Tuesday, January 31, 2006

annan helps promote push for intercultural dialogue

At a time of sharply increasing intolerance, extremism and violence, a two-day symposium in Tunisia on intercultural efforts to move "from dialogue to alliance" is of signal importance, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

In a message to the symposium delivered by Acting UN Deputy Resident Coordinator Jean-Michel Delmotte, Mr. Annan said: "Trends of recent years have strained relations between East and West. They have notably corroded perceptions between Islamic and Western peoples. If unaddressed, these may even threaten stability in our world. That is why meetings such as yours are so important."

Participants, he said, could "help unlearn our collective prejudices, and promote a continuing dialogue among human societies" based on the premise that diversity is a gift, not a threat.

Read more: Annan

the world's most expensive city: oslo

After 14 years ranked as the most expensive city in the world for expatriates, Tokyo has been knocked off the top spot by Norway's capital Oslo, a survey showed on Tuesday. The biannual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) compares the cost of goods and services in dollar terms. The rise of Oslo and other European cities partly reflects the long-term underperformance of the U.S. currency.

Read more: Oslo

horror film causes horror in slovakia

Better known to the outside world for their ice hockey players and stunning models, Slovaks are horror-struck that the smash-hit slasher film 'Hostel' is giving them a bad name.

The low-budget movie made a surprise debut in the United States, topping box office sales in early January. In the film, American backpackers are kidnapped, tortured and killed during a trip to the central European country. "It's so sad," said Alzbeta Melicharova, marketing head at Slovakia's state tourist board. "The events in the film are so absurd. They have nothing to do with reality. We are actually one of central Europe's safest places. It's one of our selling points."

Read more: Hostel

linguists to contribute to epilepsy conference

Neurologists, linguists and epilepsy experts from across Europe will meet in Sheffield on Friday to discuss the approach which it is hoped will help doctors distinguish better between people suffering from the condition, caused by excessive electrical discharges in the brain, and those suffering non-epileptic seizures, caused by emotional trauma.

Read more: Sheffield
Posted by Kwintessential at 9:18 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

new text-to-speech voice engine

Loquendo, global provider of speech-interaction solutions, today announced the latest release of its Text-To-Speech (TTS) voice engine. The new engine incorporates improvements in three key areas: fluency, naturalness, and accuracy. The technology provides TTS pronunciation capabilities in 17 languages, using 39 different voices.

Read more: Loquendo
Posted by Kwintessential at 9:16 PM
Categories: Translation News

leboeuf hire new diversity manager

LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP has brought in Christiani Franck, formerly of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), as the Manager of Diversity Initiatives and Recruiting. Ms. Franck will be based at the firm's New York office.

"This hire is a natural outgrowth of the firm's long-standing commitment to diversity," said firm Chairman Steven H. Davis. "Christiani will work closely with the Diversity Initiatives Group to support and enhance diversity-related programs."

Read more: LeBoeuf

new web based japanese-chinese translation system

Oki Electric Industry Co. launched on Tuesday a web-based Japanese-Chinese translation system that it says allows users to register their own dictionary data and get more accurate translations.

The Chinese-Japanese version of the Yakushite.Net translation service is now available for use free of charge, following the English-Japanese version, Oki said.

Read more: Oki

word of the day: consanguineous

consanguineous \kon-san(g)-GWIN-ee-us\, adjective:
Of the same blood; related by birth; descended from the same parent or ancestor.

These Neolithic people practiced agriculture in a settled communal life and are widely supposed to have had consanguineous clans as their basic social grouping. -- Bruce Cumings, Korea's Place in the Sun

Am not I consanguineous? am I not of her blood? -- William Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night

Posted by Kwintessential at 9:10 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, January 30, 2006

"cultural terrorism"

UAE Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs has strongly condemned some Danish and Norwegian newspapers for publishing blasphemous cartoons. Minister Mohammad Al Dhaheri dismissed the publication of cartoons appearing in the Danish Jyllands-Posten last September, and republished by a Norwegian newspaper as “disgusting and irresponsible�?.

Noting a rising wave of anti-Islam sentiments, the minister said these sentiments serve only to undermine the very principles heralded by the divine religions and adopted by international organisations. Referring to the cartoons, Al Dhaheri said “this is cultural terrorism ... not freedom of expression. The repercussions of such irresponsible acts will have adverse impact on international relations.�?

Read more: UAE

whites turned away from police in diversity recruitment drive

Gloucestershire police force has rejected job applications from more than 100 white males in a bid to boost diversity. Nearly two-thirds of white men who applied to join the constabulary were turned down, whereas every ethnic minority candidate was invited for an assessment.

The force received 301 applications but had just 192 vacancies. Of the 172 white males who applied, 109 were turned down, and just 63 were asked for an assessment. The remaining 129 applicants were from ethnic minorities or female.

Read more: Police

initiative to save romany language

A project will be launched today to preserve the endangered language and culture of one of the world's most marginalised and maligned populations.

Romany is spoken by small groups in 42 European countries but since it has a largely oral tradition and those conversant in it are stateless and scattered, it has been driven to the brink of extinction, appearing on a list published by the University of Manchester of the world's most threatened languages.

Read more: Romany

Changning District, Shanghai draws large expat population

A recent survey has found Changning District, Shanghai is home to more foreigners than any other. The results of a questionnaire, delivered to the 1,020 expats living in Changning District, have recently been revealed. And the government has promised to make greater efforts to keep both foreign and Chinese residents informed about daily life in Changning, to help make it a more international district over the next five years.

According to the results of the survey, Changning is the most international part of Shanghai. The district is home to 19 foreign consulates, more than 3,000 foreign-invested companies and representative offices, and about 6,000 households (where some 20,000 people live) of expats hailing from 114 countries and regions.

Read more: Shanghai
Posted by Kwintessential at 8:00 PM
Categories: Expatriate

word of the day: sang-froid

sang-froid \sang-FRWAH\, noun;
Freedom from agitation or excitement of mind; coolness in trying circumstances; calmness.

The Treasury Secretary's sang-froid in moments of crisis. -- "Keeping the Boom From Busting," New York Times, July 19, 1998

Both men were mightily impressed by the calmness of the Americans on board, particularly among the women. "I had, during my sojourn in America," Beaumont said later, "a thousand occasions to see the sang-froid of the American." -- Michael Kammen, "Wrecked on the Fourth of July," New York Times, July 6, 1997

Posted by Kwintessential at 7:47 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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