Wednesday, May 24, 2006

expat numbers on the up

Multinational companies are significantly increasing the number of international assignments they offer their staff, but the effectiveness of their expatriate policies varies.

Some 44 per cent of multinational companies report an increase in the number of international assignments to and from locations other than the headquarters over the past two years, according to the annual International Assignments Survey carried out by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Read more: Expats

best english websites of korean firms

POSCO, Korea's steel giant, and the Samsung Group, the nation's top conglomerate, were evaluated as operating the best English-language Web sites among hundreds of companies and chaebol here.

According to a month-long survey by the Korea Website Institute (KWI), conducted at the request of The Korea Times, POSCO's English-language Web site garnered 84.57 points on a 100-point scale for the highest spot among 239 companies.

Read more: Korea
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:54 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

Guizhou Faces Foreign Language Tour Guide Shortage

Southwest China's Guizhou Province faces travel promotion problems because of a lack of trained foreign language speaking tour guides. According to Yang Shengming, director of the Guizhou Provincial Tourism Bureau, the province has a total of 3700 tour guides, but only 7.53% of them can speak a foreign language.

Read more: China

New Version of Text Translation tool

Babylon Ltd., the leading provider of single-click translation and dictionary software, today announced the release of the latest version of its software, further strengthening its market presence.

The new version introduces many new features, including text translation, encyclopedias and much more all in a single click. The latest version continues Babylon's strategy to constantly add valuable tools and content to its Babylon software, in order to offer its users more value for their money.

Read more: Babylon

word of the day: torpid

torpid \TOR-pid\, adjective:
1. Having lost motion or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; benumbed.
2. Dormant; hibernating or estivating.
3. Dull; sluggish; apathetic.

Canary Islanders are citizens of Spain, but geography asserts itself from time to time, as a reminder that this land will always be Africa's: the trade winds get interrupted by strong gusts from the east that bring hot dust and sometimes even torpid, wind-buffeted locusts. -- Barbara Kingsolver, "Where the Map Stopped", New York Times, May 17, 1992

For more than twenty years--all my adult life--I have lived here: my great weight sunk, torpid in the heat, into this sagged chair on my rooftop patio. -- Peggy Payne, Sister India

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:49 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

how to make your website global

Got a website? Good start. But when dealing with global customers, you have to take a giant step further.

According to Internet World Stats, internet users who do not speak English now outnumber internet users who do. Constructing a successful global website-one that users can navigate effortlessly--is a must.

John Yunker, president of Escondido, California-based Byte Level Research, says language is only your first concern. "People often assume the most challenging aspect of web globalization is translation," he says, "but often it is such things as customer support, fulfillment and usability."

Read more: Websites

a culture of guns

"I have cannons, missiles, Kalashnikovs, anti-aircraft guns and hand grenades," said community leader Mohammed Naji, sitting cross-legged in his house in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. "This is a part of our culture, and a tribesman can give up everything except his gun."

For Yemenis, guns are not merely instruments of hunting, defence and attack, but symbols of status, power, manhood, responsibility, wealth – and celebration. Firing guns in the air is a traditional means of celebrating important social occasions, including weddings. On any given Friday, hundreds of men gather at Wadi Dhahr, a deep rocky canyon outside Sana'a, to celebrate the marriages of men in their community. Holding guns above their heads, they display them with pride, firing rounds in the air.

Read more: Yemen
Posted by Kwintessential at 7:00 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

webinar: Why Cultural Competency is Good for Business

Does your organization have a culture of diversity and inclusion? If not, you may be missing out on attracting and retaining high-potential diverse employees, as well as attracting new customers, said Howard Ross, president of Cook Ross, Inc., one of the US's leading diversity training and consulting companies.

Ross will discuss why diversity training and education benefits the bottom line and how an organization can practice daily cultural competence in its monthly web seminars in June. "Translating Cultural Competency Into Organizational Effectiveness," will be held Wed., June 7 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. and includes 0.15 CEU. Another seminar, "Making the Case for Cultural Competency," which is geared to health organizations, will be held Wed., June 7, at 2:00 p.m. Both are free.

Read more: Webinar

Diversity concern in adult skills

British Muslims are significantly less likely to pursue adult education than members of the other major faiths. Over two-thirds of adult Jews, Christians and Hindus are involved in some form of learning, from a formal course to the occasional session, compared with just over a half of Muslims, a fact that should be ringing government alarm bells, says Niace, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

Read more: NIACE
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:57 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

new book: global business etiquette

You're up for a new job and your prospective boss invites you to dinner. You're presented with a baked potato. If you tear off the foil, wad it into a ball, and set the ball on the tablecloth, the potato may be baked, but your goose is cooked. This, according to Lillian H. Chaney, professor of office management and an expert in business etiquette at the University of Memphis.

Read more: Chaney

Business Etiquette for Global Advancement

When is tea meant for dipping your fingers and belching a sign of pleasure and respect? Hands, to shake or not? And just how firmly? Should a man order for his female guest? What if she is his boss? For London executives and professionals, the answers depend on which side of the channel they have been educated, and will either propel or derail their careers.

International Business etiquette courses were introduced in London by Minding Manners last year and the growth in the seminars popularity has been tremendous,�? says Tamiko Zablith, Director of Minding Manners. The Polished Professional hands-on workshop is the only etiquette program designed for English businessmen and women looking to master the new codes of etiquette and decorum in today’s international arena.

Read more: Press Release

universities axing degrees in modern languages

University jobs are to go after the closure of courses in two subjects because too few students have enrolled for the new academic year.

Anglia Ruskin University is to axe degrees in modern languages and also politics with the loss of 20 staff by next summer. A university spokeswoman said modern languages and politics were no longer viable due to falling applications.

Read more: Universities

clooney trying to learn italian

Hollywood actor George Clooney is reportedly desperate to learn the Italian language and he spends most of his nights at home repeating useful phrases.

The actor admits he struggles to get his tongue around the language, and fears it will be years before he is proficient. He says, “It will take an eternity! But it’s embarrassing to live in a country where you don’t know the language.�?

Read more: Clooney
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:46 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

immigration and language learning

Being approved for a visa and various work and residency permits is often only one of the first steps an immigrant faces. When arriving in a new country and culture, the language barrier may rapidly become the most important problem to resolve.

US lawmakers this month have renewed a long-standing debate over whether or not to legislate English as America's official language.As in many other countries of the world, the debate in the US over whether English is endangered is not necessarily directed at the words we speak. Somewhat ironically, it is feelings against the contamination of native languages by English that stirs the debate in other countries, such as France.

Read more: Immigration

china international translation industry forum

The First Forum of China International Translation Industry will be held at Tongji University on May 28.

Sponsored by the Translators Association of China, the two-day forum will allow nearly 200 translation professionals and government officials from more than 20 countries and regions to discuss the competitiveness and internationalization of the Chinese translation industry. Meanwhile, an exhibition on the country's translation achievements will also be held at Shanghai Library this weekend.

Read more: Forum

world cup 2006: phrase of the day - legislate

Used to describe acts of football genius or pure flukes - "You can't legislate for a bounce like that; it simply caught the keeper by surprise." In essence its a term used to describe that fact that a team or individual can not be held responsible for something that is out of the ordinary.

word of the day: protean

protean \PRO-tee-un; pro-TEE-un\, adjective:
1. Displaying considerable variety or diversity.
2. Readily assuming different shapes or forms.

The [Broadway] musical was ceaselessly protean in these years, usually conventional but always developing convention, twisting it, replacing it. -- Ethan Mordden, Coming Up Roses

Roosevelt's performance in the civil rights meeting illustrated one of the central operating principles of his protean executive style, a style that transformed the presidency, and the nation: a willingness to delay decisions, change his mind, keep his options open, avoid commitments, or even deceive people in the relentless pursuit of noble objectives. -- William Doyle, Inside the Oval Office

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:25 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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