crossculturalcommunication

Friday, August 19, 2005

Diplomats to study Muslim culture

Canadian diplomats will hit the books to learn about Muslim civilization, "not just contemporary politics," says Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew. Pettigrew described a new diplomatic course about all things Muslim as part of a federal initiative to better understand Arab culture and defend against negative cultural labels that have arisen since 9-11.

"Religion is not the cause of extremism," he said yesterday, speaking to the National Council of Canada-Arab Relations in Edmonton. Pettigrew quoted teachings of tolerance from the Qur'an and spoke of reaching out to Muslim communities through educational and economic development initiatives.

"Societies where governments are unable to create gainful employment, (to) allow freedom of expression or (to) provide equality of opportunity ... are societies that create the dismal mix of conditions that incubate violence," he said.

Read more: Canada

Travel Locator Service Enables Companies to Stay Connected to Employees in Crisis

When crisis strikes while an employee is traveling on business, an employer's first concern is how to reach someone whose health and safety may be in jeopardy. Now, companies have a mechanism to find traveling executives during any global emergency or natural disaster with Travel Locator Service, a program offered with Medical Benefits Abroad for business travelers from CIGNA International Expatriate Benefits (CIEB). Travel Locator is a powerful Web-based tool that combines worldwide medical and security intelligence with illness and accident medical coverage designed expressly for international business travelers.

Read more: CIEB

SIPC Launches Spanish Language Web Site

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) announced today that it has unveiled a Spanish language version of its Web site.

SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: "The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is intent on doing whatever is necessary to communicate clearly and consistently with American investors. Spanish-speaking individuals are far and away the largest group of non-English-speaking investors. We are committed to making sure that investors understand what SIPC does and does not do for them."

Read more: SIPC

More Saudi Students Visiting UK for English Language Courses

Some 350 Saudi students are pursuing English language courses in London this summer, underlining a growing awareness among Saudis of the need to improve their English language skills.

Ahmed Menyawi, education promotion adviser at the British Council in Riyadh, told Arab News that the number of Saudi students this summer has increased compared to 276 students who went to London during the same period last year.

Read more: Saudi
Posted by Neil Payne at 4:10 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

language slump a worry for UK businesses

The number of teenagers who took French and German at A level fell to the lowest yet, despite more students entering for exams overall than ever before. Business leaders cautioned that trade would be harmed unless the decline were reversed, as Britain would be increasingly unable to win deals abroad.

Read more: Language

PassportMD Lets Travelers Take Translated Medical Chart Overseas

People traveling for pleasure or business internationally have long faced a disconcerting possibility: What if they became ill -- and their medical records, medications and medical history were in a language that was not understandable by their treating physician? These days, medical mistakes are common especially when a patient's past medical history is not available.

A Florida doctor has created the solution. PassportMD is a consumer-based medical record storage service that acquires, organizes, digitizes and now translates an individual's medical records and stores them on a business card- sized CD-ROM.

Read more: PassportMD

Three Lions anthem to be lost in translation for Germany fans

Not content with robbing England in any number of World Cup and European Championship matches and making off with our ball, the Germans are planning to steal our unofficial national football anthem. Three Lions, the song written and recorded by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel with Ian Broudie, of The Lightning Seeds, is to be recorded in German!

Read more: 3 Lions
Posted by Neil Payne at 4:05 PM
Categories: Translation News

Kenya Toursim Boards's Magic Kenya Chinese website

An interesting mix of both cross cultural business potential and website translation occurs in the case of Kenya Toursim Boards's Magic Kenya Chinese website. President Mwai Kibaki has underscored the need to use technology in marketing Kenya’s diversified tourism products across the globe.

While officially launching the Kenya Tourism Board's Magic Kenya Website for the Chinese market, the President said online tourism is now the world’s leading source of tourist information for more than 70% of travellers.

Noting that China has the world’s second largest population of online users, President Kibaki said the website in Chinese would go a long way in promoting tourism in Kenya. The Head of State stressed that the launching of the website in Chinese, is a sign of Kenya’s confidence in the potential of the Chinese market.

Read more: Kenya

word of the day: ephemeral

ephemeral \ih-FEM-er-ul\, adjective:
1. Beginning and ending in a day; existing only, or no longer than, a day; as, an ephemeral flower.
2. Short-lived; existing or continuing for a short time only.

In the 1980s, Lt. Col. Oliver North unwittingly proved that e-mail, so apparently ephemeral, is harder to expunge than paper documents comfortingly run through a shredder. --Amy Harmon, "E-Mail Is Treacherous. So Why Do We Keep Trusting It?" New York Times, March 26, 2000

In "Mississippi Mermaid," the planter character played by Belmondo, a fellow who has sought a safe, permanent love, is liberated when he chooses to follow the ephemeral. --Vincent Canby, "Truffaut's Clear-Eyed Quest." New York Times, September 14, 1975.

Posted by Neil Payne at 3:59 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Thursday, August 18, 2005

translating business cards

International business today necessitates people travel all over the world for meetings, negotiations and other business functions. Along the way one will meet numerous people that all have the potential to give recommendations, pass over work or provide some sort of benefit. The business card is the key to remaining in their sphere of contacts.

Increasingly business cards need to be translated into foreign languages to ensure the receiver understands who you are and who you work for. However, translating a business card is not a simple as literally translating one language into another. There are many linguistic and cultural considerations one must take into account. In order to assist those needing their business cards translated the following ten tips are presented:

Read more: Business Cards

Design in Business week declared a success

With more than 350 participants in a week-long series of events, Design in Business week has been proven a success.The week began with a seminar on Designing for business in Asia - Understanding hand and chopstick cultures.

Loo-See Wong presented a lively outline on how Asian economies are expanding at a rapid rate and that there is little doubt that Australian businesses regard this region as a priority. She explained that when designing for the Asian market, an understanding of the culture and how it influences business is critical for success.

Read more: Design

REC and Jobcentre plus launch diversity initiative

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and Jobcentre Plus have teamed up to introduce a Diversity Pledge and Toolkit which for the first time will help both private and public sector recruiters tackle discrimination. These products have been designed to enable all agencies better access to the right support to raise UK recruitment standards, based on the business need to recruit a diverse workforce.

Read more: Diversity

discrimination and diversity

This one-day seminar looks at discrimination at work and the potential benefits that a positive approach to diversity can bring your organisation.

Over the course of the day you will be given a thorough grounding in the principles underlying the anti-discrimination legislation, but will then step beyond legal requirements and look at what leading organisations are doing to promote a diverse workforce – and why they think that is important.

For more information visit Diversity

Saudi Company to Set Up Universities

In a significant first, a group of Saudi investors plan to establish a joint stock company with a capital of SR2 billion ($533 million) in order to set up advanced private universities and research centers.

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Awaji, who runs a company specialized in organizing conferences in Riyadh, said the company aims at producing highly qualified graduates, matching with those of international universities.

The project will also cater to the needs of the Kingdom’s over six million expatriate community, as it will provide their children admission to its universities and research centers.

Read more: Saudi
Posted by Neil Payne at 3:25 PM
Categories: Expatriate

Koreas Cooperate to Unify the Korean Language

The two Koreas will work together to compile the "Large Korean Dictionary" that consolidates the different usage of language across the border.

Nongovernmental delegates from both Koreas gathered Tuesday and shared the need to push ahead with the plan, noting that language is characteristic of the spirit of the nation. The Large Korean Dictionary is being hailed as a groundwork for eventually reunifying the South and North and moving toward a single national language.

Read more: Korean
Posted by Neil Payne at 3:24 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Language lecturers' jobs at risk as student numbers decline

One of the country's leading universities is planning to lay off language lecturers in the wake of the growing crisis in the take-up of modern languages at A-level and in higher education.

Glasgow University, a member of the elite 18-strong Russell Group of universities - which represents the country's top research institutions - is offering voluntary severance terms to its language teaching staff.They have been told that - as a result of plans to tackle a £10m debt - the subject is being considered a 'risk' area of "low priority".

Read more: Glasgow
Posted by Neil Payne at 3:22 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

English signs in Beijing "lost in translation"

Shelly Kraicer, a Canadian who works in Beijing as a film critic, has found many funny but mistranslated signs throughout the Chinese capital, and urges improvement to save the city's face.

On a recent subway ride, he noticed a grammatically incorrect sentence printed on all the gripes in his compartment -- "For is your convenient travel, please go by subway." It doesn't take much effort to find similar ridiculous signs in Beijing's shopping centers, hotels, parks, buses, subway, and even the airport. Hotels misuse 'scatter' for 'evacuate' in their emergency information signs. Tobacco shop billboards say they sell 'smoke,' instead of cigarettes.

"There has been great improvement since Beijing put into practice the use of English signs," said Mr. Kraicer, who began to work in Beijing three years ago. "But careless signs may just makethings worse."

Read more: Beijing
Posted by Neil Payne at 3:21 PM
Categories: Translation News

word of the day: parley

parley \PAR-lee\, noun:
A conference or discussion, especially with an enemy, as with regard to a truce or other matters.

The government recognized his knack for parleying with tribes, and it sent him all over the West. --Geoffrey O'Gara, What You See in Clear Water

Whether the Indians came out to parley or, seeing that the fort was about to fall, came out to surrender is unclear. --Willard Sterne Randall, George Washington: A Life

Posted by Neil Payne at 3:05 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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