Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Burger King getting to grips with Intercultural Differences

With annual revenues of over $2 billion, Burger King is the world’s second largest fast food hamburger chain. The Miami-based company supplies more than 11,100 restaurants, two-thirds in the US and the remainder spread across 65 countries – from Baghdad to Beijing.

Leveraging that global diversity, Burger King prides itself on tailoring its menu for different cultures. And even though its offerings are centred around the famed Whopper burger, its promise of ‘Have it your way’ means customers have 221,184 possible ways of ordering a Whopper meal. Every day 11.8 million of those customers consume close to a million pounds of beef. A public company since May 2006, Burger King employs 37,000 staff in company restaurants, field management offices and at its headquarters, plus many tens of thousand more indirectly in the 90% of Burger Kings that are operated as franchises.

Read more: Burger King

"We'll become Lost in Translation"

The recent debate about language learning has discussed at length the implications for science, for trade, and for international research. However, the various commentaries missed out the one aspect that is likely to galvanise individuals to learn languages - what it will do for them personally. Yes there has to be a strategic view which examines our progress or lack of it in the areas mentioned, but at the heart of all strategies and policy drives, one unmistakable element remains – individuals.

Read more: FE News
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:42 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

ViaLibri Adds Translation Tool to Website

Online book search engine viaLibri has added translation tools to its website, allowing users to translate the descriptions of early and rare books. Jim Hinck, the founder of viaLibri, said that while many users of the site speak English, the new feature was necessary because of an increase of European users and booksellers and the popularity of international works.

"The world of early and rare books necessarily spans multiple languages," Hinck said. "This applies to the buyers, the sellers and the books themselves. Facilitating this international marketplace is one of the goals of viaLibri. Adding a simple translation tool to our search results seemed like a natural and logical thing for us to do."

Read more: viaLibri
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:39 PM
Categories: Translation News

Word of the Day: ambit

ambit \AM-bit\, noun:
1. Circuit or compass.
2. The boundaries or limits of a district or place.
3. An area in which something acts, operates, or has power or control; extent; sphere; scope.

There was little to suggest his future eminence until he came within the ambit of the Vienna Circle, the renowned group of philosopher-scientists whose mission was to replace traditional metaphysics with the clean worldview of modern science. -- David Papineau, "The Proof Is in the Disproof", New York Times, November 12, 2000

The Department of Enterprise wanted a regulatory regime completely outside the ambit of the Central Bank. -- Christine Newman, "Departments were having 'turf war', committee told", Irish Times, November 29, 2000

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:20 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, February 26, 2007

"Cultural understanding is a weapon"

A former Marine captain tells departing troops it's OK to talk to an Iraqi girl, but not a woman. Never admonish an Iraqi man in front of his family. And don't be surprised if someone introduces himself with a 40-second handshake.

Those edicts, delivered one January morning at this Marine base north of San Diego, are part of a new drive to increase troop exposure to Iraqi culture before they deploy. The Army is taking similar steps in an effort to avoid cultural missteps that plagued the military earlier and made it more difficult to win public support from Iraqis.

"Cultural understanding is a weapon," Edward Slavis, the former Marine captain, told about 150 Iraq-bound troops from the 1st Radio Battalion and 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. "You need to prepare for the war of ideas and beliefs through cultural learning and understanding."

Read more: US
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:27 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Cultural Diversity Training for Bailiffs

Bailiffs and enforcement agents throughout the UK will receive training in diversity before they are allowed to operate under new legislation.

The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill states that all enforcement agents, including bailiffs, must undergo an extensive programme of training before starting work, including diversity training and guidance about how to handle vulnerable people.

Read more: Bailiffs
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:25 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

67% Internet Penetration in Taiwan

Taiwan had 15.23 million users of Internet services during December 2006 to January 2007, representing 66.91% of Taiwan's total population, according to a survey of 3,199 households conducted by the government-sponsored Taiwan Network Information Center (TWNIC). Of the Internet users, 1.96 million, or 12.87%, were children aged below 12. The survey was conducted from December 4, 2006 to January 15, 2007.

Read more: Taiwan
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:19 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

Word of the Day: sycophant

sycophant \SIK-uh-fuhnt\, noun:
A person who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence; a parasite; a toady.

The praise Oxford received as a poet may simply have issued from the mouths of sycophants hungry for patronage. -- Howard Chua-Eoan and Helen Gibson, "The Bard's Beard?", Time, February 15, 1999

Friendship with the son and daughter-in-law of an imprisoned Supreme Court justice afforded me a special pipeline into high-level Ghanaian gossip about the alarming psychological condition of the head of state, said alternately to be suffering from delusions of grandeur fed by sycophants or to be reduced to quivering agoraphobia after the attempts on his life. -- David Levering Lewis, "Ghana, 1963", The American Scholar, Winter 1999

Posted by Kwintessential at 3:50 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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