Tuesday, August 02, 2005

language and culture skills critical for global success

The State Department has estimated that U.S. firms lose $50 billion in potential sales annually because of lack of translation. Some companies that didn't export as recently as 10 years ago now derive 40 percent of their revenues from international sales. If your company exports or is considering exporting, a peek at why companies fail may help you avoid some common mistakes.

Two of the most common mistakes include 1) poor communication with partners and clients and 2) not understanding the local market and culture. To be successful in your venture, you can greatly increase your odds of exporting success by working with a professional translation company that will guide you away from these mistakes.

Read more: Internationalization

canada - good for business but not for culture

Canada has elbowed its way in front of Britain and the United States as one of the world's best places to invest and live, according to a survey of 25 countries' brand reputations released yesterday.

But despite its top marks over all, the country didn't fare well in the culture category. Indeed, the survey showed that popular icons, such as Sarah McLachlan, or even the game of hockey, are doing little to bolster people's perceptions of Canada's culture and heritage.

Read more: Canada
Posted by Neil Payne at 6:09 PM
Categories: Business Traveller, Expatriate

tokyo most expensive city

Tokyo remains the world’s most expensive city while Asuncion in Paraguay is the cheapest, a new report has revealed.

Osaka has become the second most expensive city to live in, according to the latest cost of living survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. London has moved down one position in the rankings to take third place, followed by Moscow in fourth and Seoul in fifth.

Read more: Tokyo
Posted by Neil Payne at 5:47 PM
Categories: Expatriate

BBC offers its first language podcast in Persian

The BBC Persian entertainment programme Rooze Haftom is the first BBC language programme to be available to audiences via a podcast.

The podcast provides listeners with the flexibility to listen to a 15-minute highlight how and when they want to at Bolour, presenter of Rooze Haftom, said: "It's fantastic that listeners can stay across our arts and entertainment programme at their own leisure. "People are leading busier lives and with diverse media choices it's essential to give them the opportunity to tailor how they listen."

Read more: Persian
Posted by Neil Payne at 5:38 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

kurdish classes fail in turkey

Permission was only give for private Kurdish language courses to open in 2004, one of the reforms put in place by the Turkish government to meet the requirements of membership of the European Union. However, high costs and waning interest meant that the courses did not attract students in sufficient numbers to make them viable.

Read more: Kurdish
Posted by Neil Payne at 5:34 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

U.S. drugstore translates medicine bottles

Prescription bottle labels, which include instructions for taking the medicine, can now be printed in 11 different languages at Rite Aid drugstores nationwide. Non-English speaking Rite Aid patients will no longer have to depend on translation from a friend or relative to make sure they are taking their prescriptions correctly.

Rite Aid pharmacists can now provide labels in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Polish, Russian or Portuguese. "Both translation difficulties and not being able to see the type clearly can interfere with patients' ability to take their prescriptions correctly," said Phil Keough, senior vice president of pharmacy operations. "Now our pharmacists can provide all of our patients the tools they need to correctly follow their medication therapy."

Read more: Translation

internet use in india

Internet usage has evolved more in 'depth' than in 'spread in its decade long presence in India,' a study said.

Internet's impact and growth is being driven through 'increased usage' by existing users rather than assimilation of newer ones, the study conducted by JustConsult said. The study done among the Internet users in April 2005 sampled over 30,000 users. To estimate the penetration of Internet among urban Indians a telephone survey spread across ten cities with over 3,000 participants was also conducted.

The study finds that around 17.5 million urban Indians are using the Internet with certain consistency. With another 5.2 million using it sparingly, its upper limit is around 23 million urban users at present.

Read more: India
Posted by Neil Payne at 5:27 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: zeitgeist

Zeitgeist \TSYT-guyst; ZYT-guyst\, noun:
[Often capitalized] The spirit of the time; the general intellectual and moral state or temper characteristic of any period of time.

The best writers of that predawn era were originals who had the zeitgeist by the tail. --Gary Giddins, Visions of Jazz: The First Century

As most critics and all professors of cultural theory note, Madonna is nothing if not a skilled reader of the zeitgeist. --Techno 'rave' just the same old Madonna, Chicago Sun-Times, March 3, 1998

Posted by Neil Payne at 5:11 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, August 01, 2005

cross cultural training needed in premiership

When Hernan Crespo cries depression then the Premiership has to reach for the valium. His sadness goes some way to explain why South Americans, so decisive in other European leagues, have struggled to make the same impact in England.

Back at Stamford Bridge, the Argentine striker has revealed that he came close to quitting the game during his first spell at Chelsea. His reasons had little to do with football and plenty to do with the sense of isolation that he felt away from the club. To an astonishing degree he was left to his own devices in a country where he was unable to speak the language.

Read more: Premiership

diversity league table

The Black Solicitors Network and the Commission for Racial Equality have teamed up to launch the first league table ranking law firms by diversity.

The groundbreaking project, which has been endorsed by the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Law Society, will for the first time reveal the demographic composition of the top 100 City law firms in the UK. The results of the survey will be revealed by The Lawyer in early January 2006. Questionnaires have already been sent out to senior partners and HR departments, to be completed and returned by early October.

Read more: Diversity

police diversity manager quits

A police “Diversity Manager�? who once rapped with her Deputy Chief Constable has resigned from the force in a row over race relations, it emerged today.

Rukhsana Nugent performed a rap duet with Clive Wolfendale, Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police, to celebrate the launch of the force’s branch of the Black Police Association in March 2004. Mrs Nugent’s job was to promote racial diversity within the force but she claimed that senior officers did not give her the necessary support.

Read more: Diversity

Expat investor confidence cools

Investors living outside their country of origin have become less optimistic about market prospects, worried about high oil prices and sluggish growth, according to a poll in June and July published on Monday.
A survey of about 200 expatriate investors showed that 25 percent of them expect markets to be higher in a year's time, down from 53 percent in October last year, online broker Internaxx said.
Read more: Expat
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:25 PM
Categories: Expatriate

u.s. rush to learn chinese

China is casting such a huge shadow on the United States that many Americans are scrambling to learn the Chinese language in a bid to retain their competitive edge.

"Interest in learning Chinese among American youth and their parents has grown dramatically in the past five years," said Vivien Stewart, vice president at the Asia Society, a US group trying to bridge the gap between Americans and the people of Asia and the Pacific. China's dramatic rise to near superpower status and its telling effects politically, economically and culturally are driving the interest to learn the language, experts say.

Read more: Chinese

european award for languages

In news that must be encouraging for a country that has just been awarded the 2012 Olympics with the attendant influx of visitors, 13 different initiatives across the UK have won the European Award for Languages.

The annual prize honors projects that promote the study of language. Recipients of the award, also known as the European Label, are selected on the criteria of excellence, innovation and the ability to be replicated in other contexts and languages. More than 30 languages are represented by this year’s winning projects. Many of them are based on strong partnerships across sectors and communities and all highlight the positive impact of language learning.

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The event takes place on the European Day of Languages, September 26th. Renowned television news presenter Sir Trevor McDonald will be on hand to congratulate the winners.

Read more: Languages

china's google takes its name from a 900-year-old poem but its ambitions are ultramodern - to become the Chinese-language equivalent of internet search giant Google Inc.

Little known abroad, 5-year-old says it already is the world's sixth most-visited internet site, thanks to a strong following from China's 100 million-plus web surfers. Now the startup founded by two Chinese veterans of American tech firms is preparing to follow Google's example with an initial public offering in the United States, hoping to raise $45m.

Read more: Baidu
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:12 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: circumlocution

circumlocution \sir-kuhm-loh-KYOO-shuhn\, noun:
The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language.

Dickens gave us the classic picture of official heartlessness: the government Circumlocution Office, burial ground of hope in "Little Dorrit." --"'Balance of Hardships,'" New York Times, September 28, 1999

In a delightful circumlocution, the Fed chairman said that "investors are probably revisiting expectations of domestic earnings growth". --"US exuberance is proven 'irrational,'" Irish Times, October 31, 1997

Posted by Neil Payne at 1:01 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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