Thursday, May 11, 2006

kwintessential launch intercultural forum

Kwintessential have today launched the very first intercultural communication forum. The forum aims to become a valuable hub for debate and discussion for all things intercultural.

In a world full of differences it is important for people to share ideas, viewpoints and worldviews. Only through debate and discussion can people come to learn about one another. In order to help foster a sharing of information between people, Kwintessential have launched the web's very first forum for people to discuss a range of issues that fall under the umbrella of intercultural communication.

The forum allows people with differing interests to post comments, ask questions and engage in debate around topics such as intercultural training, cultural diversity, etiquette, culture, doing business in foreign countries, language learning, translation, interpreting, multilingual website design and much more.

"The idea is to create an online resource for people interested in learning about different cultures and languages," explains the forums creator James Welch. "We soon realised that there is no central focal point for people to discuss these issues. Not only do we hope to provide free information and resources to all our visitors, we know we will learn a lot ourselves."

Registration to the intercultural forum is free and open to anyone interested in getting involved. At present due to it being one day old activity is low so please feel free to start up discussions. We are also looking for moderators and experts to help run the forum - contact us if interested. To visit the forum please go to The Intercultural Forum

the rich language of argentina

The official language of Argentina is Spanish and when visiting Argentina, it is advisable to learn some of the language prior to visiting. This will ensure that you gain maximum enjoyment from the trip and that you are not constantly referring to language phrase books – which we all know can prove cumbersome!

For those visiting Argentina with an understanding of the language (even if very basic), you may find it slightly difficult to understand the spoken dialect at first as the language is usually spoken with a distinct accent and a strong Italian lilt. However, most people quickly become accustomed to the differences and are able to overcome these.

Although Spanish is the official spoken language, the history of Argentina makes for an interesting mix of other spoken languages.

Read more: Language in Argentina

importance of mentoring expats

Companies are beginning to recognise the importance of mentoring schemes as a way of developing and retaining their expatriate workforce. Professor Ron Tate gives some facts and figures and invites you to participate in a project to investigate further the importance of this element of global talent management strategy.

Read more: HR

british publishers ignoring foreign languages

Only three per cent of books published in the UK every year are originally written in another language. Literary translator Eric Dickens describes the past, present and future of the art of translation, and explains why it's time the British publishing industry stopped ignoring the rest of the world.....

Read more: Guardian

new campaign for multilingual websites

A new campaign has been launched which aims to open up the web to everybody as well as help online businesses gain a share of £120billion a year and avoid falling foul of new disability discrimination laws.

The Well Adjusted Campaign, launched by The British Dyslexia Association, 2080partners and The Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators, is suggesting 10 'reasonable adjustments' website designers should make to their sites before October 2006, when the new laws come in, to make online and printed media accessible to all.

Among the 10 adjustments is the following:
No 8. Language
·In a world of multiple languages are you making the effort to translate written and aural language for large sections for your customers and staff?
·Does it pass the foreign language translation guidelines? Less than 5% of the Fortune 500 Companies pass by using Spanish alternative text.

Read more: Websites

indian bpo let down by lack of language skills

MeritTrac, an Indian company specializing in skills assessment, has done research indicating that only 15 percent of applicants to business process outsourcing (BPO) jobs in that country have the requisite level of English skill. Meritrac also found that only about 15 percent of applicants have what the company considers a "neutral" accent suitable for the call center environment.

Meanwhile, India's National Index of Communication Skills estimates that 10 percent of applicants are fit, language-wise, for BPO jobs. Finally, a company named NetReflector recently conducted a poll finding that, for 29 percent of U.S. respondents, language was the primary problem in their interaction with overseas (largely Indian) call centers.

Read more: India

us troops to get bonus for learning languages

US soldiers who know a language other than English are to have their bonus payments from the military increased - in some cases by more than threefold. The US is desperately short of troops who speak the local language in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under the new offer, soldiers can earn as much as $12,000 (£6,400) extra a year for speaking a foreign language.

Read more: BBC

live interpreting through skype

Skype(TM), the global Internet communications company, Language Line Services, the world's leading provider of language services, and Voxeo, the leading provider of standards-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) platforms, announced today a joint solution that makes it easier than ever for businesses and individuals to communicate cost-effectively from English into more than 150 languages.

Using an innovative mix of Internet calling technology and world-class personal interpreter services, the revolutionary service gives Skype users the ability to talk instantly to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, regardless of language.

Read more: Skype

car rental firm launches innovative driver's license translation service

Alamo Rent A Car announced today that it has launched a new service for its customers in Japan planning vacations in the United States. The Alamo Japanese Driver's License Translation Service will provide customers with an official form with the customers' Japanese driver's license translated into English.

"The service eliminates the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining an international driving permit and also provides for a quicker rental experience, providing customers with more time to spend enjoying their vacations," said Jerry Mosiello, vice president of International Business Development for Alamo. "This new service is yet another example of Alamo removing the hassles from the car rental experience," Mosiello said.

Read more: Alamo

chinese version of wikipedia launched

China's leading web search company has launched an online, user-generated encyclopedia modelled on the US-based Wikipedia, which is blocked by Beijing. The new service from, Baidupedia, is heavily self-censored to avoid offending the Chinese government.

Wikipedia had become increasingly popular in China until blocked in 2005.

Read more: Wiki

chinese search engine baidu sees robust growth

Baidu, China's largest search engine, said its net profit totaled 35.2 million yuan (4.4 million U.S. dollars) in the first three months of this year, 13 times higher than the same period in 2005, Thursday's China Business News reports.

The profit was also an increase of 43.5 percent from the previous quarter, the report said, quoting Baidu's quarterly financial report, which was published on Tuesday. During the January-March period, Baidu's sales were up 18 percent to 135.6 million yuan.

Read more: China

portuguese - the language of brazil

Brazil, unlie the rest of South America speaks Portuguese. However, thanks to those first European settlers from Portugal back in the early sixteenth century, Portuguese is the official language of the country.

Businesses, schools and all media in Brazil speak Portuguese. Of course, just like other languages, there are variations of Portuguese, depending on what part of Brazil people reside in. In addition, while the Brazilian people can communicate easily with people in Portugal, there are some uncomfortable moments. Sometimes, slang terms and pronunciations of the language in the Brazilian culture do not quite mesh with the culture in Portugal.

Read more: The Language of Brazil
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:58 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

world cup 2006: phrase of the day - group of death

The group of death is used to refer to the hardest (or most difficult) group in a football tournament such as the World Cup or Champions League. This is so usually due to the number of strong teams in one group or the number of unknown quantities which may spring a surprise. Whenever draws are made for such groups all commentators and journalists are on the look out for the group of death.

word of the day: derogate

derogate \DER-uh-gayt\, intransitive verb:
1. To deviate from what is expected.
2. To take away; to detract; -- usually with 'from'.
transitive verb: 1. To disparage or belittle; to denigrate.

If someone wants to derogate from that and make a choice, then they are free to do it. -- Ciaran Fitzgerald, "Food champion'srecipe for success", Irish Times, November 13, 1998

Evidently, in Robbins's moral calculus, prostituting one's art in the name of the foremost mass murderer of modern times does not in the least derogate from one's idealism and courage. -- Terry Teachout, "Cradle of Lies", Commentary Magazine, February 2000

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:53 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Businesses in the South West learn French in four days!

Five Dorset based business people who aim to improve their international communications have taken part in an innovative pilot project to show that learning a language can be practical and fun. The four day intensive course to learn business French was organised by the Regional Language Network South West with the aim of taking “foreign�? out of language learning.

The language training exercise staged in both Bournemouth and Cherbourg was filmed throughout in “reality TV style�? by Poole and Bournemouth College media and film students as a major second year course project. The spin-off educational opportunity will result in a motivational, educational and fun 30 minute DVD. There will also be video footage and an interactive web site for use by the college, the Regional Language Network South West and the language training specialists who contributed their time to the event.RLN

why should the english learn a foreign language?

The British have never had much of a taste for learning foreign languages and as English becomes Europe's lingua franca, that stubbornness is starting to pay off. But if everyone else can speak English, what does that mean for our sense of identity?

Read more: BBC
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:15 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

business etiquette in the UK

In the UK, if in doubt of the correct protocol, err on the side of formality. Business dealings tend to be quite formal in the UK. Do not attempt to become too familiar with your associates and respect their privacy.

Although business culture is traditionally very hierarchical, team-work is important and team spirit is encouraged. In some areas, the class system is still evident with 'old boy's networks' continuing to operate in long-established finance houses or companies, although this old-fashioned elitist system is fast dying out.

Read more: UK

bulgarians push for "evro" spelling

The Bulgarian government will insist for a Cyrillic transliteration of the EURO, common European currency.

With the planned accession of the Balkan country, a third type of alphabet will join the Latin and Greek in the EU. When Sofia and Bucharest join the Union, its official languages will become 22. The problem with the EURO comes from the Bulgarian way of pronouncing the word as "evro", unlike the commonly voiced "euro" in other member states.

Read more: Evro
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:13 PM
Categories: Translation News

yahoo and telemundo merge spanish websites

Yahoo and Telemundo Network Group plan to merge their U.S. Spanish language Web sites to try to expand their reach into the growing Hispanic market and bolster their presence among advertisers, the companies said Wednesday.

The Yahoo en Espanol and Web sites will feature the Yahoo Telemundo branding but over time will be integrated into one Yahoo Telemundo Web site. The move comes as an increasing number of Internet companies and their advertisers are searching for ways to tap into the expanding U.S. Hispanic market.

Read more: Yahoo

internet provider eyes china, india and indonesia

Pacific Internet (PacNet) is seeking overseas acquisitions and partners as part of a plan to treble its revenues over the next five years, the chief executive officer said in a published report on Thursday.

The Nasdaq-listed PacNet recorded sales of 102.5 million US dollars last year and has operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia.

Read more: PacNet

world cup 2006: phrase of the day - my grandmother

Commentators, and anyone watching a football match, will use their grandmother to emphasise how bad a miss was. For example, "Rooney should be really annoyed he missed that clear chance to score - my grandmother could have scored that."

word of the day: turgid

turgid \TUR-jid\, adjective:
1. Swollen, bloated, puffed up; as, "a turgid limb."
2. Swelling in style or language; bombastic, pompous; as, "a turgid style of speaking."

The famous Faulkner style was more than many could put up with. Its marathon sentences, its peculiar words used peculiarly, its turgid incoherence and its thick viscosity repelled. -- Orville Prescott, "A Literary Personality", New York Times, July 7, 1962

Brown's novels are filled with the rigged episodes of melodrama and the turgid prose that passed for elegance among the literary circles in America before Irving and Hawthorne arrived on the scene. -- "The Battle of the Books", New York Times, July 10, 1988

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:35 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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