Tuesday, March 21, 2006
chinese take cultural awareness lessons to be more international
In a conference room at the Four Seasons hotel, a cultural transformation is occurring over tea and cookies. Eight Chinese adults take turns standing uncomfortably on a chair, while a bossy Japanese woman looks them over one by one and gives them a grade on their appearance. A middle-aged Chinese executive with permed hair climbs unsteadily onto the chair. She wears an all-purple outfit with a big plastic pink flower pinned to her bosom. The teacher tells her to get rid of the flower and replace it with a real white one. There are urgent whispers all around.
"In China," one student pipes up meekly, "white flowers are for funerals." The teacher shrugs and rolls her eyes."Forget about 'in China'!" she snaps. "Let's learn the international way. As rich as you are, as successful as you are, you're all going to have to learn to be more international."
In real life, they are successful executives, wealthy and well educated. Some are millionaires. But they all have one thing in common: They are too Chinese.Read more: Chinese
more women and young people joining expat ranks
As companies report a rise in opportunities for international assignments, new research shows that more women and younger people are joining the expatriate workforce.
The 11th annual Global Relocation Trends Survey produced by GMAC Global Relocation Services and the National Trade Council, shows that 47 percent of the participating companies reported an increase in the size of their current expatriate population over 2005.Read more: Expats
new expat directory published
Every year in January Expat Network (www.expatnetwork.com) publishes the latest edition of a book essential to all expatriates working in the major corporate and industrial sectors: the Contact Directory. The latest version of this annual contacts “bible" was published this year with all the relevant information updated and new contacts consolidated.Read more: Directory
New institute to promote China language and culture
A new institute is to be established at Edinburgh University to promote Chinese language, culture and business, it was announced today.
The decision to set up the Scottish Confucius Institute followed talks in Beijing between First Minister Jack McConnell and the Chinese Education Minister, Professor Zhou Ji.
Staff from one of China's top three universities will be seconded to staff the institute, which is expected to be up and running later this year. Its first task will be to initiate language teaching, but it promises increased language teaching and the establishment of a programme of cultural activities next year.Read more: China
new political climate sees arabic thrive
There can be few subjects that unite Norwegian army officers, Uzbek religious students, Korean contractors and would-be CIA agents. A perhaps unintended consequence of the September 11 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington is that the Arabic language has become one.
For different reasons the events triggered by September 11 have sparked an upsurge in the numbers of students learning Arabic across the world. This in turn has translated into booming business for Cairo, traditionally the centre of learning in the Middle East for both religious students and foreign diplomatic services.Read more: Arabic
english becomes official language for world cup refs
English has become the official language of football, at least for the 44 referees hoping to officiate at the 2006 World Cup.
For the first time, referees and their assistants will have to show proficiency in written and spoken English if they are to stand a chance of making the cut for the sport's showpiece tournament, beginning on June 9.
FIFA regards English, German, Spanish and French as its official languages, providing translation services in all four at its media events. However, for the referees only English will do, except when they are actually doing their jobs.Read more: Refs
"turbo balls" ruins VW ad campaign
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used the word 'cojones' to lambaste Fidel Castro. Americans use it colloquially to describe someone who is gutsy. Now, Volkswagen AG is getting flak for using it in billboards to advertise a sporty model to Hispanics in the United States.
Cojones is a Spanish word that means, literally, testicles. In the United States, however, it's a sort of catch-all term for daring. That's what Volkswagen was going for in a black-and-white billboard featuring its GTI 2006 model accompanied by two words in big, bold letters - 'Turbo-Cojones.'
But the campaign has boomeranged, with Volkswagen taking the billboards down in three cities after they quickly generated a firestorm in Miami.Read more: VW
TelePlus Provides Languages for Skype Translation Service
TelePlus Group has signed a deal with Digitrad France to provide some foreign language-assisted services to Skype customers.
TelePlus will provide Skype customers with a low-cost solution to language barriers by offering concierge and interpreter services in French, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin. The company expects to add Japanese language services soon.Read more: Skype
brazil sees 20% rise in internet use
According to a report by local consultancy Ibope/NetRatings, the number of residential internet users in Brazil rose by 20% to 13.2 million in the year to February 2006. At that date more than 21.2 million homes were connected to the internet. The average time spent surfing was down however, at 17 hours and 33 minutes, compared to 18 hours in January 2006. Nonetheless, the figure was up year-on-year from 13 hours and 13 minutes in February 2005.Read more: Brazil
internet use up in romania
The total number of the Romanian Internet users will reach approximately 6 - 6.5 million by the year-end, while 4.75 million users were registered in February, ACT Media news agency reports.
According to the online services provider netBridge, the total number of unique visitors on the Romanian sites was 17.8 million, out of which 13.05 million were foreign users.Read more: Romania
word of the day: aubade
aubade \oh-BAHD\, noun:
A song or poem greeting the dawn; also, a composition suggestive of morning.
He was usually still awake when the birds began to warble their aubade. -- Christopher Buckley, "What was Robert Benchley?," National Review, June 16, 1997
And there he lingered till the crowing cock... Sang his aubade with lusty voice and clear. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emma and Eginhard
Monday, March 20, 2006
how chinese values manifest in business
Chinese business networks are sustained by Chinese cultural values and tradition. When these values disappear, the networks will collapse. Trust, reciprocity, face, time, harmony, hierarchy, power distance, long-term orientation have been identified as the key Chinese cultural values.
These Chinese cultural values are the main representations of the seven core rituals of Confucianism: Benevolence, Harmony, Midway,Forbearance, Filial Piety, Trust and Cautious Words.Read more: China
Accountants cynical of finance firms' diversity initiatives
Two-thirds of UK accountants believe that finance firms are merely paying lip-service to diversity and that equality initiatives are just a "glorified PR stunt", according to a survey.
Only 35% of the 170 accountants questioned by Hewitson Walker recruitment consultancy thought that diversity schemes really made a difference to their employers.
When asked why their employers set up diversity initiatives, 54% of accountants said it was to generate good PR and 73% said it was because they feared prosecution under discrimination laws.Read more: Survey
word of the day: paragon
paragon \PAIR-uh-gon; -guhn\, noun:
A model of excellence or perfection; as, "a paragon of beauty; a paragon of eloquence."
Even his friends and business associates, men and women alike, were paragons of health: avoiders of fatty foods, moderate drinkers, health-club habitues, lovers of cross-country skiing, weekend canoe trips, and daylong hikes in the North Woods. -- Alvin Greenberg, How the Dead Live
Voters, if they chose, could easily convince themselves that the people running their government were faithful spouses and temperate drinkers, paragons whose public images were in perfect accord with their private behavior. -- Gail Collins, Scorpion Tongues