Thursday, February 23, 2006

Seven Tips For Better Communication With Foreign Tech Help

Contrary to popular belief, English is not the only language spoken in this world. And with business and social situations increasingly demanding interaction with international partners, the way Americans communicate with non-English speakers is vitally important.

Language barriers surface not only in the international business community, but can turn up in many unexpected situations. “If it’s 1:30 a.m. and your hard drive crashes just as you’re finishing up the report you worked on all weekend, what you do?�? asks Renee Grant-Williams, expert voice coach to business professionals, political candidates and some of the recording industry’s biggest stars. “Technical support may be only a telephone call away, but more and more, chances are you will reach someone in Pakistan who doesn’t speak English any better than you speak Urdu.�?

Read more: R Grant-Williams

muslim companies capitalize on cultural sensitivities

Middle East-based companies are increasingly focusing on consumers who want products that conform to Islamic ideals, and their success has prompted US marketers to fight back with their own ‘culturally sensitive’ brands.

Mecca-Cola, which was set up in 2002 to offer an alternative to Coca-Cola, continues to expand after it profited from boycotts and anti-western feeling in the region due to the invasion of Iraq.

“Sales are going well and they are increasing every year - it is not just a fashion wave,�? Tawfik Mathlouthi, founder of Mecca-Cola, says. Last year the company sold 1bn litres worldwide and according to Mr Mathlouthi, it is the third world brand for cola after Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Read more: Cola

'Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire' to Improve Global Customer Service Operations

The challenge of integrating outsourced technical, back office and customer service operations in countries such as China, India, Costa Rica, Canada, South Africa and the Philippines concerns many global service organizations. ITAP International, Inc., a cross-cultural consulting company that has helped organizations improve global team performance since 1986, is now offering its proprietary Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ to perform cultural audits on an organization’s global customer service footprint.

“We have used the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ in dozens of organizations to help resolve cultural issues related to doing business globally,�? says Catherine Mercer Bing, President of ITAP Americas. “The application of the same approach, with some modifications, to audit customer service performance has proven really powerful. The tool reveals issues that we are then able to resolve through training, feedback and coaching, and modification of training, learning and teaching approaches.�?

Read more: ITAP

the future role of cross cultural kids

Bringing up kids in today's fast-changing world can be challenging enough for most parents. But for those of us who have to steer our kids through a series of international postings or even moves within our own country where cultural rules are always changing, things can become quite daunting.

Ruth van Reken, co-author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing up Among Worlds, recently gave a series of talks in The Netherlands on how to help children thrive while living in different cultures.

Read more: TCK

chinese publishers witnessing boom

As Chinese language is gaining worldwide popularity, China's publishing houses now cash in on a huge market - language textbooks, China Daily reported Thursday.

Under an agreement with Macmillan Education and Pearson Education, The Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press will publish 2,000 Chinese language textbooks and online products worldwide.

The press, as China's largest foreign language teaching publisher, had planned to invest around 10 million yuan (1.25 million U.S. dollars) annually in the next decade for selling textbooks overseas, the paper said.

Read more: Books

indians most internet savvy in region

The latest MasterIndex of Consumer Lifestyles survey, commissioned by MasterCard International, reveals that Internet savvy Indians are leading the region when it comes to researching and booking travel via the Internet.

Despite India having relatively low level of Internet access in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) region, the 67% of Indian travellers that do have access to the Internet log on more often (82% do it every day compared to the 64% average of their regional counterparts) and use the Internet more for travel related tasks. A significant 39% said the Internet was a key source of information in deciding where to travel, a much higher figure than the regional average of 10%.

Read more: Internet

word of the day: alacrity

alacrity \uh-LACK-ruh-tee\, noun:
A cheerful or eager readiness or willingness, often manifested by brisk, lively action or promptness in response.

As for his homemade meatloaf sandwich with green tomato ketchup, a condiment he developed while working in New York, I devoured it with an alacrity unbecoming in someone who gets paid to taste carefully. -- R.W. Apple Jr., "Southern Tastes, Worldly Memories," New York Times, April 26, 2000

Arranged in long ranks, ten-, twelve-, or thirteen-year-old girls, pale and hollow-eyed, their pinned-back hair sprouting tendrils limp with perspiration, operated the machinery with such alacrity that arms and hands were a flying blur. -- Patricia Albers, Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti

Posted by Kwintessential at 8:59 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

CRE finds 15 government departments failing in race equality

Whitehall departments are close to being subjected to enforcement action for failure to deliver on legal duties to ensure racial equality, according to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

Under the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000), central government departments are required to assess new policies and legislation for their impact on race equality. After an investigation, the CRE - which can enforce compliance of the Act - found that 15 Whitehall departments had failed in their duty to put race equality at the heart of their service delivery.

Read more: CRE

1000's march to remember bengali "language martyrs"

Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis walked barefoot to a monument in Dhaka to remember five "language martyrs" whose deaths 54 years ago triggered the nation's struggle for independence.

The five martyrs, four of them students, were killed on February 21, 1952 when police fired on thousands of protesters at Dhaka University. They were demanding that Bengali be declared the state language of Bangladesh, which at the time was part of Pakistan where Urdu is the national language.

Read more: Dhaka

europeans' language skills on the rise

According to a special Eurobarometer on Europeans and their languages, the number of EU citizens who can speak at least one foreign language has increased from 47% in 2001 to 56% in 2005. An increasing number of Europeans also find that language skills are useful (83%).

Half of Europeans agree with the EU's political target that everyone in the EU should be able to speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue. However, 44% oppose this objective. Currently, 28% of Europeans say they have mastered two foreign languages. The Luxembourgish (92%), Dutch (75%) and Slovenians (71%) score the highest in this respect.

Around half of Europeans (44%) know only their mother tongue. This is especially the case in in Ireland (66%), the United Kingdom (62%), Italy (59%), Hungary (58%), Portugal (58%) and Spain (56%). 49% of French and 33% of Germans speak only their own language.

Read more: Europe

women internet users in india up 12 million

The number of women internet users in India has gone up to 12.32 million in 2005-06, a four per cent increase over the previous fiscal, while there was a trend of men users logging off the web as their percentage declined from 72 last fiscal to 68 in FY'06, a survey says.

"The estimate for the male to female ratio in the next two years is that it will be closer to 60:40 ratio but will still result in the absolute numbers of men being higher than women," the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) survey said here.

Read more: Net
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:23 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

faith schools to teach other religions

Faith schools are to be instructed to teach their pupils about the tenets of other religions besides their own.

Leaders from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths have signed a joint statement backing the teaching of not only their own religion but an awareness of the 'tenets' of other faiths in schools.

The declaration, made jointly with the Department for Education and Skills says that religious education enables pupils to "combat prejudice" and helps them develop respect and sensitivity to others.

Read more: Schooling
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:17 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

word of the day: salutary

salutary \SAL-yuh-ter-ee\, adjective:
1. Producing or contributing to a beneficial effect; beneficial; advantageous.
2. Wholesome; healthful; promoting health.

Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed during his sojourn in this country that America was teeming with such associations -- charities, choral groups, church study groups, book clubs -- and that they had a remarkably salutary effect on society, turning selfish individuals into public-spirited citizens. -- Fareed Zakaria, "Bigger Than the Family, Smaller Than the State," New York Times, August 13, 1995

Surviving a near-death experience has the salutary effect of concentrating the mind. -- Kenneth T. Walsh and Roger Simon, "Bush turns the tide," U.S. News, February 28, 2000

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:04 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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