Tuesday, March 07, 2006

government defends new immigration policy

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has defended plans for a new points-based immigration system for workers who want to come to the UK from outside the EU.

The scheme is designed to make it easier for highly skilled, younger workers to enter the country. But it will be harder for low-skilled, non-EU workers to head to Britain. Mr Clarke says the system will simplify immigration. But Tory Damian Green says the scheme is an "implicit admission that the current system has failed". "The government has no control over our borders and no proper information about the most basic facts and figures," the shadow immigration minister said.

Read more: Immigration
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:59 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

expats frustrated by sexism in germany

Germany may have two million more women than men, but that does not mean they have things all their own way.

In fact Germany seems to have a rather contradictory reputation regarding the position of women. On the one hand, German women have rights and receive benefits that are the envy of many other countries, but Germany still has surprisingly low figures for female participation in the job market and especially in management. In 2003 only 58 percent of women were in employment compared to 63 percent in America and 70 percent in Britain. And only 33 percent of managerial positions are held by female employees.

Read more: Germany

new translation phrase book for mobile phones

Mobile phone software company LingoPal has launched a suite of applications for java-enabled mobile phones that may spark love between different nationalities, and at the same time render the traditional foreign-language phrasebook redundant.

Initially available in seven European languages, the software employs high-quality audio recordings of foreign phrases, accurately pronounced by native speakers, which play across the phone's loudspeaker. LingoPal's Managing Director, Richard Johnson, said that two different products are available. "The LingoPal Voyage is aimed at the general traveller, and includes the most-needed phrases used when visiting a foreign country." Categorised into fourteen sub-directories such as Accommodation, Directions and Emergencies to enable easy searching, the phrases can be individually stored in a Favourites folder to make the process even simpler.

Read more: LingoPal

cosmopolitan arsenal leaves little room for english practice

When Off the Ball was a callow schoolboy, dreaming of a future at the very heart of European football (quirky stories and mild mockery branch), due attention was of course paid in language lessons. And the most common piece of advice given about acquiring a foreign tongue was "to fully pick up a language, you must live abroad - theory is no substitute for practice." José Antonio Reyes, however, begs to differ.

It is just over two years since Reyes moved from Sevilla FC to Arsenal FC, but the young Spaniard's hopes of fluency in English have so far been dashed precisely because of the cosmopolitan nature of the Highbury dressing room. Arsenal have not fielded a Briton since the start of February, and with a Frenchman in charge, the need to talk in English is somewhat diminished.

Read more: Reyes

Learners around the Globe Access Training in Own Language and Culture

More than 73,069 salespeople and customers in more than 60 countries spanning the globe are completing online learning courses created by Bellevue, Wash.-based Knowledge Anywhere, Inc.

As multinational organizations seek out training solutions for both customers and employees, online training can provide a solution that transfers knowledge across countries and interprets training in multiple languages throughout multiple cultures and time zones.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S.-based multinational corporations employed 30.1 million people in 2003 alone, 8.4 million of which were employed abroad. In a knowledge-based economy, online tools must be in place to provide consistency and accuracy across the globe.

Read more: Bellevue

china: internet service value up 78%

Internet services in China reached a total value of 4.17 billion yuan (US$516 million) last year, rising by 78.4% from 2004, according to a report by China-based consulting firm Shanghai iResearch on its Chinese-language web site.

Sina was the largest provider of Internet services with sales revenues of 750 million yuan, accounting for 18.0% of the total market value, followed by Sohu with 580 million yuan for a market share of 13.9%.

The top two providers, along with Yahoo!, Baidu, NetEase and Google, had a combined market share of more than 60%. Baidu, however, had the largest market share of 46.5% for search engine services alone, followed by Google with 26.9%, Yahoo! with 15.6%, and Sohu/Sogou with 2.7%.

Read more: China

word of the day: expropriate

expropriate \ek-SPROH-pree-ayt\, transitive verb:
1. To deprive of possession.
2. To transfer (the property of another) to oneself.

few voters, after all, really believe Europe's new generation of social democratic leaders are wild Bolsheviks plotting to expropriate their Toyotas. -- Fintan O'Toole, "The last gasp of social democracy," Irish Times, March 19, 1999

The Spanish constitution declared the country "a democratic republic of workers of all classes" and laid down that property might be expropriated "for social uses." -- Mark Mazower, Dark Continent

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:45 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, March 06, 2006

Chinese Language Institute of Beijing Launches intensive program

The Chinese Language Institute of Beijing (C.L.I.B.) has launched its short-term Chinese language learning program, “1-Month Mandarin™�?. C.L.I.B. was founded in 2005 to offer a new kind of Chinese learning experience to students and professionals interested in studying abroad in China or doing business in China.

Read more: China

amazon move due to language? some disagree

Many would have seen the reported relocation of Amazon to Ireland from Slough in the UK due to a lack of people with language skills. The reported reason has been criticised by readers of The Register:

Here's Graham Dawson's sceptical take on the announcement:
"There's another reason behind this move. Taxes. Amazon has moved their call centre to a business park next door to Cork airport because it includes the following incentives: worker training is paid for by the park, and moving there gives them 10 years without having to pay tax. If Amazon were really just worried about language skill problems, they'd hire in native speakers like any other company."

And the language numbers themselves are perhaps a touch dubious. Adam Rae does the maths:
"Forty one per cent of 3m Irish people = 1.64m people who can speak conversationally a second language. Thirty per cent of 60.5m British people = 18.15m who can do likewise. Eleven times more foreign language speakers in the UK than in Ireland! And if my trusty calculator isn't lying, that's still just 24 people per sq km in Ireland compared 75 people per sq km in the UK."

Read more views at The Register
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:12 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

german engineers design new translation tool

A team of engineers at Germany's Karlsruhe University has developed a heldheld device called the Sign Translator. It uses an integrated camera and software that recognizes, and translates into English, about 3,000 Chinese characters.

The Sign Translator is the cutting edge of a raft of breakthrough developments in translation technology coming down the pipeline. Governments in Europe, rather than corporations, are driving much of the innovation—and with good reason. Consider the European Union: in Brussels, the world's largest translation and interpretation operation spends more than $875 million a year ferrying information in and out of the bloc's 21 official languages.

Read more: Sign Translator
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:07 PM
Categories: Translation News

internet shopping rises in slovenia

A third of Slovenians has made online purchases, with the majority of them buying online on a regular basis, a survey has found.

Among Internet users, three-quarters make only purchases, the E-monitor survey by the Gral-Iteo firm has found. According to the survey, more than half of Slovenian Internet users made three or more online purchases last year. Indeed, more than 40% of Slovenian Internet users spent more than SIT 50,000 (EUR 209) on online purchases, the survey found.

Read more: Slovenia

china will not break from global internet

In response to foreign media reports that China might create its own top-level domain names to create its own intranet, a spokesperson from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) clarifies that China will not create its own root servers.

The representative says the misunderstanding was caused by the ambiguous English in local English media which seems to tell readers that China will use the .cn domain extension to replace .com and .net.

According to ICANN and CNNIC, though China has its own Chinese domain name system, the only change that China has made in the past four years was to add a Chinese language .mil domain name, but even that was done under .cn.

Read more: China
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:03 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: countermand

countermand \KOWN-tuhr-mand; kown-tuhr-MAND\, transitive verb:
1. To revoke (a former command); to cancel or rescind by giving an order contrary to one previously given.
2. To recall or order back by a contrary order.
1. A contrary order.
2. Revocation of a former order or command.

And given the mixed results, a constitutional amendment that could countermand both the law and the original order by Vermont's Supreme Court seems unlikely. -- Stanley Kurtz, "Florida? Try Vermont," National Review Online, November 13, 2000

Her aunt and uncle kept hoping her father would countermand his orders since his promises to her seemed to be without effect. -- Dumas Malone, quoted in The Long Affair, by Conor Cruise

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:50 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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