Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the mother of all cross-culturally insensitive restaurant names?

A new restaurant in India's financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country's small Jewish community.

'Hitler's Cross', which opened last week, serves up a wide range of continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries.

"We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people's minds," owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.

Read more: India

Costa del deluded expats

Their esteemed smugnesses have it all worked out. Handsome in tans and tennis whites, and based on a few summer holidays in Marbella, they have taken the decision to throw all their eggs into the expat basket and retire to the Costa del Sol.

A pensions industry survey this week found that a third of Britons want to move abroad when they stop working and, among those, the largest single group yearns to join the 200,000 of their compatriots already living in Spain.

Read more: Brits
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:34 PM
Categories: Expatriate

Etiquette training company launches new website

Sharon Hill, President of Sharon Hill International, launches new website, bringing good manners and proper etiquette to Internet users worldwide. On Hill's site, users will find etiquette tips, as well as where Sharon Hill International will be presenting next. For those who would like to book Hill for a training session, speaking engagement or interview, there is access to a brief video of Sharon in action, as well as a downloadable biography sheet.

Read more: Hill


In an ongoing effort to communicate in the preferred language of its customers, AT&T announced Arabic language outreach in the metro-Detroit community. The program builds on the company’s tradition of providing customer service in different languages to meet the needs of a growingly diverse client base.

Read more: At&T

Request for English as official language in Denmark

A number of prominent representatives for business life and education are now suggesting that Denmark is to be bilingual – with English at approximately the same level as Danish.

The request fits into the initiative that the Radical Left party (Det Radikale Venstre) has launched about making Denmark bilingual. This may for example include traffic signs, web sites and letters from the municipalities in both Danish and English. The authorities should to a greater extent be able to help with the daily and practical things in the English language just as the university degrees should be taken in English. Everything in order to attract international students and qualified manpower.

Read more: Denmark
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:29 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Gaelic school brings hope for future of language

Scotland's first Gaelic secondary school opened its doors to pupils yesterday in a move hailed as a significant step towards the preservation of the language. Glasgow Gaelic School – Sgoil Ghaidhlig Ghlaschu – the country's only dedicated Gaelic-speaking school, will cater for children aged from three to 18.

Read more: School
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:28 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

PROMT Translation Server on AOL Reference portal

Smart Link Corporation and PROMT - the leading providers of innovative multilingual technologies – announced that AOL has chosen ImTranslator powered by PROMT® Translation Server for AOL Reference portal . Unlike other translation services, the new AOL Translator distinguishes by not only unprecedented translation quality provided by the PROMT® Translation Server, but also advanced ImTranslator tools, such as multilingual Spell-checker, Virtual Keyboard, Russian language Decoder.

Read more: PROMT

word of the day: tete-a-tete

tete-a-tete \TAYT-uh-TAYT; TET-uh-TET\, adjective:
1. Private; confidential; familiar.

1. A private conversation between two people.
2. A short sofa intended to accommodate two persons.

Once you have a couple of offers in hand, ask the boss for a tete-a-tete. -- Michelle Cottle, "Seeking That Fair Day's Pay.", New York Times, January 24, 1999

George Adamski, a penny-ante guru already in the flying saucer business, lecturing on the subject and selling his own UFO photos, had his first tete-a-tete with a Venusian named Orthon, who explained by dumb show and telepathy that his saucer was powered by Earth's magnetism. -- Thomas M. Disch, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of

Posted by Kwintessential at 6:21 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, August 21, 2006

job vacancies for mandarin speaking spies

Britain's secret service has begun a drive to recruit a cadre of Mandarin-speaking spies to counter the growing Chinese influence in the oil-rich regions of central Asia and Africa.

Amid fears that Beijing is dispatching spies around the world to plunder western technological secrets, MI6 is advertising on its website for recruits who can speak Mandarin.

Read more: Mandarin?
Posted by Kwintessential at 6:02 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre offering Free Cultural Awareness Seminar

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is offering international organisers of events coming to the Centre a training day on 'cultural sensitivity and protocol'.

“We're ideally placed to offer this as Malaysia has a cultural mix of 50% Malay, 33% Chinese , 9% Indian and 8% Indigenous tribes (such as Orang Asli and Iban) and have had extensive experience of high level government meetings, royal and non royal dignitary attendance at events and all the inherent protocol that is so important in Malaysian life�? said Jenny Salsbury, Director of Marketing & Sales for the Centre.

Read more: Malaysia

4th Annual Cultural Competence Conference

The University of Kentucky’s Area Health Education Center and UK President’s Commission on Diversity will host the 4th Annual Cultural Competence Conference, "Reflections on Race, Ethnicity and Culture: Considerations for Health Professionals," for over 600 UK health-professions students from noon to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Lexington Convention Center.

Read more: UK
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:59 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

BBC diversity tsar threatens ethnic purges

When is a racist not a racist? When her voice is "valid and culturally accurate".

In a bid to appease the unappeasable, the BBC recently invented the position of “editorial executive of diversity�?. And last week, Mary Fitzpatrick revealed just what an executive of diversity does: They conduct ethnic purges.

In an interview with The Observer, Ms Fitzpatrick explained her role: "What's really important is that BBC News reflects the audience that it's serving. You need valid and culturally accurate voices speaking. I get tired of repeatedly seeing programmes where [the situation is] here we are in Africa and here's a white person, saying well, look at these people. I would prefer to see somebody who understands that culture, understands what's going on and can say ‘look with me, because I am a part of this’. It feels more authoritative and more involved."

Read more: BBC

new zealand: Religious diversity statement discussed

In New Zealand a national statement on religious diversity is being discussed this week at a forum of government and religious leaders.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says the idea has been floating around for a while and is a response to growing religious diversity in New Zealand. Mr de Bres says it has been fortunate that with growing tensions over diversity, there has not been any local violence. He says governments and faith communities have an interest in working together to promote understanding.

Read more: NZ
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:57 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Army's weapons arsenal includes language, culture training

Thousands of miles from the roadside bombs of Iraq, small groups of soldiers hunker down in cream-colored cubicles as instructors guide them through nuances of Arabic and the dos and don'ts of Iraqi culture.

The classroom education has become just as important as weapons training for all levels of U.S. military personnel - from intelligence officers to medics - who are expected to interact daily with citizens of the war-ravaged country.

Read more: Iraq

using language to target diversity of client base

Miller Funeral & Cremation Society of Texas is expanding their customer service capabilities and extending their services to the Spanish-speaking community with their recent hire of a new funeral director, Mr. Ted Garcia. Mr. Garcia comes to Miller Funeral & Cremation Society of Texas from Morales Funeral. As a bilingual funeral director, Mr. Garcia can handle arrangements for families who do not speak English or prefer to do business in their native language at such a difficult, emotional time.

Read more: Press Release

China's Internet Boom Boosts Local Firms

As China's Internet booms, homegrown businesses are often reaping the biggest rewards -- a departure from many other consumer industries in China where foreigners have dominated.

Peggy Yu and her husband, Li Guoqing, founded online bookseller in 1999, when online commerce in China was more hope than reality. Today, China boasts 123 million Internet users -- second only to the U.S. -- and a growing share of them are using the Web to shop. Dangdang has expanded into a range of new products and claims to be China's biggest online retailer. Its success has enabled Ms. Yu and Mr. Li to fend off competition from a deep-pocketed foreign rival, German media giant Bertelsmann AG, and to rebuff a takeover offer from Inc., which later bought Dangdang's chief Chinese rival.

Read more: China

word of the day: vagary

vagary \VAY-guh-ree; vuh-GER-ee\, noun:
An extravagant, erratic, or unpredictable notion, action, or occurrence.

Her words are a dreadful reminder that much of life's consequences are resultant of vagary and caprice, dictated by the tragedy of the ill-considered action, the irrevocable misstep, the irrevocable moment in which a terrible wrong can seem the only right. -- Rosemary Mahoney, "Acts of Mercy?", New York Times, September 13, 1998

Weather is one of the vagaries of blue-water racing, ruling the sport like a malicious jester. -- Martin Dugard, Knockdown

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:37 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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