Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Cultural differences between U.S. and U.K. necessitate training

Many people from the US or the UK may consider cross cultural training relevant for assignments or business dealings with the Middle East, China or Japan. How many would consider it so for communication across the pond?

This SHRM article on the cultural and linguistic differences between Americans and Brits gives an excellent insight into the cross cultural communication problems both sides can meet when dealing and interacting with one another.

The article draws attention to differences in areas such as language use, work styles and expectations in meetings to highlight how culture can and does cause a barrier occassionally.

China eases yuan controls for travelers

China is tripling the amount of yuan travelers can take out of the country. The decision to lift the maximum amount of funds people can take out of the country to 20,000 yuan ($2,420) was to meet China's economic development and foreign exchange needs, the central bank said in statement posted on its website.

Read more: China eases yuan controls for travelers
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:51 PM
Categories: Business Traveller

International Conference on Intercultural Communication

A recent posting drew attention to the International Conference on Intercultural Communication at The Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore (December 4th and 5th).

The main theme that resulted from the conference was that there is a need for two-way intercultural communication but without one culture dominating the other.

Read more: KC Conference
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:44 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Nike's Cross Cultural Blunder

Nike have had their TV commercial banned in China. The commercial titled “Chamber of Fear,�? shows basketballer, LeBron James, battling a cartoon kung fu master.

The commercial has been banned as it “violates regulations that mandate that all advertisements in China should uphold national dignity and interest and respect the motherland’s culture,�?according to the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television. “It also goes against rules that require ads not to contain content that blasphemes national practices and cultures.�?

Nike's cross cultural blunder is one of many examples of companies not taking the correct precautions when dealing with foreign markets. Had Nike used a consultancy to provide them with a cross cultural assessment prior to starting the commercial, such a financial mistake could have possibly been avoided.

Read more: Nike's Cross Cultural Blunder
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:32 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 12:33 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural Business News


A new book has been released dealing with the etiquette of the internet.

Because Netiquette Matters! book contains 100s of useful tidbits to assist business owners and their employees, teachers and their students or just about anyone who is online to practice proper e-mail etiquette.

Read more: Netiquette
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:23 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

Word of the Day: Demur

demur \dih-MUR\, intransitive verb:
1. To object; to take exception.
2. To delay.

1. The act of demurring.
2. Objection.
3. Delay.

It had been Letitia's wish, not Thaddeus's, that there should be a child but, while wondering at the time what it was going to be like to have a baby about the place, he did not demur, and soon after Georgina's birth was surprised to find his feelings quite startlingly transformed. --William Trevor, Death in Summer

She would ask to see something I had written, and I would demur, saying that anything I had written was terrible, and she would persist until I gave in and said, "If you insist," and later she would proclaim that my work was not terrible, my work was terrific. --Rosemary Mahoney, A Likely Story

Kindly provided by
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:19 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Monday, December 06, 2004

Cultural Elements in Translation - The Indian Perspective

Language and culture are inseperable. This article looks at the concept of accurately reflecting culture within translated works - the problems and challenges involved, the responsibility to capture cultural nuances and practical suggestions.

Read more: Culture and Translation
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:52 AM
Categories: Translation News

Doing Business in Iran

Although Iran is not a destination of primary concern to the Western business traveller, more and more business is taking place between Iran and the West, especially with the EU.

As trade and tourism ties continue to strengthen Iran will be of greater importance to international businesses.

How much do you know about doing business in Iran? Any idea of the business protocol? Would you know how to negotiate?

To learn a bit more about business in Iran, visit Doing Business in Iran
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:43 AM
Categories: Business Traveller

Doing business across cultures

Business-etiquette savvy is not just good sense, it can also prove to be a deal maker or breaker in today's global marketplace as more cultures interact than ever before.

Though it is impossible to fully understand all the intricacies of other societies, it is worth learning at least the basics -- how to greet and address others, how to dress, how to handle business cards, personal space, eye contact, and punctuality to name a few.

Read more: Doing business across cultures
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:30 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

Sporting Cross Cultural Awareness

One area of business (and they have become businesses) that sometimes neglects the need for cross cultural awareness training is the sports industry.

Basketball, football(soccer), baseball and many other sports teams are increasingly multicultural entities. Managing players from different continents with differing languages, cultures, values and worldviews is just as complex on the grass field as it is in the office.

So it was with some interest that we came across this article about the Binghamton women's basketball team and their efforts to overcome cross cultural differences for the good of them team.

Read more: Binghamton's international players break cultural barriers

Skills for Business

Skills for Business has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to improving the skills of the UK workforce, calling the pre-budget report a "blueprint for education and enterprise", but stressed the continuing need for employers to be engaged in reform to ensure their needs are met.

"For decades now, employers have been saying that the UK’s education and training system doesn’t meet their needs; that the skills they need to boost their bottom line simply aren’t coming out of our network of schools, colleges and universities. The Chancellor was right to call low skills our ’Achilles Heel’, said Christopher Duff, Chief Executive of Skills for Business.

Read more: Skills for Business
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:17 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

Words of 2004

Based upon the results of on-line searches, the #1 Word of the Year for 2004 was Blog
Blog - a noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
The rest of the top ten included:
2. incumbent
3. electoral
4. insurgent
5. hurricane
6. cicada
7. peloton : noun (1951) : the main body of riders in a bicycle race
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
10. defenestration
For their meanings please visit Merriam Webster

Word of the Day - genuflect

genuflect \JEN-yuh-flekt\, intransitive verb:
1. To bend the knee or touch one knee to the ground, as in worship.
2. To be servilely respectful or obedient; to grovel.

After graduation I talked my way into a job at Ionic Development Corporation, a legendary place in Cambridge on the Charles River, a huge brick building with a lobby the size of a cathedral; every time I walked in, I felt as if I should genuflect. --Daniel Lyons, Dog Days

People worship capital, adore its aura, genuflect before Porsches and Tokyo land values. --Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance (translated by Alfred Birnbaum)

Kindly provided by
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:08 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

EU-India trade body to aid SMEs

It was announced on Thursday 2nd December that in order to enhance networking and cooperation between business associations from India, Denmark, Germany and the EU, the “EU-India Business Associations’ Cross-Cultural Network for Business and Trade Promotion�? will be established.

Read more: EU-India trade body to aid SMEs

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