crossculturalcommunication

Friday, May 13, 2005

superheroes of tomorrow will be cross cultural

Dressed in a flowing dhoti, or a sarong, pointy shoes and a familiar red mask, he will swing between three-wheeled motor rickshaws and scooters down crowded Indian streets to take on the evil Rakshasa, or demon.

Creators of India's Spider-Man, who is called Pavitr Prabhakar, hope he will soon be as well-loved as the original one, Peter Parker. Gotham Entertainment Group (GEG), based in Bangalore and New York, has launched four issues of the comic in the United States and will introduce the first of the four-part series in India next month, in a deal with Marvel Enterprises Inc.

"The culture of India and Asia is increasingly finding an audience in the West," said Gotham Chopra, president of Gotham Studios Asia and son of feel-good guru Deepak Chopra. "The superheroes of tomorrow will be cross-cultural."

Read more: India

Increasing the Employment and Business Growth of Ethnic Minority and Faith Groups

A new report has outlined ten ways to increase ethnic minority people's employment prospects.

The National Employment Panel (NEP) report, Increasing the Employment and Business Growth of Ethnic Minority and Faith Groups, Enterprising People, Enterprising Places makes 10 main recommendations to improve ethnic minority people's employment rates, including:
*Better targeting of resources to five cities, where two-thirds of ethnic minorities live - London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, and Leeds/Bradford.
*An integrated, employer-led employment and skills framework in each of the five cities.
*Outreach support focused on those people of minority ethnic origin currently excluded from the labour market.

Read more: BME

language tensions put on ice in belgium

After a period of great tension, Belgium’s Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is expected to put one of his country’s most divisive issues on ice until 2007.

On Thursday, after a week of speculation about whether Verhofstadt’s government would fall, the Belgian media generally agreed that the PM would convince parliament it’s time to stop talking about Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde.

Despite two weeks of intense, behind-closed-doors discussions between the Flemish and francophone parties, no consensus has been reached on the division of the electoral district.

Read more: Beglium
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:49 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

poor translation sparks world currency panic

The poor translation of a Chinese reporter's story on the impact of a possible appreciation of the Chinese currency ended up roiling the world's trillion-dollar-a day foreign-exchange market and sparking panic emails and phone calls among currency traders and fund managers from Singapore to Stockholm as the U.S. dollar tumbled.

Read more: Translation
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:46 AM
Categories: Translation News

website localization - case study of Match.com

Companies that race to launch international websites without considering local needs run the risk of some serious brand dilution.

"Love is complicated. Match.com is simple" was the slogan used by the online dating service Match.com so successfully in the USA. However, when the company decided to go global with the site they found that slogans in one culture don't always travel well.

Match.com set about establishing local websites in 32 countries from Norway to China. It soon became clear that the US pitch was not effective elsewhere. "We learned that it was not just about taking the copy off our English site and translating it," says Match.com Chief Operating Officer Joe Cohen, who oversees the company's international operations and expansion efforts. He now understands that localizing a website is very different from translating it.

"I'm at the point where I tell translators to forget the copy on the U.S. site," says Cohen. "I say, Let's talk about the meaning and the semantic message." Since that initial overseas push, Match.com has worked to strengthen ties with local marketing partners in the 35 countries where it now has local language sites in order to more effectively reach customers in those areas.

"Developing relationships with marketing people on the ground in each region is incredibly important," says Cohen. "We are trying to develop a relationship with our customers so that they can develop a relationship with someone else. And there is so much nuance in that message that has to come across. It's an incredible challenge." The semantics are often subtle. The primary message on several international sites is not "Love is complicated" but "Millions of possibilities." In India, the company adds to that message the tagline: "For marriage and friendship."

Read more: Match.com

china e-commerce in golden period

The e-commerce business in China has entered a golden period, with increasing customer awareness and use spurred by service providers' promotions, industrial executives have said.

Song Ling, president of China E-commerce Association, said growth of the online trading business has increased by an average of 40 per cent over the past three years. Song is also optimistic for the future, predicting an average annual growth rate of 50 per cent over the coming three years.

The transaction volume of online trading reached 21.86 billion yuan (US$2.64 billion) last year.

Read more: China

word of the day: triskaidekaphobia

triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:
A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.

Thirteen people, pledged to eliminate triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, today tried to reassure American sufferers by renting a 13 ft plot of land in Brooklyn for 13 cents . . . a month. --Daily Telegraph, January 14, 1967

Posted by Neil Payne at 9:23 AM
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