Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Hacker attacks McDonald's China site

An angry Chinese internet user hacked into the local website of McDonald's after the fastfood giant listed Taiwan as an independent country.

The attack was discovered by internet users who visited the McDonald's site only to discover it had turned black with the words "Chinese Hacker" written in large red letters.

Under this headline, the hacker stated the action had been launched to protest that Taiwan had been listed as an independent country on the McDonald's website.

Read more: Hacker attacks McDonald's China site

EU grapples with translation boom

Making sure delegations from European Union member states understand each other when they meet in Brussels is no easy feat.

It is up to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Interpretation to make sure communication at meetings and conferences is smooth.

That was particularly challenging after 10 new member countries joined the EU in May this year, adding nine new official languages to the EU's existing 11.

Read more: EU grapples with translation boom
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:51 AM
Categories: Translation News

Learn English, Says Chile, Thinking Upwardly Global

In many parts of Latin America, resistance to cultural domination by the United States is often synonymous with a reluctance to learn or speak English.In Chile however, the current Socialist-led national government has begun a sweeping effort to make the country bilingual.

Read more: Learn English, Says Chile, Thinking Upwardly Global
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:49 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

World's labour market looking up

Employers in Germany and Continental Europe are expecting to slow the pace of hiring in first quarter of 2005, while Canadian and US employers anticipate the strongest outlook in four years.

Manpower's Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results for the next three months revealed that employers in 17 out of the 19 countries and territories surveyed expect positive hiring activity in the coming quarter and, with seasonal adjustments, 12 countries are reporting stronger hiring levels compared to last year at this time.

Read more: World's labour market looking up

Media not Sufficiently Sensitive to Ethnic Diversity

The media play an important role in the shaping of public awareness about ethnic conflicts. Depending from case to case, they can further enflame the things, but they can also be the calming factor. These were the conclusions of the “Media and Ethnic Conflicts�? seminar, organized by the Centre for Professionalization of the Media.

Read more: Media not Sufficiently Sensitive to Ethnic Diversity

Iraqis Teaching U.S. Troops Its Culture

The US Army is now using Iraqi nationals to help troops develop language and cultural skills since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The training represents a change in philosophy for the military, said David R. Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. Army troops have long received language help as they prepared for battle, but cultural training was nonexistent in such conflicts as the Vietnam War, he said.

Read more: Iraqis Teaching U.S. Troops Its Culture
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:35 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

Chinese Cultural Centre

A Chinese Cultural Center opened recently in Naeja-dong, central Seoul.

``This is the first Chinese Cultural Center in Asia, and the fourth in the world after those in Egypt, France and Malta,’’ Zhu Ying Jie, Chinese cultural councilor to Seoul and director of the center told The Korea Times. ``I am sure that the center will act as a channel for South Koreans to learn and enjoy a variety of Chinese culture.’’

Read more: Chinese Cultural Centre
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:27 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural News


The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched a new travel guide -- the Hong Kong Leisure Guide for Business Travellers. The guide has been designed with tips and recommendations on shopping, sightseeing, sporting activities and a variety of after-hours activities.

Read more: Hong Kong Business Traveller Guide
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:23 AM
Edited on: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 9:28 AM
Categories: Business Traveller

Word of the Day: sedition

sedition \sih-DISH-un\, noun:
Conduct or language inciting resistance to or rebellion against lawful authority.

[M]ost of us now accept as common sense what was once prosecuted as sedition, namely Tom Paine's proposition that "the idea of hereditary legislators is as absurd as a hereditary mathematician -- as absurd as a hereditary poet laureate". --Geoffrey Robertson, "Dumping our Queen," The Guardian, November 6, 1999

At several points in his long career, Jinnah was threatened by the British with imprisonment on sedition charges for speaking in favour of Indian home rule or rights. --Akbar S. Ahmed, Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity

Kindly provided by
Posted by Neil Payne at 9:19 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Is the Internet truly global?

The Internet is home to a wealth of multilingual content, but are its doors still locked by an English key?

Winston Chai at CNET explains the current state of internationalized domain names (IDNs) and why China may play a forceful role in pushing companies like Microsoft to begin supporting them.

Read more: Is the Internet Global?

Learning Foreign Languages

Recent research seems to suggest that learning a second language is not only good for the wallet (or purse) but also for the love life.

Read more: Learn a Foreign Language
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:55 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

Cross Cultural Interviews

The impact cross cultural differences are having on the HR sector is becoming increasingly important at a time when increasing numbers of companies are recruiting from varied nationalities, cultures, religions and backgrounds.

One area where cultural differences are causing problems is in the interview. Cultural assumptions and prejudices are occassionally leading to good candidates being overlooked.

Read more: Cross Cultural Interviews
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:53 AM
Categories: Human Resources News

Five Keys To Expatriate Success

David Beckham's move to Real Madrid has shot him straight into the mega-league of UK expats. But though the couple are by no means Mr and Mrs Average Expat, they will face just the same issues as any high earning, dual income parents living and working abroad. Mike Finnegan of HSBC Offshore says "Right now, top of theiir to-do list will be the scary bits like coping with foreign languages and cultures, housing, schools and how best to maintain close links with home."

Read more: Five Keys To Expatriate Success
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:45 AM
Categories: Expatriate

Multicultural Business Conference

The 5th National Multicultural Business Conference will be taking place on March 30, 31 and April 1, 2005.
The conference offers Education, Training and Networking for:
Corporate CEOs
Chief Diversity Officer
Women Entrepreneurs
Purchasing, Marketing and Human Resource Executives
Minority Entrepreneurs
Government Decision-makers
Financial Services Professionals
And other national experts on diversity business development
Find out more at

Neil Payne becomes Executive Planet's Iran expert

Kwintessential's Managing Director, Neil Payne, has become Executive Planet's Iran expert.

Neil's first hand knowledge and insight into Iranian society, culture, religion and etiquette has been used to offer business travellers, expatriates and diplomatic staff with useful insights into the do's and don'ts of doing business in Iran.

Read more: Doing Business in Iran

Dining Etiquette - China

Doing business in China does not necessarily end in the boardroom, and if you have not clinched the deal during the day there is still time at the business banquet.

Food is serious business in China, and mastering after-hours etiquette can be a minefield for business travelers.

Read more: Doing Business in China

Word of the Day: raillery

raillery \RAY-luh-ree\, noun:
1. Good-humored banter or teasing.
2. An instance of good-humored teasing; a jest.

I moved from one knot of people to another, surrounded by a kind of envious respect because of Sophie's interest in me, although subjected to a certain mordant raillery from some of this witty company. --Peter Brooks, World Elsewhere

Her raillery and mockery are fun -- but ultimately rather tiring, and tiresome. --Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, "Eastward Ho!" review of Shards of Memory, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, New York Times, September 17, 1995

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Posted by Neil Payne at 11:26 AM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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