Thursday, April 06, 2006

euro babble alienating ordinary people

Poor translations of EU jargon can alienate ordinary people, with EU translators' increasing reliance on the internet raising the risk of mistakes, European Commission terminologist Alex Andersen told EUobserver.

The commission currently employs 20 terminologists, one for each official language, to advise translators how to handle industrial terms such as 'biomass' as well as EU jargon such as 'subsidiarity'. Over-literal translations can fall foul of connotations in the target language, creating unwelcome effects Mr Andersen explained.

Read more: jargon
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:32 PM
Categories: Translation News

Singapore launches 1st Innovative Chinese Language Portal

Singapore launched the first Innovative Chinese Language Portal Thursday, aiming to enhance the teaching and learning of the Chinese language in the city state. "Essentially, what we have in this portal is a virtual environment to facilitate new and innovative approaches by teachers themselves, to enhance the learning of the Chinese language," said Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the launching ceremony.

Read more: Portal
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:31 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

new stats on eu internet use

The EU said that a quarter of households and over two thirds of enterprises have broadband internet access in the 25 countries that make up the bloc, with over 40 per cent of individuals accessing the Web at least once a week. The report, issued by the stats office of the €U, Eurostat, shows big variations by country, however.

The Netherlands tops the 25 for household Internet access at 78%, followed closely by Luxembourg (77%), Denmark (75%) and Sweden (73%). At the other end of the scale were Lithuania (16%), The Czech Republic (19%), Greece and Hungary at 22% and Slovakia (23%).

Read more: EU
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:30 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

world cup 2006: phrase of the day - back four

The back four is a term used to describe a particular defensive ensemble whereby the four defensive players work in a 'flat' formation across the back line. Thus the term 4-4-2. The phrase is often used with the prefix 'flat' as in 'flat back four'. This term is only ever used when talking about 4 players, i.e. if a manager used a 5-3-2 system the defense would not be called the back five.

word of the day: hobbledehoy

hobbledehoy \HOB-uhl-dee-hoy\, noun:
An awkward, gawky young fellow.

For early on, girls become aware -- as much from their fathers' anguished bellows of "You're not going out dressed like that, Miss" as from the buffoonish reactions of the spotty hobbledehoys at the end-of-term disco -- of the power of clothes to seduce. -- Jane Shilling, "Soft-centred punk", Times (London), October 27, 2000

His memories, even only reveries, of incomparable women, made me feel like a hulking hobbledehoy. -- Edith Anderson, Love in Exile

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

no more burqas for women drivers

New Zealand's police union wants to ban Muslim women wearing burqas from driving for safety reasons and also because criminals may start using burqas to hide their identity, local media reported on Wednesday.

"We deal with criminals who will very quickly cotton on to the fact that it's to their advantage to be driving around wearing burqas," Police Association president Greg O'Connor told domestic newsagency New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).

Read more: NZ
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:05 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

intercultural training for global managers

Today, multinational companies offer intercultural training for their executives. Typically, these global managers spend 1-2 days covering a myriad of culture-related topics. The focus is on the distinctions between their cultural values and behaviours, and those of their counterparts across the Pacific, the Atlantic, in the Americas, or even in other regions of their own country.

Although these programmes raise cross-cultural awareness, we need to ask if training alone is sufficient to meet the requirements of increasingly complex global interactions.

Research on the effectiveness of training reveals that 4-6 weeks after training nearly 80 percent of what was covered in the session is forgotten, unless there is a mechanism to support and facilitate the habituation of the proposed learning.

Read more: Managers

esposito: islam and the west - a culture war?

Is Islam incompatible with Western values? Esposito answers this question by challenging some assumptions of what constitutes Western secular values and how they have been manifested in recent weeks.

Newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad have set off an international row with dangerous consequences, both short and long term. The controversial caricatures first published in Denmark and then in other European newspapers, target Muhammad and Islam and equate them with extremism and terrorism. In response to outcries and demonstrations across the Muslim world, the media has justified these cartoons as freedom of expression; France’s Soir and Germany's Die Welt asserted a "right to caricature God" and a "right to blasphemy," respectively.

One of the first questions I have been asked about this conflict by media from Europe, the U.S., and Latin America has been “Is Islam incompatible with Western values?�? Are we seeing a culture war?

Read more: Esposito

Cultural differences of trading partners hold lessons for U.S.

Is offshore outsourcing destined to be the device that precipitates the next historically inevitable shift of economic power? Unless America's leaders take a step back and look at the bigger picture — yes. As the line between international and local business blurs, it's becoming increasingly important to understand the various ways in which cultural differences affect business practices.

In 1980, Geert Hofstede, a Swedish industrial organizational psychologist, studied cross-cultural business practices. He identified two elements that can now be related to the recent explosion of outsourcing. One element concerns patterns of individualism vs. collectivism in business thinking. The other involves short-term vs. long-term perspectives in decision making.

According to Hofstede's findings, business practices in India and China can be described as collectivist in thinking and long-term in perspective. That is, they emphasize the community over the individual and are patient in obtaining desired results. The United States, on the other hand, exhibits a highly individualistic business culture and is strongly oriented to short-term thinking. Given the different nature of their business cultures from ours, India and China are well-bred to exploit the outsourcing explosion, much to our detriment.

Read more: Hofstede

Minister backs diversity project

A new business standard devised in Yorkshire to encourage employers to value and make the most of diversity in the workplace was launched in Parliament yesterday by top business and political leaders.

The Investors in Diversity scheme encourages private and public sector chiefs to better harness and understand their employee differences – be they racial, cultural, religious or family backgrounds - to help them fulfil their potential in their respective workplaces.

Read more: Yorkshire

asian expats rank singapore best city to live in

Asian expatriates ranked Singapore the best place to live out of 257 locations world-wide because of its clean air, infrastructure and low crime rate, a survey showed.

Australia was also popular among Asians sent to work overseas, with Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra taking the next three spots, according to ECA International, a human resource consultancy for multinationals.

Read more: Singapore
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:56 PM
Categories: Expatriate

language industry booming in czech republic

Companies these days want more from the language schools charged with training their staff and this is raising the stakes for professional teachers to get creative in how they meet this demand.

"It's a big challenge for language schools, not just in terms of the courses they offer, but also the services they provide," says Eva Libenská, marketing manager for Skřivánek, a leading agency that monitors the language school industry in the Czech Republic.

The firm recently released a report that said, in part, that companies are also demanding higher foreign language proficiency from their workers. This spells good news for professionals who make careers out of teaching foreign languages, as their services now appear to be in demand outside of traditional classrooms.

Read more: Schools
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:54 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

chinese internet firms take on google and baidu

More than 600 Chinese Internet marketing agencies have accused the big-name search engines like Google and Baidu of breach of contract, which may put them out of business.

Six hundred and thirty-seven search engine marketing agencies issued a statement complaining that the major search engines have stepped in to snatch away clients directly, in violation of contracts that ensures these agencies act as intermediaries to expand the market.

Read more: China
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:52 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

world cup 2006: phrase of the day - assist

Assist – the ‘assist’ has developed over the past few years to become a commonplace term within football. It is a neologism (newly invented word) coined by the fantasy football industry as a way of ascribing points to a player. It marks the contribution of a player to a goal, so for example if Spain were playing a match and Xavi crossed the ball into the penalty area for Morientes to head in the goal net, Xavi would be accredited with an assist. The commentator might say ‘Xavi provided Morientes with an assist.’

word of the day: cum

cum \KUM; KUHM\, preposition:
With; along with; combined with; -- often used in combination.

In 1999 he finished converting an old dairy into a sort of village -- a hip warren of apartments adjoining a restaurant and bar, some art galleries, some studios, and an 'e-mat' (a laundromat-cum-cybercafé). -- Bill Donahue, "Byte, Byte, Against the Dying of the Light", The Atlantic, May 2001

Pretty soon, we're digging up the lunch, washing it off at a stand pipe and heading for the shed-cum-kitchen, where the two burners are quickly pressed into working overtime. -- Bob Granleese, "A bumper crop", The Guardian, September 14, 2002

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:39 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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