Saturday, December 11, 2004

Christmas Holiday for Cross Cultural News

Dear Readers,
Cross cultural news will be taking a break for the Xmas period. Postings will commence again on Monday 3rd January.
We would like to wish our customers and readers all the best for 2005.

Posted by Neil Payne at 10:59 AM
Categories: Press Releases

Language barriers mean new dangers at work

Migrant workers could be missing out on crucial health and safety training because their employers are not providing safety material in any language other than English.

The concern has prompted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the TUC to publish a new safety leaflet translated into 19 different languages.

The new leaflets - published in Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Greek, Gujarati, Pashto, Portuguese, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian and Welsh, as well as English - are an attempt to improve safety awareness for this growing segment of the UK workforce.

Read more (subscription): Language barriers mean new dangers at work

Companies must embrace diversity to better compete

The face of America is changing, and businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve must diversify both their internal operations and customer outreach efforts, a Las Vegas gaming executive said Wednesday.

Speaking at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism, which closed Wednesday at the Reno Hilton, MGM Mirage Senior Vice President Punam Mathur told an audience of travel professionals they can no longer rely on traditional societal structures when operating their businesses.

Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, gays and other minority groups have an increased role in today's America, and Mathur said tomorrow's successful companies are those that reach out to those groups today.

Read more: Companies must embrace diversity to better compete


An Italy special today for business travellers and expatriates.

An expatriate guide - offering advice on documentation, currency, cost of living, tax, healthcare, education and other essentials.

Italy Country Profile - offering guidance on linguistic and cultural issues including public and business etiquette.

Doing Business in Italy - short, sharp handy facts for the business traveller on business protocol, etiquette and negotiation styles.

Posted by Neil Payne at 10:48 AM
Categories: Business Traveller, Expatriate

Cultural Sensitivity

With the events of Sept. 11, 2001, still at the forefront of Americans' thoughts and the friction between Christianity and Islam more widespread, Mustafa Saatci believes that cultural sensitivity is an important solution for the country.

Saatci, a native of Turkey and an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, spoke to a gathering of approximately 40 people at the university's campus center about cultural sensitivity.

"Understanding the reasons behind the actions of people from other cultures can help to prevent conflict and the likelihood of jumping to conclusions," Saatci explained.

Read more: Cultural Sensitivity

Ads go multicultural to diversify appeals

The concept of 'multicultural marketing' is gaining ground and acceptance as a strategic business tool. Advetisers in the USA are now moving beyond commercials aimed at WASPS - 12.5% of the population are now Spanish.

"It is not enough now to just talk to one audience. Our world is becoming more and more diverse every day," said Denise Blaya, supervisor of multicultural marketing for Ketchum Inc. By way of addressing this need to talk to diverse audiences, companies are now using commercials in Spanish.

Read more: Ads go multicultural to diversify appeals

Word of the Day: forgo

forgo \for-GO\, transitive verb:
Inflected forms: forwent, forgone, forgoing, forgoes
To abstain from; to do without.

This one has given up smoking today, I knew; that one his weekly visit to the cafe, another will forgo her favorite foods. --Joanne Harris, Chocolat

If my deepest wish is to sit on a beach in Maine fishing for bass, I might cheerfully forgo stock options in Microsoft to do it. --Alan Ryan, "It's Not Easy Being Equal," New York Times, June 18, 2000

Posted by Neil Payne at 10:17 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Rhyming Dictionary

Classically trained poet and linguist, Bryant H. McGill, has announced the release of a free software rhyming dictionary derived from the McGill English Dictionary of Rhyme, which is the world's most extensive rhyming reference, ever created in the history of the English language.

Read more: Rhyming Dictionary


Is the Writing on the Wall for Inefficient Translations?

This web seminar will examine advances in translation processes and technologies that can deliver a significant return-on-investment for your business.

The web seminar will include technology demonstrations and case studies to provide practical insight into how quickly you will be able to see the benefits.

Thursday December 16th, 8am PST, 11am EST, 4pm GMT, 5pm CET

Read more: Webinar
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:07 AM
Edited on: Saturday, December 11, 2004 10:08 AM
Categories: Translation News, Web Globalization

Friday, December 10, 2004

American Red Cross Chapter Translates Its Web Site

Bowne Global Solutions (BGS),the world's leading provider of translation, localization and interpretation services, recently volunteered its services to a California chapter of the American Red Cross in order to help the chapter improve its service to the local Korean, Spanish and Armenian ethnic communities it serves.

BGS translated mission-critical Web site content related to disaster preparedness. This outreach effort has received local media coverage and, since publishing the translated content, the chapter has seen a 20% increase in the number of visits to its site.

Read more: American Red Cross Chapter Translates Its Web Site to Reach the Growing Immigrant Communities it Serves

Breaking the Language Barrier

The world is certainly coming closer. Gone are the days when a person from one country could not converse or understand the language of a person of another country. Although the situation has improved considerably, one cannot by any conviction say so as still there are people in certain countries who speak only their native language.

Read more: Breaking the Language Barrier
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:46 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

CIPD survey

A survey carried out by the CIPD highlights some interesting cultural differences in how HR managers perceive their jobs.

HR managers in the UK are most troubled by office politics and the struggle for influence, while their counterparts in Norway feel that empathy and listening skills are far more important.

Read more: CIPD Survey
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:44 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

Life in Ireland - the best

There must be something in the Guinness. Life in Ireland is better than in any other country on earth, according to a new study. In a worldwide "quality of life index" compiled for the Economist's annual magazine, The World in 2005, Ireland was identified as the best place to live in the coming year.

Read more: Life in Ireland - the best
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:37 AM
Categories: Expatriate

Word of the Day: solecism

solecism \SOL-uh-siz-uhm\, noun:
1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction; also, a minor blunder in speech.
2. A breach of good manners or etiquette.
3. Any inconsistency, mistake, or impropriety.

An accurate report of anything that has ever been said in any parliament would be blather, solecism, verbiage and nonsense. --"Hansard of the Highlands," Times (London), February 17, 2001

Her English is good, apart from a few stubborn idiosyncrasies of preposition and tense, but these are music to me, sung solecisms -- how else to describe "I am already loving you," her first declaration of feeling for me, now two years old? --Ronan Bennett, The Catastrophist

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Posted by Neil Payne at 1:35 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Migration should prompt cultural exchange, Pope says

In his message for the 91st World Day of Migrants and Refugees , Pope John Paul II remarks that while immigrants seek to adjust to the culture of a new society, the society should also help them with that transition.

The Pontiff calls for a balanced between the "assimilationist model," in which all immigrants are expected to submerge themselves into the local culture; and the "marginalization of immigrants, with attitudes that can even arrive at the choice of apartheid." The best solution, he says, is one which respects different cultural traditions, and accepts legitimate differences out of respect for others.

Read more: Migration should prompt cultural exchange, Pope says
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:24 AM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

International Business Etiquette

"Etiquette would not seem to play an important part in business, and yet no man can ever tell when its knowledge may be of advantage, or its lack may turn the scale against him."- Emily Post, 1922.

Although the face of business has changed drastically since 1922 when Emily Post wrote the words above, the secret power of etiquette is just as relevant today. Even in the US, where unspoken values about manners are nearly innate, it is frighteningly easy to offend. But overseas, where the proverbial scales may be calibrated in the metric system or may be spring loaded, you must be particularly attentive to etiquette, or risk unintentionally offending someone.

Read more: International Business Etiquette
Posted by Neil Payne at 1:18 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

China Bans Computer Game

A recent post looked at Nike's cross cultural blunder in China leading to the banning of their tv commercial.

Now it seems a similar mistake has been made by a computer games manufacturer.

China has now decided to ban the on-line game " Football Manager 2005." The Ministry of Culture says the game, "poses harm to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

In the game, which was developed by game producer Sports Interactive, Ltd., Taipei of Taiwan, Hong Kong-Macao region and China's Tibet are represented as independent countries.

Read more: China Bans Computer Game

Doing Business in Mexico

To help meet the needs of companies in the mid-Michigan area, Central Michigan University will be offering a new series of free training sessions on international business with Mexico free of charge.

The three sessions will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 9 and 16 in CMU’s Kesseler Library in the Applied Business Studies Complex. In the Feb. 2 session, CMU international business experts will discuss opportunities for companies willing to do business in Mexico. The second class will focus on cultural differences that American businesses need to know before trying to do business in Mexico. The third class will detail the mechanics involved in actually doing business in Mexico.

Read more: Doing Business in Mexico

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