Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Video-cast: Who needs Intercultural Awareness?

Kwintessential are now proud to announce the beginning of a new video-cast service. The monthly presentations will touch on all topics that fall within Kwintessential's remit including intercultural training, translation, interpreting, multilingual website design and more.

Our first installment is entitled, "Who needs Intercultural Awareness?" and can be watched below:

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:00 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Cultural Differences Influence Government Policy On Electric Vehicle Innovation

Cultural differences between countries run right to the heart of government, thereby influencing technological innovation. This is reported in a comparative study by David Calef and Robert Goble published recently in the journal Policy Sciences(1). The authors outline efforts taken throughout the 1990s by both the US and French governments to adopt legislation fostering technological innovation to improve urban air quality by promoting clean vehicles, specifically electric vehicles (EVs). The study highlights the differences in approach and policy-making style by both governments and how this might have affected the final outcome.

Read more: Culture
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:54 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Web Certain Launches Multilingual SEO Forum

Multilingual SEO Forums ( is a new knowledge centre for international web marketers to share tips and discuss issues related to multilingual SEO campaigns.

Created by Web Certain, an agency that specialises in multinational, multilingual search engine optimisation, the Forums address the need for a place to collate information about the unique issues that marketers face when dealing with campaigns across multiple languages and in different markets.

Read more: Forum
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:47 PM
Categories: Press Releases

How Google translates without understanding

Here's a fascinating essay/interview about language translation this morning from Bill Softky, chief algorithmist at an Internet advertising startup. The interview is with Google's Franz Och. Among the questions addressed:

How did Google manage to beat mighty IBM in this language-translation contest conducted by NIST?
How does Google manage such a feat when its engineers neither speak nor understand the languages being translated?
Why is Google's best still not good enough? ... Or is it?

Read more: Google
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:43 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

Word of the Day: vitiate

vitiate \VISH-ee-ayt\, transitive verb:
1. To make faulty or imperfect; to render defective; to impair; as, "exaggeration vitiates a style of writing."
2. To corrupt morally; to debase.
3. To render ineffective; as, "fraud vitiates a contract."

MacNelly is one of the few contemporary political cartoonists who can use humor to accentuate, not vitiate, his points. -- Richard E. Marschall, "The Century In Political Cartoons", Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 1999

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:34 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, May 14, 2007

How Burton made ethnic cleansing fashionable

A T-shirt adorned with a slogan used by Russian right-wing groups to promote ethnic cleansing has been sold in one of Britain’s largest menswear stores.

Burton withdrew the T-shirt from all its stores this week when the true translation of the Cyrillic writing was pointed out. The expression translates as: “We will cleanse Russia of all non-Russians!�? The company bought 6,000 of the Girlaun print crew-neck T-shirts from a supplier last week before distributing them to stores throughout Britain. The company said that it thought the slogan meant “Be proud of Russia�?.

Read more: Burton

Test your international business etiquette

You may consider yourself quite the sophisticate when it comes to business etiquette, but how are your international business manners?

Would you know how to make the best impression on your French host, your Chinese client, your Saudi Arabian business associate? Etiquette experts say too many Americans go abroad without doing any homework on the country, culture or customs of the people they're visiting. "They assume that everybody speaks English and that the whole world is like the United States," said Cindy Hazelton, a freelance French translator and interpreter.

Read more: Test
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:24 PM
Categories: Business Traveller

How to close a business deal on the fairway

Sheridan Institute and Kaneff have teed-up a new program to help businesspeople take the boardroom onto the fairway. The

Sheridan/Kaneff Golf for Business Program is a new set of training courses that will teach businesspeople the right way to do business on the golf course.

"This is a really unique program - it's a bit like Dr. Phil meets Tiger Woods meets Donald Trump," said Sylvia Teichmeister, Dean, Sheridan's School of Continuing Education. "Golf can play a big role in getting business done and it's important to know how to conduct yourself when you're playing a round. No matter your skill level, these courses will give business golfers the know-how and etiquette to successfully conduct business on the course - and we'll even help you with your swing."

Read more: Golf

New Expat Forum Launched - the UK based Internet ventures group - has today launched a new on-line community and networking platform for Expats at The Expat Forum. The Expat Forum is structured as two key parts; content and community. The content aspect of the site provides hundreds of informative guides for Expats including local property buying guides and country specific moving guides. The community aspect of the site is focused on its members networking with each other to provide help and advice from people that have experience in moving away from their country of origin.

Read more: Forum
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:18 PM
Categories: Expatriate, Press Releases

Poles behind bars talking your language

Polish workers, already a significant force in Britain’s plumbing industry, are starting to supplant Antipodeans as one the main sources of bar staff. Spirit Group, one of Britain’s biggest pub operators with more than 1,000 hostelries and 22,000 employees, is taking on so many Poles that it has started to print training manuals in Polish.

Read more: Poles
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:16 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Emoticons: Intercultural Differences

Sadness or confusion? If you are from the U.S. or another western country then this emoticon, :-(, probably means you are blue. But what if you're Asian? Well, in Japan it seems, they view the textual representation of a face a little differently. We shouldn't use the example of what happens in Nihon to generalize across Asia, but those of you based out here know that there ARE similarities in cultural norms in Northeast Asian/Confucian nations. Certainly in Taiwan, folks share a bit with the Japanese.

So what about this emoticon thing? It seems Masaki Yuki, a scientist at Hokkaido University, found that "culture is a huge factor in determining whether we look someone in the eye or the [mouth] to interpret facial expressions."

Read more: Emoticon
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:13 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Translation market worth $13 billion

Worldwide, the market for translation and interpretation services is about $13 billion, according to the American Translators Association. This specialized profession is growing about 15% a year, driven by national security requirements; hospitals and courts, and international commerce, spokesman Kevin Hendzel said.

"It's a very smart move by businesses to translate their materials," he said. "If you spend, say, $1,000 or $2,000 to have your menu and signage translated professionally, then all of a sudden you're going to be attracting a population that you weren't attracting before, and that can translate into many, many thousands of dollars in increased revenue."

Read more: Translation
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:11 PM
Categories: Translation News

Word of the day: internecine

internecine \in-tuhr-NES-een; -NEE-syn; -NEE-sin\, adjective:
1. Of or relating to conflict within a nation, an organization, or a group
2. Mutually destructive; involving or accompanied by mutual slaughter.
3. Deadly; destructive; marked by slaughter.

For example:
It was directed locally and regionally by mid-level party bosses . . . who were likely to be engaged in internecine feuding. -- Michael H. Kater, The Twisted Muse

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:37 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Cross Cultural Articles  Cross Cultural Communication  Cross Cultural Training
Foreign Language Tuition   Translation  Translation Articles