Tuesday, November 15, 2005

iom offers cultural awareness training to sudanese refugees

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing Cultural Orientation classes to a first group of 45 Sudanese refugees who will be resettled from camps in Uganda to the United Kingdom as part of the on-going Gateway Protection Programme.

The three-day classes, which are conducted in English and Arabic, cover a number of topics including housing, money management, British laws and cultural adaptation and the role of the resettlement agency.

Read more: IOM
Posted by Neil Payne at 7:26 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

diversity does impact a businesses bottom line

Reducing costs and improving profits are two key results of a diverse workforce, according to a 2005 Workplace Diversity Practices Survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Based on responses from 400 HR professionals, the survey examines how organizations are managing workplace diversity, and how effective they are.

Read more: SHRM

chirac calls for greater diversity

French President Jacques Chirac acknowledged that almost three weeks of rioting in France had revealed a "profound malaise" in the country, and he pledged to combat discrimination and to work for greater ethnic diversity in all spheres of society.

Read more: France
Posted by Neil Payne at 7:23 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

french lessons are costing canada £120 million

Training public servants to speak French is costing the federal treasury more than $120 million every year. The cost estimate, contained in documents newly released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, places a price tag on an endeavour that the federal government has acknowledged is not working.

"Although no firm data are available, it is estimated that direct costs of OL (official languages) training in the federal government is in the range of $60-$70 million per year," says the research report dated Jan. 24, 2005.

Read more: Canada
Posted by Neil Payne at 7:22 PM
Categories: Language Learning News goes chinese

The website, a global investor and industry news and research resource portal is launching a Chinese language site. The move comes as China’s economy continues to exert a direct and increasing influence over global markets. In addition, the fact that China’s population constitutes one fifth of the world’s population provides the opportunity to communicate with a large number of new readers.

Read more: Chinese

the cost of translation for the ec

The European Commission said today that twenty-one languages have the status of official and working languages of the European institutions. The institutions which, because of the nature of their activities, need the largest volume of interpretation services are the Parliament, the Commission and the Council.

Read more: EC
Posted by Neil Payne at 7:16 PM
Categories: Translation News

russian information agency starts english newswire

Russian News and Information Agency Novosti has unveiled its new English language wire, RIAN News Service, targeting Western information markets. The presentations of RIA Novosti’s new newswire were held consecutively in Moscow, London, New York and Washington D.C. earlier this month.

Read more: RIAN

our top 3 bush blunders

A new website called has been launched to capture exampled of funny mistakes in English. To kick off the site the organisers have begun with "The Top Ten Funniest Bush Blunders of All Time (so far...)."

From the top 10 Kwintessential staff chose their funniest top 3 Bush blunders:
* "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
* "The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the ---- the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice." --Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003.
* "Wow! Brazil is big." after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005
Keep them coming President Bush!

Read more: Press Release

toefl exam goes online for chinese students

Chinese students will have a more reliable, convenient and secure way to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) exam through the Internet starting next May. The Internet-based version of TOEFL iBT will replace the existing written test that was introduced to China 25 years ago.

Read more: China
Posted by Neil Payne at 7:09 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

internet must be used to promote harmony in china

Officials and professionals attending the opening ceremony of the fifth Forum on the China Internet Media signed here Tuesday a joint proposal calling on China-based news websites to contribute towards establishing a harmonious society.

The proposal notes that Internet news is becoming more influential over public opinion. It states that all Internet news media must abide by the Constitution and laws, publicize scientific theories and promote culture, carry forward the national character, and provide high quality services for Internet users. Cai Mingzhao, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, said that the Internet media are responsible for promotingthe buiding of a harmonious society. "China-based news websites should strengthen their awareness of law, exercise self-discipline and spread advanced culture," said Cao.

Read more: China

word of the day: kobold

kobold \KOH-bold\, noun:
ÊIn German folklore, a haunting spirit, gnome, or goblin.

Witch, kobold, sprite. . . and imp of every kind. --A. J. Symington

This world and the other, too, are always present to his mind, and there in the corner is the little black kobold of a doubt making mouths at him. --James Russell Lowell, Among My Books

Posted by Neil Payne at 7:05 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, November 14, 2005

hong kong disneyland facing intercultural challenges

Disney seem to have run into some cross cultural trouble with their new venture in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland's debut was marred by public relations debacles enraged local pop stars, antagonized labor leaders and earned a rebuke from its own partner in the theme park, the Hong Kong government. Last month, a disgruntled, fired employee climbed atop Space Mountain and threatened to kill himself until he was talked down.

Planting a U.S. cultural and corporate institution on Chinese soil was bound to be challenging. Last month, the territory's leader, Chief Executive Donald Tsang, urged Hong Kong residents to be patient with the newcomer: "We have to remember that Disneyland is a new organization (in Hong Kong)," Tsang said. "It may need time to understand the situation of Hong Kong and especially the culture of Hong Kongers and figure out how to make all its employees happy."

Disney ran into similar troubles when it opened Euro Disney (later renamed Disneyland Resort Paris) in 1992: French critics decried what they saw as U.S. cultural imperialism; theater director Ariane Mnouchkine famously called it a "cultural Chernobyl." Hundreds of Euro Disney workers walked off the job within days, complaining about working conditions.

Read more: Disney

ethnic minorities doing better in careers

Young people from ethnic minority families are now beating their working class white peers into well-paid jobs, according to research.

The research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, tracked the employment of 140,000 people in England and Wales over 30 years from the 1960s. It found that new generations of Indian, Chinese, Caribbean and African families are moving ahead in the employment market, largely thanks to the encouragement of their parents.

Read more: JRF

india's call centres causing uk brain-drain

Increasing numbers of UK graduates are being recruited by Indian call centres, according to union officials. Many UK graduates are opting to take up work while travelling abroad, where they can expect to earn around £350 a month – less than a quarter of the average UK salary.

David Fleming, national secretary for financial services at union Amicus, said: "It's preposterous. These call centres are encouraging a brain-drain by saying to young graduates 'why don't you go to India?' This is portrayed as a travelling experience. But the truth is the graduates could have spent six months working in a call centre in Britain and earned money to travel around the world that way."

Read more: India

borat's cross cultural jibes offend kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry threatened legal action on Monday against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who wins laughs by portraying the central Asian state as a country populated by drunks who enjoy cow-punching as a sport.

Baron Cohen, who portrays a spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat in his "Da Ali G Show", has won fame ridiculing Kazakhstan, the world's ninth largest country yet still little known to many in the West. Baron Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.

Read more: Borat
Posted by Neil Payne at 6:33 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

key competencies for lifelong learning

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council on key competences for lifelong learning.

A European framework of basic skills to be provided through lifelong learning was originally requested in the Lisbon conclusions in 2000. The proposal is one of the concrete outcomes of the Education and Training 2010 work programme and aims to encourage and facilitate national reforms by providing, for the first time at the European level, a reference tool on key competences that all citizens should have for a successful life in a knowledge society. The Recommendation calls for Member States to ensure that all young people are given the possibility to develop the package of 8 key competences by the end of initial education and training and that a specific attention is paid to disadvantaged learners.

Read more: EU

china's netizens say "88" to traditional language

In the new age of hip, young, Web-savvy Chinese, you don't say goodbye with an old-fashioned Chinese word. You sign off your messages with a cheery '88' - a phrase that baffles parents and horrifies conservative language guardians.

The phrase's origins are a crossbreed of English and Chinese cybershorthand, a globalized argot favoured by the Internet crowd here. The Chinese word for eight is ba, so 88 can be pronounced as ba-ba or bye-bye.

Read more: 88

microsoft go gujarati

Software giant Microsoft Corporation is all set to go the Gujarati way. The company will be soon starting a ‘Bhasha Lab’ in the State capital to create a word processor, Windows and several other softwares in Gujarati language.

Read more: Microsoft

withdrawal of bbc thai service will hurt UK

Former BBC Thai-language reporters say ending the BBC Thai service will hurt Britain's image in Thailand. Sorajak Kasemsuwan, a former BBC Thai service reporter and now assistant to the Prime Minister's Office minister, said the Thai service had played an important role in educating Thai listeners about Britain's history and monarchy. It had also provided accurate and balanced domestic and international news for the last 64 years.

Closing the service would reduce the recognition of Britain in Thailand since many Thai listeners had gained knowledge about Britain via the Thai language broadcast.

Read more: Thai

33% of birmingham's cabbies fail language test

A third of applicants for Birmingham taxi and private hire licences failed a basic communications test. The 20-minute written exam was introduced by the city council following complaints from passengers about language barriers.

More than 500 drivers were refused licences last year after failing at least one of the sections of the test. A statistical breakdown issued by the council showed 40 per cent of Pakistani, 43 per cent of Indian and 49 per cent of Bangladeshi applicants did not pass the test.

Read more: Brum

maltese must speak their own language

The Maltese must begin to insist on speaking their mother tongue in local fora if its use overseas is to be promoted and strengthened, Professor Joseph Eynaud, course co-ordinator of post-graduate diploma and Masters courses in translation and interpreting, believes.

"It is as if we have not found our identity or we are embarrassed to speak our own language in our own country," Professor Eynaud told The Sunday Times. "Why should speakers at a local conference, for example, speak English to accommodate a few foreigners? The foreigners would certainly not do the same for us in a similar context in their country. After all, that is what interpreters are for - to translate conference proceedings for people who do not understand the language.

Read more: Maltese
Posted by Neil Payne at 6:23 PM
Categories: Translation News

Google Analytics partners iHispanic Marketing Group

iHispanic Marketing Group LLC has announced that Google Analytics (formerly known as Urchin) has chosen them as one among other Client Service and Support Consultants to service the global Hispanic market. This strategic alliance will help executives, marketing managers and webmasters receive professional services for training, advanced support, and expert web analytics consulting in Spanish and English.

Read more: iHispanic

microsoft targets china's growing internet consumer society

Microsoft plans to use its MSN division to cash in on China's booming online advertising market and the popularity of broadband services, the information technology giant said yesterday in Shanghai, six months after it launched its Chinese-version MSN portal.

MSN China packages instant messaging, e-mails and blogs on its Website. "We see a big market opportunity here, a country with more than 100 million Internet users and an online advertising market that's still in the start-up stage," said Tom Bowman, regional sales director for MSN International.

Microsoft are showing some real foresight with this move, one which should be noted and replicated if China's consumer is to be targetted by European or US businesses. The Potential of a Chinese Website is huge!

Read more: MSN

.eu domain names launched

The new EU top level domain (TLD), dot-eu, has been officially launched, signalling the start of the rush to grab preferred domain names. The registration process for dot-eu domain names, however, won't begin until 7 December, when public bodies and trademarked organisations can register their addresses.

The new domain was launched by European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in the European Commission Office in Dublin on Friday. Speaking at the launch, McCreevy described the dot-eu domain name as "an important development" which will greatly enhance trade links across Europe.

Read more: .EU

internet use in czech republic low

Nearly 50 percent of people in the EU use the Internet but there are big differences between the individual countries. In Sweden 82 percent of the population uses the Internet while in the Czech Republic just a third use it, according to a Eurostat study.

Read more: EU
Posted by Neil Payne at 6:14 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

internet opens up to iraqis

Post Saddam Iraq is experiencing a new relationship with the internet. Internet cafes are sprouting up all over Iraq allowing more people access to an uncensored world wide web.

During the ex-President's reign members of his intelligence agency worked around the clock blocking Web sites, e-mails and chat rooms. The last thing the former regime wanted in this tightly controlled police state was people chatting with outsiders or entering anti-Saddam Web sites operated exiled Iraqis. "Intelligence officers used to monitor sites and whenever they found a suspicious domain they used to block it," said Atheer Hassan, who used to work as a part-time technician with the Ministry of Information. Now, he runs his own Internet business, selling connections to people in their homes.

Read more: Iraq
Posted by Neil Payne at 6:12 PM
Categories: Web Globalization

word of the day: aplomb

aplomb \uh-PLOM\, noun:
Assurance of manner or of action; self-possession; confidence; coolness.

Then, unexpectedly, she picked up a microphone and began to sing. She sang several songs, handling herself with the aplomb of a professional entertainer. --"Rediscovering Japanese Life at a Bike's Pace," New York Times, April 24, 1988

For all the slings and arrows, he seems almost preternaturally good-natured; set upon by a group of drunken revelers at dinner in Des Moines, . . . he weathers their boozy blandishments and inevitable potato jokes with admirable grace and aplomb. --"Quayle Running Against His Own Image," Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1999

Posted by Neil Payne at 6:02 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Cross Cultural Articles  Cross Cultural Communication  Cross Cultural Training
Foreign Language Tuition   Translation  Translation Articles