Tuesday, April 04, 2006

world cup 2006: Kwintessential launch daily English football phrases

With less than 66 days to go to the World Cup an English company providing language and cultural awareness services has launched a free service providing common English language football phrases. The service aims to capture the building excitement in the run up to the greatest sports event on earth and channel it in a way that offers an insight into the English language and culture.

1966 was the year England won the World Cup. Forty years on the likes of Rooney, Beckham and Gerrard will try to capture the spirit and success of their predecessors to bring the World Cup back from Germany. Away from the competitive element of the World Cup there lies a greater aim of the competition - that of bringing different languages and cultures together under a common goal (no pun intended).

Read more: World Cup 2006 - Press Release

world cup 2006 - Phrase of the day: Armchair supporter

The 'Armchair fan or supporter' is a new breed of football fan who has evolved due to the growing amount of matches shown on TV. The armchair supporter seems to believe he/she knows as much as his/her ancestor who actually attends matches at real stadiums with real players. However, their only contact is through the box at home and seated comfortably in thir armchair/sofa. Fans that attend live matches have a tendancy to look down their noses at armchair supporters due to their lack of contact with the game.

Commission for Racial Equality appoints three new Commissioners

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has welcomed the appointment of three new Commissioners to lead its work over the next three years.

Carol Adams, currently chief executive of the General Teaching Council for England; Sir Colin Budd, who is a retired member of HM Diplomatic Service; and Dilwar Hussain, who is head of the policy research unit at the Islamic Foundation, Leicester.

Read more: CRE

indian call centres a turn-off

Hari Kishan readily admits that he's not the best guy to put on the phone with impatient Americans. With his heavy South Indian accent and rapid, abrupt cadence, Kishan knows U.S. customers have a tough time understanding him.

Americans are becoming increasingly hostile to overseas call center agents. Even if the service is actually the same as or better than what's offered by U.S.-based call centers, many Americans are turned off by foreign voices. Some 62% of U.S. consumers gripe about service if they suspect the agent is overseas -- double the dissatisfaction rate with calls to agents they think are in the U.S., according to a study by Opinion Research Corp. "Irritation kicks in when [customers] hear the accent," especially if they're already having a problem, says MphasiS Vice-Chairman Jeroen Tas. And a study by Convergys Corp. (CVG ), the world's biggest call center operator, with 66,000 workers in 30 countries, found that 72% of U.S. consumers claim they would rather use automated voice systems or the Web than speak with a foreign agent.

Read more: Call Centres

brussels' expat population grows

A 2005 population study has indicated the number of non-Belgians living in the 'Flemish edge' around bilingual Brussels is still increasing. Liberal VLD MP Luk Van Biesen also said EU nationals are increasingly buying houses instead of renting, intensifying pressure on the housing market.

The MP urged the Flemish government to take initiatives to ensure that houses remain affordable for young Flemish people. "Currently, EU citizens are buying more than 50 percent of the homes offered up for sale. Earlier, foreigners were primarily found in the rental market," Van Biesen said.

Read more: Belgium

new stats on world internet use

Over 553 million people around the world have Internet access, says the latest study from U.S. based Nielsen-Netratings. These latest figures represent a four per cent increase from the 531 million counted during the first quarter of the year.

Americans lead the way with 166.4 million users, or 30 per cent of the worldwide population. European nations followed making up 24 per cent of users, with Germany (32.6 million), the United Kingdom (29 million), and Italy (22.7 million) ranking among the highest users.

Read more: Internet
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:37 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

chinese translators overpaid

Despite government-issued payment guidelines, the pay scales of part-time translators vary widely in the city's booming translation market. The pay variations confused employers and part-time job takers, foreign language experts said.

"A big problem is that payment and translation quality don't match," said Lu Gusun, dean of Fudan University's college of foreign languages and literature and vice director of the Translator's Association of Shanghai. "While many unqualified translators are over-paid, some real good translation and interpretation professionals are under-paid," Lu said.

Read more: China
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:36 PM
Categories: Translation News

intercultural differences in mental health issues

The need for mental health and substance abuse services isn't unique to any particular group. But there are often cultural differences in how mental health problems are described or experienced; beliefs and perceptions about their causes and diagnosis; and the availability of treatment and willingness to seek it.

Other barriers also may affect individuals' ability to get the treatment they need for mental health and substance abuse problems. Recently, the Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas released the results of an assessment of mental health needs of local Latinos.

Read more: Report

word of the day: brummagem

brummagem \BRUHM-uh-juhm\, adjective:
Cheap and showy, tawdry; also, spurious, counterfeit.

But demanding that publishers replace their brummagem wares with books which embody Kunin's "high standards of excellence" would be a promising -- and cost-free -- way to begin. -- Betty McCollister, "A Conspiracy of Good Intentions: America's Textbook Fiasco", Humanist, November-December, 1993

The distortions they bring on damage society and fuel defiant behavior, encouraging everything from immigrations to the Cayman Islands, to active distortions of reality through brummagem corporate filings. -- William F. Buckley, Jr., "Reforming the Rich", National Review, January 20, 2006

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:32 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

world cup 2006 - Phrase of the Day: afters

'Afters' is what a couple of players would do after going in for a crunching tackle or clashing while going for a ball. For example, "There was a little of afters between Rooney and Ronaldo." What constitutes a bit of 'afters'? Anything from a sly kick to a push to a staring competition to a tussle. It refers to a spat between two players following an encounter of some sort.
'Afters' are generally not malicious or the result of red cards but can point to a growing power struggle between two players.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Greater Thirst for Knowledge of Islam through Cultural Travel

With all the travel warnings concerning security to citizens in the United States and elsewhere, western governments are seeing a rise in travel to far-off lands. Travelers and tourists in the United States and around the world are not searching for only adventure any longer, but are exploring the vistas to find opportunities to gain cultural enlightenment while abroad.

As the United States government works diligently to secure its own borders, many U.S. travelers are taking leaps out into frontiers they might have once overlooked. “Primarily Islamic Nations, such as Morocco in North Africa, deserve to be experienced and enjoyed. Travelers, who once looked for an experiential adventure, are now thinking about what they can learn and share back home, telling people who haven’t ventured past their own borders how friendly the world can be,�? as explained by Thomas Hollowell who runs Morocco tours with his cultural adventure company.

Read more: Travel

Cultural tolerance books target primary schools

The Australian Multicultural Foundation is calling on all states and territories to use a new series of books aimed at teaching cultural tolerance to primary school students.

The books have been two years in the making and foundation executive director Hass Dellal says they are designed to help teach cultural diversity and tolerance. He says recent events, including the Cronulla race riots in Sydney and concerns about extremism, show more work needs to done from a younger age. "These books provide an opportunity for young students to reflect on their own cultural identities and beliefs within the Australian context, but also experience and explore a range of values that are uniquely Australian," he said.

Read more: Australia

Awards scheme to champion cause of diversity in workplace

The launch of a new Investors in Diversity award scheme next week will help champion the cause of diversity in the workplace.

The project, devised by the Leeds-based National Centre for Diversity and backed by the Yorkshire Post, encourages employers in the private and public sectors to understand their employee differences better – be they racial, cultural, religious or family differences – to help them fulfil their potential.

International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, the Leeds Central MP, will be joined by other MPs, business leaders, police and health chiefs at the House of Commons to unveil the new scheme.

Read more: Award

przoom to go french

Following their success with distribution & writing services in English, PRZOOM which is getting major market share into the Worldwide News Distribution, has announced the launch of a similar service in french, says Charles Murati, Managing Director and Founder of Limelon Advertising, Co.

They plan to launch in a near future PRZOOM in German, Spanish and Italian. New PRZOOM French is located at

Read more: PRZOOM

Contrapor2006 – 1st Portuguese Translation Conference

The following is taken from a press release:
"It is our great pleasure to invite you to participate in the 1st Portuguese Translation Conference – contrapor2006 – to be held in Lisbon (Monte de Caparica), Portugal, on 11 and 12 September 2006.

This event is organized by the ATeLP - Associação de Tradução em Língua Portuguesa in cooperation with the Department of Applied Social Sciences of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is being held under the auspices of FIT – Europe."

Read more: Lisbon

book release: "Faux Pas: A No-Nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases From Other Languages"

Learning a foreign language has never been so much fun."Faux Pas: A No-Nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases From Other Languages" by British author Philip Gooden is a small-size treatise on all those foreign phrases that are casually tossed in by authors who assume everyone understands them. Unfortunately, most of the time readers are left completely in the dark.

"Faux Pas" attacks this problem with intelligence and humor. Gooden's book is a sprightly romp through common foreign phrases from Latin, German, French, Chinese, Russian, Welsh, Yiddish and other languages.

Read more: Faux Pas

china tops u.s. in internet use

Chinese Internet users spend nearly two billion hours online each week, while the U.S. audience logs on for 129 million hours per week.

That's the bombshell Dr. Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of, dropped last month after ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq, a milestone for a Beijing-based company.

Zhang reported that, according to his internal research, Chinese Internet users numbered over 150 million--and possibly up to 200 million--and, including all of their properties, was in the top five most trafficked sites in the world. Nielsen NetRatings, which doesn't have statistics for China, reports that the U.S. had 154 million active users in January 2006. This means that China, if Zhang is correct, is at or above the U.S. in the number of Internet users and that these users stay connected far longer each time.

Read more: China

word of the day: martinet

martinet \mar-t'n-ET\, noun:
1. A strict disciplinarian.
2. One who lays stress on a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods.

He is an unmitigated tyrant, a martinet, the sort of man who disapproves of his son's eating the morning oatmeal with sugar -- instead of salt, which he himself prefers. -- David Quammen, "Punishing Natty", New York Times, April 14, 1985

His insistence on strict discipline began to earn him a reputation among his men as an unfeeling martinet. -- Michiko Kakutani, "Still Pondering the Myth Of Custer's Last Stand", New York Times, May 28, 1996

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:21 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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