Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Top 20 Lifestyle Trends Affecting Global Business
What social developments will create new growth opportunities and/or challenges for global businesses in the future? The Top 20 Trends report from Social Technologies, a Washington D.C.-based research and consulting firm, identifies the most important trends affecting consumer lifestyles in 2006 and predicts where they will go in the future. Of the top ten were the following:
Cultural Flows The spread of ideas, media, products, brands and lifestyles, collectively referred to as cultural flow, to new places is increasing as the number of cultural poles rises and the world becomes more interconnected. Cultural flows are significant because they expose consumers in both developed and developing markets to new ideas, products, and ways of thinking.
Cultural Multipolarity The ability to produce and disseminate culture in its modern forms is rising in more places around the world. New centers of cultural power are ascending, driving the emergence of cultural multipolarity.Read more: Top 20
hong kong sees slump in expat population
Hong Kong's expatriate population has slumped by 14 per cent with a particularly sharp drop in the number of Britons living in the former colony, a news report said Wednesday.
The number of American, British, Canadian and Australian expatriates in the city of 6.8 million fell from 93,000 to 79,190 in 2005, according to the South China Morning Post.
The biggest decline was among British expatriates, whose numbers fell by 24 per cent from 17,780 in 2004 to 13,490. The figures do not include permanent residents, who have settled in Hong Kong after living in the city for seven years or more.Read more: Hong Kong
new sms translation service between english and arabic
Etisalat has announced a new service, ‘Tahaddath’, which is aimed at aiding the interaction between people of different backgrounds, and providing them with a valuable communication tool. Through this service, customers can simply send an SMS to 1002 with the word or sentence that they want translated, and they will receive a message with the translation and pronunciation guide. Tahaddath can be used to translate between English and Arabic.Read more: Etisalat
Developing countries join together to create Internet news service
A group of developing countries, including mostly poor countries but also more developed countries like Singapore, Malaysia and India, have started an Internet-based news service that pools their media resources to give readers an alternative to “unfair�? news coverage by the Western media, said the International Herald Tribune.
These developing countries are part of the ‘Nonaligned Movement,’ a grouping totaling 114 member countries. The news service and content, called NAM News Network, will be hosted by the Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, with contributions from national news agencies in these member countries.Read more: NAM
saudi unemployment sees increase in translators
Facing slim employment prospects, students who have studied English are resorting to freelancing their skills to other students in need of translation services, the daily Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, reported. Some of these jobs are routine and acceptable, but others involve students passing off outsourced translation work as their own.
Graduates who have focused their studies on English have found work translating from Arabic to English university thesis papers and other project materials. While they expressed their frustration at their inability to find more reliable employment as professional translators, they are better off financially than students who chose to study languages other than English; these students tend to find jobs wholly unrelated to their core studies.Read more: Saudi
world cup 2006: phrase of the day - courtesy of
Courtesy of used in a football context means 'as a result of' or 'thanks to'. It can be used in a couple of ways. For example:
1) Russia were sunk courtesy of an own goal by Eshchenko.
2) Senegal stormed ahead courtesy of Camara's 5th minute goal.
word of the day: implacable
implacable \im-PLAK-uh-bull\, adjective:
Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; inexorable; as, an implacable foe.
For it is my office to prosecute the guilty with implacable zeal. -- Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca (translated by Liz Heron)
He... then continued on up the road, his shoulders bent beneath the implacable sun. -- Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Fencing Master
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
culture becomes a greater factor in outsourcing decisions
CIOs who consider cultural fit to be as important as cost savings have the most successful outsourcing relationships.
In fact, experts say there's a direct correlation between a successful outsourcing arrangement and how well the two companies mesh culturally. This is particularly important in offshore relationships.
"Those that are dissatisfied are focused on only the cost," said Lance Travis, vice president, research, at Boston-based AMR Research Inc. "They went into this relationship trying to get the cheapest price. To those that were satisfied, cost was important, but so was cultural fit."
The irony, said Travis, is that in terms of actual cost savings, businesses that gave weight to cultural fit saw the greatest return.Read more: Outsourcing
making films across cultures
Five years ago, a British film director set out to do what many a jaded expat had told him was impossible - make a Thai film, in Thai language, with almost exclusively Thai actors and crew.
"If you want to be a filmmaker and understand that culture, you can't really live in that cocoon," says Paul Spurrier. "You have to try and learn something about the society you're in. So the first thing I really attacked was the language - having the ability to speak Thai enough to work."Read more: Spurrier
love, marriage and culture
An American young man and a Chinese girl fell in love with each other and their relationship developed to such a stage that they began to discuss marriage. The girl at this point puzzled her fiance by asking the boy to buy an apartment for her parents.
The request seems too demanding even for a Chinese man, but the practice is pretty normal to us growing up in the Chinese culture. The matter may seem like a mystery. For anyone to understand the mystery, one needs some knowledge of Chinese culture.
Chinese women like their male partner to emphasize the value of their "face.'' This value is determined by society and many of its cultural practices relate to this concept. For a woman her "face'' is often judged by whom she marries, while for a man society asks what official positions he holds or how much money he makes. For this reason it is not difficult to understand why a girl with a college degree is very unlikely to marry a high school graduate. To enhance their "face'' women will often ask their boyfriend or prospective husband to do things for her parents.Read more: Marriage
Ground-breaking cross cultural Muslim-Danish Forum
The Tabah Foundation of Abu Dhabi, in conjunction with Ta'aheel, recently hosted Litaarafou (The Search for Mutual Understanding): The Muslim Danish Dialogue Forum.
The Dialogue, which was held at The Millennium Hotel, Abu Dhabi, was attended by over 60 international delegates, including a 30-member delegation of young Danes, who came to the UAE under the auspices of DUF (The Danish Youth Council), based in Copenhagen. At the end of the conference, the delegates issued a joint declaration, documenting the level of new cross-cultural understanding reached after this ground-breaking initiative.Read more: Tabah
aol launches chinese news
America Online (AOL) has begun broadcasting Chinese-language news programs provided by Shanghai Media Group`s broadband unit.
SMG Broadband will provide Chinese content -- mainly news, finance, entertainment and sports -- via AOL.com to viewers worldwide, Xinhua reported Tuesday. AOL provides the online platform, and MediaZone, a worldwide provider of online television programming and a China partner of AOL, and Shanghai Media Group, will do the daily maintenance.Read more: AOL
myanmar sees internet use grow
The number of internet users in Myanmar reached 63,700 as of the end of 2005, up from merely a few thousands in 2000, registering the highest rate of increase in five years in Southeast Asia region, a local press reported in its latest issue.
Despite the sharp increase, the number of internet users in the country still stands the least compared with other SEA countries with one internet user per 1,000 population, the Myanmar Info-Tech (previously Myanmar Information and Communications Technology Park) was quoted as saying by the Weekly Eleven News.Read more: Myanmar
world cup 2006: phrase of the day - colourful language
Colourful language refers to swearing and foul language. Most of the time this is directed at referees! Another term used to describe this is 'f-ing and blinding' or 'effing in blinding'.
word of the day: expeditious
expeditious \ek-spuh-DISH-uhs\, adjective: Characterized by or acting with speed and efficiency.
His problem was to get from Lookout Valley to Chattanooga Valley in the most expeditious way possible. -- Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs
The criminal may of course use some short-term act of violence to 'terrorize' his victim, such as waving a gun in the face of a bank clerk during a robbery in order to ensure the clerk's expeditious compliance. -- Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism