Thursday, October 27, 2005
cultural access group wins award
Phoenix Marketing International has announced that Cultural Access Group, its award-winning multicultural market research group, and Interviewing Service of America have been awarded the first-ever 3AF (Asian American Advertising Foundation) Research Partner of the Year for their work on the unprecedented Asian American Market Report.Read more: CAG
cross cultural divide in belgium
Belgium's history of linguistic bickering between Flemings and Walloons entered a new phase this week when police arrested a Flemish woman for calling her Walloon husband lazy, Belgian media said on Thursday.
The 48-year-old husband filed a complaint for racism against his spouse for scratching him and calling him "a lazy Walloon, a slave and an inferior creature", De Standaard daily said.Read more: Belgium
mobile phones to be future interpreters
Samsung Electronics, the world’s third-largest cell phone vendor, looks to transform fourth generation (4G) phones into interpreters and portable doctors.
Samsung president Lee Ki-tae, who is in charge of the company’s telecom division, disclosed the plan in an article he contributed to The Korea Times. The entire article will be printed in the Times’ anniversary special on Nov. 1.
``A 4G device would act as a simultaneous interpreter. The 4G device should break down communication barriers by providing translation and interpretation functions,’’ the 57-year-old wrote.Read more: Mobiles
conference: The Future of Interpreting
The Future of Interpreting: Training, Technology and Research.
University of Westminster, London
June 30th & July 1st 2006
Recent political events as well as economic and technological developments present new challenges for many professions, including interpreting, as all forms of inter-cultural communication become crucial. The conference will consider conference interpreting at this critical time, taking stock of recent changes and charting a course for the future.Read more: London
norwich union focus on expats
The Norwich Union Healthcare Global Care range has been improved, with the focus being on expat customers. The Global Care range, which incorporates Global Care and Global Care Plus is Norwich's private medial insurance (PMI) product. Improvements include a multi-base currency, meaning customers can work in pound sterling, US dollars or Euros.Read more: Norwich Union
businessweek launch arabic edition
BusinessWeek, the world's best-selling business magazine and InfoPro Management sarl (InfoPro), a publishing and market research company based in Beirut, Lebanon, announced that the first issue of the Arabic edition of BusinessWeek has hit newsstands in all 22 Arab countries. The magazine is also being distributed to subscribers of Al Eqtisadiah, Saudi Arabia's daily business and economic newspaper.Read more: Businessweek
NetSuite Goes Global With Five New Language Versions
NetSuite, Inc., providers of on-demand business management software for small and mid-sized businesses, today unveiled a set of translation and multi-language capabilities to accommodate the needs of businesses with employees and customers in multiple countries. Languages available in this release are Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German and French with Simplified Chinese to be available before year end.Read more: NetSuite
translations and international signs
Ever come across a hilarious sign in a foreign country? Usually a bad translation. Now one man has collected 160 examples of misdirection and misunderstanding in international signes in a new book, 'Signspotting.' The book draws upon the experiences of global travellers and collects the wierd and wondeful translations from across the globe.
"It is a level of unintentional humor that transcends education," says U.S. author Doug Lansky, who has a filing cabinet stuffed with more than 10,000 pictures of surreal, spurious and occasionally saucy signposts.
"I like the more morbid ones, such as 'Funeral home -- open house fun day.' I'd like to know who sits around thinking: 'Hey, I've got a free day on Saturday, let's go to a funeral home'?Read more: Signs
£49.5 million injection for language learning at school
The UK government today announced a £49.5m scheme to improve the teaching of languages in primary schools.
Despite the majority of the money being earmarked for teacher training, experts immediately warned that shifting the emphasis in teaching languages from secondary to primary schools would be undermined by a lack of qualified teachers.Read more: UK
Free translation software for Linux
Under the name 'OpenLogos' GlobalWare AG is offering private individuals, universities and other public institutions a free translation system for Linux. The software can be downloaded from the website of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
The software is currently available for translations from German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian into English and vice versa. If German is the source or target language, the user can also pick French or Spanish in place of English.Read more: GlobalWare AG
launch of ukrainian medical website
A US surgeon with Ukrainian roots, Dr. Jaroslav K. Turkalo, is launching a unique bi-lingual (English/Ukrainian) medical website. The site will introduce an unparalleled work of medical documentation in both languages.
Surprisingly, there is no complete textbook on surgery written in Ukrainian. The vast majority of the medical society within Ukraine today believes this extensive body of work is not required and that Russian surgical books are adequate sources of reference.Read more: Turkalo
word of the day: mawkish
mawkish \MOCK-ish\, adjective:
1. Sickly or excessively sentimental.
2. Insipid in taste; nauseous; disgusting.
The movie's attempts to connect these out-of-body experiences with the '60s ethos of consciousness expansion are so forced that the transcendent, feel-good leaps of faith with which the story culminates seem mawkish and unearned. --Stephen Holden, " 'Eden': Out of Step at a Prep School as a New Age Dawns." New York Times, April 3, 1998
Philadelphia Inquirer dismissed it as "a terrible play, a hopeless jumble of juvenile humor and mawkish sentimentality." --Peter Applebome, "Blasphemy? Again? Somebody's Praying for a Hit." New York Times, October 18, 1998
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
employers should use refugees to fill jobs
Employers in London have been urged to use refugees to fill skills gaps. The government has backed an initiative, London Refugee Economic Action, to increase the influence of the refugee community by serving as its voice on employment-related issues.
Research shows that refugees have a huge range of skills and that most are highly motivated to find work. Yet they find it tougher than other minority communities to find jobs that match their skills.Read more: London
translation conference in montreal
The Literary Translators' Association of Canada (LTAC) and the American Literary Translators' Association (ALTA) will hold a joint conference in Montreal November 2 - November 5, 2005 at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal.
Some 300 literary translators from the United States and Canada are expected at this year's joint conference in Montreal. The conference will be a unique opportunity for Canadian literary translators to find out more about literary translation in the United States, as well as to show their American counterparts what is happening in Canada.Read more: Conference
angola becoming more expensive for expats
Angola's slow recovery after 27 years of civil war seems to going well. Foreign firms are lining up to do business there, but it seems they will plenty of cash to establish a permanent presence.
Real estate agent Antonio Paim says the cost of renting a home for an expatriate family has soared in the last 12 months. He says firms should be prepared to fork out $15,000 a month for a house equipped with water, generator and phone connection.Read more: Angola
korean favoured over french in japan
The role of French in the world markets has slowly been on the decline. A fresh indication of this comes from Japan where according to a survey by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Korean has overtaken French as the second foriegn language. Chinese too has become more popular in schools.Read more: Korean
indian government working on multilingual domain names
In a move to widen access to the internet, the Indian government has announced it will start working on a process to allow for multilingual domain names in Indian scripts.
"The government is in the process of evolving a roadmap for implementation of multilingual domain names, known as Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) under Devnagari and Dravadian scripts," Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran said after the launch of HCL's global integration of 'DOT IN' domain.Read more: India
word of the day: virago
virago \vuh-RAH-go; vuh-RAY-go\, noun:
1. A woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage.
2. A woman regarded as loud, scolding, ill-tempered, quarrelsome, or overbearing.
The intrepid heroines range from Unn the Deep Minded, the Viking virago who colonized Iceland, to Sue Hendrikson, a school dropout who became one of the great experts on amber, fossils and shipwrecks. --Ann Prichard, "Coffee-table: Africa, cathedrals, animals, 'Sue,'" USA Today, November 28, 2001
This virago, this madwoman, finally got to me, and I was subjected to the most rude, the most shocking violence I can remember. --José Limón, An Unfinished Memoir
premiership faces increasing cross cultural challenges
The Guardian's Anna Kessel writes a very interesting piece on 23rd October 2005 on some of the cross cultural obstacles foreign football players face when joining the Premiership in the UK.
With the influx of foreign players (and managers) into the league there have been some famouc cases of culture clash and culture shock. Hernan Crespo famously left Chelsea last season due to culture shock, although he has now returned to the club.
Pointing to players such as Manchester United's Korean Park Ji-Sung she notes how cross cultural differences surface in football clubs. Park describes how, arriving in Europe, he discovered a football playing culture very different from his own. 'In Korea if a player doesn't play well, you would never criticise him, but in European countries fans criticise their own teams, sometimes they boo them off the pitch,' he says, incredulous.
'In Korea if a player makes a mistake, the other players don't like to point it out, rather they try to embrace it, they take the attitude, "Let's do better next time". But in the West if you do something wrong another player will make a point of saying something and you will have to fix it immediately.' The difference, for those familiar with cross cultural dimensions, comes from Korea's tendancy to be a more group focused society rather than an individual focused one.
Bolton's Japanese summer signing, Hidetoshi Nakata, notes how in England an open dialogue between players and their manager is encouraged. However this would be unheard of in oriental cultures where the emphasis lies on being deferential to those in authority. In Korea, when the captain stands at the meal table, the team stand. 'In Japan they treat players like a child,' says Nakata. 'Here we are given choices.'Read more: Guardian
New English Language Learning Program
ETS, creators of the TOEFL(R) test, the world's leading test of academic English, and Pearson Longman, the leading publisher of English-Language Teaching programs, today unveiled a powerful instructional program to help people learn English and build the skills tested on the next generation TOEFL Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT). TOEFL iBT is a breakthrough in testing that emphasizes integrated skills and communicative competence and allows students to demonstrate the English skills needed for academic success.Read more: TOEFL
want to live longer? learn a language
In his new book, "Healthy Aging," Dr. Andrew Weil claims that learning a foreign language can help you live longer.
Weil believes that by learning a foreign language people can reduce the risks of getting common age-related symptoms and diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer's. "You don't have to master it," he said. "Just the attempt to learn a language is like running different software through the brain. You're exercising more communication channels in the brain."Read more: Weil
getting the language advantage
An excellent case study of a company investing in their staff comes from a Huddersfield-based fashion retailer. Warehouse staff at the Grange Moor headquarters of Bon Marché were sent to a local college for English language lessons in order to boost skills and help foreign employees settle in.
Staff attended for two hours a week at the firm's premises to learn how to speak, listen, read and write English.Andrew Stock, training officer for Bon Marché, said: "We employ people who come from countries such as Poland, India, Pakistan and Iraq. "They come to us with excellent working skills, but some only have a limited understanding of the English language.
Donna Gregory, of the college's workforce development section, explains how the training brought benefits to the business. "By improving employees' English language skills, organisations should see improved communication and teamwork, increased productivity and efficiency, fewer mistakes and accidents, better customer service, less absenteeism, increased staff confidence and motivation, greater job satisfaction for employees and a decrease in staff turnover."Read more: Bon Marche
china builds up database of chinese teachers
The Chinese goverment seems confident the world wants to learn Chinese. It is planning to set up a database of 10,000 volunteer teachers to stand by for overseas Chinese teaching over the next five years. The move forms part of an international Chinese teaching program launched by the Chinese government.Read more: Chinese
bbc to launch arabic tv station
The BBC World Service is rethinking its foreign language transmissions. Due to the end of the Cold War and a fundamental change in the make up of Europe, it is going to discontinue services in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian. Instead it plans to redistribute these funds towards an Arabic language television station and information service. The Arabic language TV station will become the first publicly funded international television service launched by the British Broadcasting Corporation.Read more: BBC
word of the day: bruit
bruit \BROOT\, transitive verb:
To report; to noise abroad.
The first originated with a professor of government who, it was bruited, had always succeeded in predicting the outcome of presidential-year elections. --William F. Buckley, Jr., "We didn't tell you so," National Review, November 29, 2004
An attack on Iraq has been bruited about ever since President Bush invoked an axis of evil in his State of the Union address to Congress in January. --Joyce Appleby and Ellen Carol Dubois, "Congress must reassert authority to declare war," The Record (Bergen County, NJ), September 20, 2002