Friday, January 28, 2005

Immigrant's intercultural challenges

An interesting piece from Herald Net, Snohomish County's (USA) online news source, highlights how immigrants to countries face cultural difficulties.

The piece follows the story of a Ukranian woman who came to Snohomish County and faced many cultural obstacles. She recalls how she made the mistake of rejecting an offer of food even though she was hungry because in the Ukraine it is actually polite to refuse food 2 or 3 times before accepting it.

She also recalls her difficulties at job interviews where people are expected to boast about accomplishments and "sell yourself". In the Ukraine however other people say good things about you, not yourself.

Read more: Ukraine
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:43 AM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Scotland to promote chinese language and culture

Scottish school children will have the opportunity to learn Mandarin and experience Chinese culture at first hand thanks to a range of educational activities announced today.

A £350,000 package of measures were unveiled today by the Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace during his visit to China. They include:
1) summer schools in China for Scottish students and teachers;
2) support for Chinese teachers to come to Scotland to teach Mandarin;
3) encouraging Scots to go to China to teach English.

Speaking as he continued his visit to China at Shenzhen Experimental School - one of the top middle schools in the city of Shenzhen - Mr Wallace said: "I am here to do all I can to strengthen ties between China and Scotland. We must ensure our country is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities this emerging and vast market provides. One of the ways to do that is for our schools to do more to teach the Mandarin language. This will become increasingly important in economic terms as the Chinese economy continues to grow."

Read more: Scotland-China
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:32 AM
Edited on: Friday, January 28, 2005 10:33 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

UPS aim to secure growth in chinese market through cross cultural skills

It is good to see that UPS have incorporated the need for cross cultural skills into their internal training programs. On Monday the company invited 100 executives to a training course on Chinese business etiquette to illustrate the pitfalls that await them if dealing with Chinese counterparts.

UPS' exports from China have more than doubled last year and the company is also buying 10 massive Airbus A380s to transport the growing tide of goods from the country.

The cross cultural training course was set up to educate UPS employees on Chinese customs in order to secure the company's goals in the country.

Read more: UPS
Interested in a China - Cross Cultural Training course?

Obstacles to cross cultural competency

What are the obstacles to cross cultural competency?
In this article, Linda Wallace, argues that the five major 'roadblocks' are
1. Fear of differences
2. Fear of leaving your comfort zone
3. Desire to take huge leaps rather than tiny steps
4. An "it helps them more than me" attitude
5. A "They are all the same" viewpoint

Posted by Neil Payne at 10:18 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

"Third Culture Kid" seminar in Shanghai, China

A seminar on "Third Culture Kids" will be held in Shaghai, China on the 2nd of February, 2005.

Third Culture Kids or TCK's, refers to children that have grown up outside their native cultures, i.e. that of their parents. Such children, most commonly those of expats abroad, intially have great trouble settling into a new culture, lifestyle and routine, yet after overcoming the initial culture shock 'go native' and then experience then same feelings when returning 'home' years later.

The seminar will draw attention to the difficulties such children face for the benefit of parents.

Read more: TCK
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:12 AM
Categories: Expatriate, Press Releases

New book calls for culturally sensitive HR practices in asia

Businesses with staff in Asia need to avoid importing HR practices from the West to prevent failures from occuring.

This is the essence behind the newly published book, Mastering Business in Asia - Human Resource Management. The authors argue that multinational companies need to practice a certain amount of cross cultural sensitivity when implementing HR policies and procedures in Asia, with particular attention needed on the historical, cultural, social and economic dynamics.

"We have seen terrible results where global HR departments introduce extensive people programmes across Asia, ignoring the fundamental differences in these markets. People initiatives should be customised by global HR staff, who typically work in US or European headquarters," said Reiji Ohtaki, co-author of the book.

Linspire seeks volunteer translators

Linspire Inc. is looking for volunteers to translate Linux applications into 78 different languages. "Instead of using expensive translation firms, we're turning to Linux supporters to help make Linux available to new segments of the population," said Linspire CEO Michael Robertson.

Linspire, which provides a Linux-based operating system for desktop and laptop computers, said more than 200 volunteers have already signed on for translation work.

Read more: Linux
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:25 AM
Categories: Translation News

word of the day: bete noir

bete noire \bet-NWAHR\, noun:
Something or someone particularly detested or avoided; a bugbear.

Even more regrettable, as far as Dame Edna is concerned, is the presence of her old bete noire, the extravagantly disgusting Sir Les Patterson. --"The Dame's New Man," Daily Telegraph, April 18, 1998

Never an exceptional student, Andrews somehow managed to navigate the academy's rigorous courses with satisfactory grades, though all forms of mathematics were agonizing to him, remaining what he called his "bete noire" throughout life. --Charles Gallenkamp, Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions

Posted by Neil Payne at 9:08 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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