Thursday, April 14, 2005

minister urges singapore's businesses to learn more about Arab culture

Singapore's Goh Chok Tong, a senior minister, has urged Singapore's business personnel to learn more about Middle Eastern culture in order to be successful there.

The comments come as Mr Goh visited Qatar and Kuwait. "We have to understand the way the government and bureaucracy works. We also have to understand how the business people work. So, let's feel our way through, spend sometime and see how the opportunities will be realised."

Read more: Singapore

religious beliefs and dress codes

This year, the employment tribunal heard a religious discrimination claim from Mr Mohmad against Virgin Trains. He alleged that his managers had asked him to trim his beard, and that he was unable to comply on religious grounds as he was a devout Muslim.

In 2004, a separate employment tribunal heard the claim of Mrs Ferri, a devout Catholic. At her job interview and subsequent meetings with Key Languages Limited, she wore a gold crucifix on a gold chain, the Virgin Mary on a gold chain, and a large cross encrusted with ruby-coloured gems. She was told that the company felt it was inappropriate to wear the three necklaces together at work as they were rather 'loud' and overtly religious symbols.

These cases clearly highlight the issues employers may face when dealing with dress and appearance codes where there are potentially religious factors at play. Aside from allegations of direct discrimination in the enforcement process, certain rules could constitute indirect discrimination against particular religions whose tenets are inconsistent with the dress/appearance code imposed.

Read more: Diversity

managing diversity a priority for businesses

Organisations that fail to get to grips with managing diversity are putting themselves at risk.

Legislation now places no limit on how much an employment tribunal may rule an organisation to pay if they are found guilty of discriminating against someone. But the damage caused through a failure to reap the business benefits of effective diversity management could cost organisations even more dearly than tribunal payouts, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Diversity plays an essential role in tackling skills shortages, helping organisations retain knowledge and experience, widening the recruitment base, and attracting more customers and enhancing profits. However, unless diversity is carefully managed, it can also cause tensions between people and have a negative impact on the business by triggering poor performance and lack of motivation.

Read more: Diversity
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:40 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

english replacing french in switzerland

Switzerland's reputation as a model of multilingual harmony is being challenged by the growing use of English in the workplace.

German, French and Italian share official status in the nation, with a minority still speaking the Latin-based Romansh. But official research shows that English has replaced French as the second business language in the prosperous German-speaking region.

Read more: English

english replacing french in switzerland

Switzerland's reputation as a model of multilingual harmony is being challenged by the growing use of English in the workplace.

German, French and Italian share official status in the nation, with a minority still speaking the Latin-based Romansh. But official research shows that English has replaced French as the second business language in the prosperous German-speaking region.

Read more: English

poor language skills is bad for business

British business will be "severely hampered" in the global marketplace because language skills in the UK are falling so far behind those of its competitors, peers warn today in a damning report.

The government's decision to allow teenagers to drop modern languages at 14 will make the problem even worse, the House of Lords European Union committee says.

It urges ministers to launch an urgent review of the way languages are taught to address the "deep-seated British linguistic deficiency", warning that the UK would face a serious shortage of language teachers if action was not taken now.

Read more: Languages

relocating to paris?

Richard Tyrell, senior editor for, an international relocation firm, offers some tips for expats moving to Paris in today's Times.

For example, before you go he advises to transfer your bank account and ask your bank manager for a financial guarantee to secure rental property. Also, gather your paperwork, including bank statements, proof of earnings (payslips), and two years’ tax returns. He also advises getting key documents translated — you will need to provide a certified translation of your birth certificate when you apply for a residence permit.

Read more: Paris
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:26 AM
Categories: Expatriate

internet advertising booming in china

Leading internet research firm Shanghai iResearch Company recently published statistics which show a tremendous growth of online advertising in China.

iResearch statistics follows Internet advertising revenue between the years 1998 to 2004 and then projects figures for 2005 and 2006. The statistics show that growth has been rising at an exponential rate.

In 1998, Internet advertising was only a 0.3 billion yuan per year industry. Between 2003 and 2004, internet advertising increased 75.9 percent in revenues, reaching 1.9 billion yuan (about $230 million US).

Revenues are projected to continue rising through 2005 and into 2006. By 2006, iResearch estimates that Internet advertising will be a four billion yuan industry.

Read more: China

word of the day: obloquy

obloquy \OB-luh-kwee\, noun:
1. Strongly condemnatory or abusive language or utterance.
2. The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of public blame, abuse, or condemnation; ill repute.

There he remained, weeping indignantly at her stream of obloquy, bitterly ashamed of his tears, until it was time for supper. --Jonathan Keates, Stendhal

Once installed in office he earned near-universal obloquy by pushing through the biggest tax increase in the state's history. --Dan Seligman, "The Taxophiliacs," Forbes, February 5, 2001

Posted by Neil Payne at 9:07 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

what is culture?

Culture is a little like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glass—you don’t see it, but somehow it does something.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

doing business in argentina

A new doing business guide has been added to the Kwintessential site offering some surface level information on business cuture, etiquette and protocol for those visiting Argentina for business purposes.

The short guide covers areas such as meeting, greeting and negotiating.

Read more: Doing Business in Argentina

avoid car fines - go expat

Motorists wanting to escape parking tickets, speeding fines and congestion charges increasingly are registering their vehicles overseas.

The rise in second homes on the Continent is contributing to the increase in unpaid tickets incurred by cars with foreign numberplates, according to the Association of London Government.

The loophole has been exposed by a reporter at a car magazine, who totted up £880 of tickets that have not been pursued by the authorities.

Read more: Expat
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:31 AM
Categories: Expatriate

language skills let down sun reporter

A Sun journalist who attempted to gain entry to Britain posing as an asylum seeker was exposed by his poor language skills.

The journalist, Brian Flynn, was questioned by immigration officers at Dover yesterday after claiming to be a Kosovan refugee. However, when officers summoned an interpreter, Flynn's inability to speak either of the region's languages, Serbo-Croat or Albanian, were exposed.

Read more: Flynn

UAE internet use soars

Internet use in non-English speaking countries continues to grow. The latest figures from the UAE show internet connections rocketed by 20% to 430,000 connections over the past year. The need for multilingual websites is becoming apparent every day as the shift in internet use slowly moves Eastwards

Read more: Internet
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:20 AM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: detritus

detritus \dih-TRY-tuhs\, noun;
plural detritus:
1. Loose material that is worn away from rocks.
2. Hence, any fragments separated from the body to which they belonged; any product of disintegration; debris.

The water was smooth and brown, with detritus swirling in the eddies from the increasing current. --Gordon Chaplin, Dark Wind: A Survivor's Tale of Love and Loss

If they [flying cars] were easy to produce, we'd be walking around wearing helmets to protect us from the detritus of flying car crashes. --Gail Collins, "Grounded for 2000," New York Times, December 7, 1999

Posted by Neil Payne at 9:13 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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