Friday, June 01, 2007

Etiquette in Germany

When in Rome do as the Romans and when in get the point. Here are some ways to avoid committing a faux pas while in Germany.

Shaking hands

Shaking hands is an important part of German culture. It is customary to shake someone's hand when you meet them for the first time, and at every subsequent meeting as well. At business meetings and some social meetings, it's expected that each participant shake everyone else's hand upon arriving and again when leaving.

Read more: Etiquette

Japanese companies embrace diversity

That Nissan even has a diversity officer may sound startling to those who are used to thinking of Japanese companies as dominated by men, and Japanese men at that. But the automaker has made visible progress on the diversity front under a management team that includes Carlos Ghosn and other French executives from Renault. Aside from bringing in foreign managers from overseas, it has increased the proportion of women in managerial ranks to 4 percent from 1.6 percent three years ago.

Read more: Nissan
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:51 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Creative & Cultural Skills issues Diversity and Equality statement

Creative & Cultural Skills issued a statement on diversity and equality. Tom Bewick, Chief Executive, Creative and Cultural Skills, said: “We aim to secure a commitment to practice diversity and equalities across the creative and cultural industries as the best means of extending opportunity and delivering commercial and organisational success.

"Our research shows that the workforce is 95% white, with little variation across the Nations and English regions, including London. There are also more men in the workforce, 61% compared with 54% across the UK and low numbers of disabled people in the workforce. Clearly identifying numbers of disabled people in the workforce is made difficult due to differences between Government statistics and industry evidence.

Read more: Diversity
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:49 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Communications 'Professionals' a Disgrace to Our Language

There's a website I visit on occasion called It's a collection of photos of signs, packaging, t-shirts and other things that all have in common the mangling of the English language. Most of the examples come from Asia (hence the less-than-politically correct domain name) -- like a send-off letter from a hotel, wishing the guest "A bong voyage" or a welcome sign outside a public garden that says "Trees and flowers await your love."

Read more: Ad Age
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:47 PM
Categories: Business Traveller

Translation device aims to help UK troops

A translation device worn like a wristwatch has been designed by a student from Baghdad to help British soldiers overcome language barriers in potentially life-threatening situations in Iraq.

Voice recognition-based technology would aid troops and civilians in high-risk and "hot zone" situations by translating buzz phrases such as "Don't shoot", "Stay back" and "Help will be here soon".

Read more: Device
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:43 PM
Categories: Translation News

Word of the Day: omnipresent

omnipresent \om-nuh-PREZ-uhnt\, adjective:
Present in all places at the same time; ubiquitous.

It was rather that myth was omnipresent; the whole people thought in this way and were long confirmed in their belief. -- Jacob Burckhardt, The Greeks and Greek Civilization

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:42 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cultural stress linked to suicide

Asian-American women demonstrate a high rate of suicide when compared with women of other ethnicities, California State-Fullerton researcher Eliza Noh found in a recent empirical study.

Noh and Stanford mental health professionals Alejandro Martinez, the director of Counciling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Rona Hu, director of the Acute Inpatient Unit at Stanford Hospital, told The Daily that parental pressure, cultural differences between the United States and Asian countries and avoidance of mental health issues in Asian-American families can contribute to the prevalence of mental health problems.

Read more: Suicide
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:23 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Word of the Day: disconsolate

disconsolate \dis-KON-suh-lut\, adjective:
1. Being beyond consolation; deeply dejected and dispirited; hopelessly sad; filled with grief; as, "a bereaved and disconsolate parent."
2. Inspiring dejection; saddening; cheerless; as, "the disconsolate darkness of the winter nights."

Midway through the course he came to the table with the disconsolate expression of a basketball coach whose team had just been trounced. -- Bryan Miller, "Odd Couples Can Make Magic", New York Times, March 2, 1994

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:49 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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