Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Culturally Customized Web Site

It’s one thing to develop a website in your own country. But what if you want to expand to countries in Europe or Asia or South America? What if you’re an international marketing VP for a multi-national company? What if you’re an Aussie wanting to tap into the US market? How do you design a website that fits the culture so effectively that visitors will feel right at home -- to the degree that they will purchase from you? Until now the localization guides have been helpful, but not specific enough, and not really grounded in sound cross-cultural theory.

The Culturally Customized Web Site is written by a pair of marketing professors in US universities who specialize in cross-cultural marketing.

Read more: Review

Cultural diversity : a major step towards the adoption of a UNESCO Convention

The negotiation of a draft UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity was concluded successfully in Paris on June 3 2005. The third negotiating session adopted a revised draft Convention and recommended to the next UNESCO General Conference (October 2005) to adopt it. As per the mandate given by the Council in November 2004, the European Commission negotiated on behalf of the European Community.

The revised draft Convention legitimises cultural policies and promotes international cooperation. It reaffirms the respect of international obligations whilst obliging Parties to take into account cultural diversity objectives when applying and interpreting all their international obligations, and when negotiating new international commitments. This is a first in international law.

Read more: UNESCO
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:11 AM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

uk workers miserable

Workers in the Britain are among the most dissatisfied employees in Europe, a new survey has shown.

The poll of 14,000 people by employment group Kelly Services found that just 47% were happy in their job. This compared with 68% of Scandinavian workers, 61% in France and more than 50% in Italy, Switzerland, Russia and Germany.

Read more: UK
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:07 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

here comes the sun

The British love affair with sunnier climes shows no signs of abating. More than 190,000 people left British shores in 2003 in search of bigger houses, fun in the sun and cheap wine.

But once you have found your Sydney beachhouse, tumbledown Tuscan retreat or whitewashed Greek villa, the real planning begins.

Expatriates wanting a new life abroad take more than their battered suitcases; they also take their financial baggage. The move abroad can be strewn with pitfalls for the financially unwary. Before you leave British shores, there are many mundane matters to be ticked off the must-do list. Visas, tax, pensions, mortgages and money transfers must all be taken into account.

Read more: Expats
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:02 AM
Categories: Expatriate

epals launches chinese learning portal

ePALS Classroom Exchange, the Internet's largest collaborative classroom network, will launch a Chinese-English Language and Learning Portal in September enabling its 103,000 global classrooms to connect with Chinese schools in a teacher-supervised online environment. Initially, the focus will be on matching 60,000 English-speaking primary and secondary / K-12 schools in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Ireland with schools in China, enabling Chinese teachers and students to practice English language skills while English-speaking schools learn Chinese history, culture and language.

The company will integrate basic Chinese and English language learning tools into the portal as well as the company's proprietary school-safe, multi-lingual email and eMentoring tools to power the collaboration between classrooms.

Read more: ePALS
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:57 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

nhs bridging language barrier

A new approach is being taken to help communication problems between doctors and non-English speaking patients.

Durham and Chester-le-Street PCT has set up arrangements for an interpreting service for people who speak little or no English. NHS organisations are obliged to provide interpreters for patients and clients whose first language is not English.

The new service is being commissioned by Newcastle Interpreting Service, which is operated by Newcastle PCT. It provides more than 40 languages and dialects to meet the needs of residents, asylum seekers and refugees. The service for each PCT will be managed by the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Read more: NHS
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:54 AM
Categories: Translation News

sify to present at global internet summit

Sify Limited, India's premier Internet, network and e-Commerce Services Company, will present at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit being held June 14-16, 2005 at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, California.

President and Chief Operating Officer, George Zacharias, will present during the "International Markets -- Local Power & Dominance of Non-U.S. Opportunities" panel on Thursday, June 16, 2005 from 7:00-8:40 a.m. Pacific Time.

Read more: Sify

word of the day: betimes

betimes \bih-TYMZ\, adverb:
1. Early; in good time; before it is late.
2. At times; on occasion.
3. [Archaic] Soon; in a short time.

But it takes a piece of political theatre, like yesterday's release of the Iraq dossier, to get us out of bed betimes. --Andrew Marr, "I couldn't have a lie-in because of the Iraq dossier," Daily Telegraph, September 25, 2002

It looks like it's trying to clear this morning, though waves of drizzle betimes pass through. --Will Cook, "Macklin's Cross," Irish America, February 1, 2004

Posted by Neil Payne at 10:45 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, June 06, 2005

business card etiquette

Regular users of the site will be familiar with our online cross cultural quizzes - the latest addition tests your knowledge on business card etiquette abroad.

Take the quiz: Business Card Etiquette

doing business in columbia

Doing business abroad can throw up some interesting challenges to the travelling business person. Appreciating and understanding the cross cultural differences in business and working practices can go a long way in maximising your potential on the international stage. As part of Kwintessential's efforts to provide simple and easily digestible information for today's globe trotter we are developing a 'doing business abroad' page offering simple tips - our latest addition covers the country of Columbia.

Read more: Doing Business in Columbia

star wars, kung fu hustle and the chinese film fan

Star Wars: Episode III - "The Revenge of Sith" has been in Chinese cinemas for over a week, but it has failed to create the box office frenzy it did in the United States and other major markets. Why? It appears the reason in cultural...

Although the Star Wars series features the universal theme of conflict between good and evil, the message is conveyed through fictitious figures in a virtual world created by modern digital technology. Chinese film consumers seem to prefer stories that happen in the 'real' world.

Read more: China
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:47 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

long hours and stress preventing acquisition of new skills

There is huge demand for learning new skills among the British workforce, but a range of obstacles - topped by overwork and stress - prevent many employees from taking up training.

According to a poll of 1,000 people published by the TUC today, just under one in three (29%) said they don't have time for training because they have to look after children or have other caring responsibilities.

The same proportion (29%) said their current job has such long hours or is so stressful that they do not have the time or energy to take up a course.

Read more: Skills
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:41 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

taxman ends loophole for expats

The Inland Revenue has closed a loophole that has allowed thousands of wealthy Britons to avoid paying capital gains tax.

The measure is part of Chancellor Gordon Brown's crackdown on tax avoidance and targets many City investors who have achieved 'temporary non-resident' status by living in certain European countries.

Treasury officials hope that their action, contained in the small print of the new Finance Bill, will be worth up to £100 million for the Revenue. 'It's a very clear signal that if you make a capital gain in this country, you're going to have to pay tax on it,' said John Whiting, a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Read more: Tax
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:37 AM
Categories: Expatriate

language speakers needed to sustain india's offshoring industry

It’s a strange case of outsourcers outsourcing their business. Soon, one would witness a surge of foreign language-speaking professionals relocating to India to meet the growing demand for foreign language-sensitive work being offered by the Indian offshoring industry such as IT, ITES and BPO service companies.

The demand is not small. According to a latest study by Evalueserve, a leading global knowledge services firm, there will be a demand of over 1,60,000 foreign language-sensitive work professionals from the Indian IT, ITES and BPO by 2010. This trend of reverse brain gain has already started with companies such as Evalueserve, Progeon, Tecnovate and EXL recruiting many foreign professionals, the study said.

Read more: Language

Worldwide Globalization Summit

Trados Inc., the world leader in global information solutions, hosted the first Worldwide Globalization Summit last month in France. The exclusive, invitation-only event drew together globalization executives from some of the best-known international companies to collaborate on solving difficult and persistent global business issues, and to share best practices with their peers.

Executives from companies such as SAP, Epson, VERITAS, Business Objects, Canada NewsWire Group, FedEx, Credit Suisse, identified their top five most important global business issues, in order of importance:
(1) reducing time needed to launch products and campaigns in world markets;
(2) increasing customer satisfaction in world markets;
(3) reducing globalization costs;
(4) expanding into new markets; and
(5) controlling multinational brands.

Read more: Trados

paypal launches spanish site

PayPal, a leading online payment solution, today announced the launch of a new PayPal site in Spain, designed for Spanish users. The new site ( is written in Spanish, offers information customized for Spanish PayPal account holders, and enables payments in Euros, the common currency in Spain.

"The Spanish eBay community has been requesting a local PayPal site for some time now," said Mathias Entenmann, vice president of PayPal's international business. "Through the launch of PayPal Spain, we are delivering on this request and further enabling PayPal users in Spain to participate in global ecommerce."

Read more: Paypal

word of the day: countenance

countenance \KOWN-tuh-nuhn(t)s\, noun:
1. Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect.
2. The face; the features.
3. An approving or encouraging look or expression.
4. Favor, good will, support; encouragement.
5. [Obsolete] Bearing; demeanor.

transitive verb:
1. To approve; to support; to encourage.
2. To tolerate or allow.

"He was not so handsome as his brother," wrote Mrs Papendiek of the Prince as he approached manhood, "but his countenance was of a sweetness and intelligence quite irresistible." --Saul David, Prince of Pleasure

For Henry's sake she kept up appearances, had her hair done, applied discreet colours to her face, yet when she looked in the mirror, lipstick in hand, she saw a drained countenance, its expression wary, as if at any minute it might undergo disintegration, as if there were no longer any cells to separate the skin from the bone. --Anita Brookner, Visitors

Posted by Neil Payne at 9:20 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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