closer analysis online language tuition does offer some attractive benefits face-to-face tuition is unable to.
These are flexibilty, access to all, personal attention, security and home comforts.Read more about the benefits of online tuition: Learn Language Online
New Thailand focused intercultural training course
Kwintessentialhave launched a new cross cultural training course for business personnel, business travellers and expats needing guidance on cultural issues in relation to Thailand.
Each course is tailored to meet the specific needs of the participants, however the objective of the courses are to raise cultural awareness and build cross cultural competencies that will allow for clearer lines of communication with Thai counterparts.
Courses cover areas such as culture, values, etiquette, protocol, communication styles, effective management,business meetings and negotiating.For more information please visit Thailand Intercultural Training
hallmarks' Successful cross cultural card sales
The card maker, Hallmark, entered the Japanese card market when it first invested in Aesop, a domestic card manufacturer, in 1994. In 1997, it went on to buy the company and rename it Nihon Hallmark. Since then an effective culturally aware campaign has seen Hallmark find great success in the Japanese market.
Hallmark took the correct decision in analysing how cards are used, why and when prior to flooding the market with US style cards. They soon found major differences in the culture of card giving and adapted their production lines to suit the local culture.
For example, Hallmark discovered that the most popular card giving time is New Year and in the summer. They put an end to translating the messages in cards from English and used Japanese terminology. Cards for particular occassions were also fashioned to meet Japanese cultural requirements - for example, in Japan cash is enclosed in cards at weddings, so Hallmark designed a special envelope.Read more: Hallmark
Bank of America - 2004 top corporation for multicultural business opportunities
DiversityBusiness.com's awards for most diversity friendly business concluded that 2004's winner was The Bank of America. The awards are designed to recognise and promote diversity in the business world based upon the quality of business opportunities open to women and ethnic minorities.Read more: Bank of America
The HRD2005 conference will be taking place on the 12th-14th April 2005 and the Olympia, London.
The annual conference provides key speakers and seminars covering a range of subjects including leadership, coaching, managing change and performance.For more information please visit CIPD.
translation software vs. human translators
The latest failure of translation software occured in Washington this week with the Secretary of State's website. The site which uses software to translate it into Russian, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Italian has received many complaints from users that speak the target languages
A statement by Secretary of State, Sam Reed, proposing "statewide mandates to restore public trust" was translated into Chinese as, "swampy weed suggests whole state recover open trust." Not too accurate.
Reed's ofice has now pulled many of the pages from the site now described as 'worthless'. The President of Systran, the makers of the translation sofware, surprisingly stated that the software is designed to give "an idea of what the document of website is about." Which begs the question - is it worth it if people will be led to believe swampy weed has a hand in government?Read more: Swampy Weed
word of the day: turpitude
turpitude \TUR-puh-tood; -tyood\, noun:
1. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; depravity.
2. A base act.
In the eyes of the far left, it [the 60s] is the era when revolution was at hand, only to be betrayed by the feebleness of the faithful and the trickery of the enemy; to the radical right, an era of subversion and moral turpitude. --Arthur Marwick, The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c.1958-c.1974
They based their action on a clause in the uniform player contract which says players must "conform to standards of good citizenship and good moral character" and disallows "engaging in acts of moral turpitude." --Ira Berkow, "Go Ahead, Choke the Boss -- Only in the N.B.A.," New York Times, March 5, 1998Provided by Dictionary.com