Friday, February 09, 2007

Turkish Customs and Etiquette

During Ottoman times customs in Turkey were highly developed and formal. Ottoman customs placed great emphasis on politeness. Although people in Turkey today are more informal in their dealings, some traditional Turkish customs still survive. It is Turkish custom to use the dozens of set phrases of politeness in many situations and the more one uses these the better.

Read more: Turkish Customs

Languages in Switzerland

Switzerland is locked in the heart of Europe and surrounded by major European countries on all sides. Each country exerts cultural influence on the areas of Switzerland that are close to its borders and nowhere is this more visible than with language in Switzerland. There are four main languages spoken in Switzerland. These languages are German, French, Italian and Romanish.

Read more: Language in Switzerland
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:01 PM
Categories: Business Traveller

Cross-cultural study of entrepreneurs has surprising findings

Bat Batjargal, an Oxford-trained political scientist and lecturer in social sciences at Harvard, talks a mile a minute - and can do so in five languages. He sprinkles every conversation about his work (on social network theory) with a constant phrase: "Fascinating stuff."

In two talks last week - on the social networks of entrepreneurs - Batjargal used another frequent phrase: "Surprise, surprise." Preliminary findings in his large-scale, cross-cultural study of 377 entrepreneurs in China and Russia suggest that gender affects the revenues, growth, and profits of new ventures in surprising ways.

Read more: Bat

Google add more language support to Google Docs and Spreadsheets

Search engine giant Google has said that they are expanding their Google Docs and Spreadsheets application to support more languages.

The company has added support for as many as dozen languages including French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Turkish, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and in traditional and simplified Chinese.

Read more: Google
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:56 PM
Categories: Translation News

Oink in any Language

To help pig farmers overcome the initial language problems with new staff, the British Pig Executive (BPEX) has produced a series of basic guidelines for foreign workers.

They are in four languages - Lithuanian, Russian, Romanian and Polish and cover food and water, handling and moving pigs, restraining pigs, sick pig management, hygiene, useful words and slap marking.

Read more: Pigs

Using Culture to your advantage in Asia

Your company is preparing to enter the Asian market, and your negotiations team is nervous. Eager for a successful outcome, team members want to know how to present themselves to their overseas counterparts, whose behavioral expectations are quite different from those in our Western culture. We’ve seen the list of cultural nuances that might offend, including physical gestures like crossing the legs, space and proximity faux pas like standing too close, and the expected responsibilities and obligations of being a guest or host. So where to begin?

Bridging cultures

Techniques used in cross-cultural negotiations can win or cost companies millions of dollars in contracts. This is one of the conclusions of a recent study spearheaded by Hewlett-Packard involving MIT and Harvard researchers and HP executives with extensive negotiation experience in the Asia-Pacific region. “The researchers provided the neutral entity and objective perspective we wanted,�? says Benjamin Webster, HP’s global strategic negotiation manager, Vancouver, Washington.

Read more: Terreri

City of Fort Wayne Website Adds Translation Links

The City of Fort Wayne (USA) has added language translation links to its website,

The languages are Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. The website uses Google Translation Tools to perform the language translations.

Read more: Fort Wayne
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:50 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

Word of the Day: bucolic

bucolic \byoo-KOL-ik\, adjective:
1. Relating to or typical of the countryside or its people; rustic.
2. Of or pertaining to the life and occupation of a shepherd; pastoral.
1. A pastoral poem, depicting rural affairs, and the life, manners, and occupation of shepherds.
2. A country person.

What Ms. Morris appreciates most now is the mix of bucolic and urban: She can descend into the subway and roam the city, then spend hours in the botanic garden and "walk quietly home to check my tomato plants." -- Janny Scott, "The Brownstone Storytellers", New York Times, May 15, 1995

In 1901 the Pittsburgh Leader focused on the more bucolic qualities of Springdale, noting "considerable acreage of woods and farm land, picturesque streets . . . and pretty little frame dwellings set amidst overhanging apple trees and maples." -- Linda Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:22 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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