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Intercultural Communication and Translation News
Kissing is more common amongst people nowadays than ever before, with people celebrating images like the below being shown and celebrated all over the world.
Kissing is now one of the most common forms of affection worldwide and dates all the way back to 1500 BC. Despite this, kissing is still quite a controversial matter in some countries, so let’s learn a little bit more about it.
Many people automatically associate the French kiss with France; this is likely to be because of Paris and the idea of romance that it has attached to it. It was probably just labelled as a ‘French kiss’ due to the fact that the French are known for their promiscuous and flirty nature. In actual fact the most common form of kiss in France is the cheek-kiss, which is essentially a greeting in the form of an ‘air kiss’, with men also kissing each other if they are well acquainted. The number of kisses can vary between 1 and 6 – quite exhausting if you’re not used to it!
These are generally used as greetings all over the world today, particularly in Europe, with each country varying the amount of ‘air kisses’. In some countries, including France, the men will kiss the lady’s hand when saying hello or goodbye.
In Spain, people always kiss when greeting each other and it’s always two kisses, starting on the right side, with men always shaking hands instead.
In Italy, the ‘air kiss’ also applies, but starting on the left side instead – guys and girls kiss twice, but only if they know each other. If not acquainted, people will shake hands and give their name. In Northern Italy, however, people don’t usually greet each other with a kiss.
In Belgium, people just give each other the one ‘air kiss’ – men do this too – yet they do not shake hands, unless it is in business matters, because it is considered too formal.
As for Germany, they tend to leave out the kissing, apart from “the teens who kiss in school who want to feel cool”, according to our German intern! Germans prefer to shake hands if they are not acquainted, or hug if they are friends.
In America, the men tend to shake hands whilst the women will greet with the kiss on one or both cheeks and a hug.
In South Africa, men will kiss women that they are acquainted with on the cheek. South Africans tend to just shake hands with people that they are not familiar with. Like many places, greeting styles vary depending on the ethnic heritage of the person.
However, in some countries, kissing is more of a recent affair. This is especially true in Japan and China whereby kissing is only considered necessary during romantic moments, not to be done in public. – young people still do it anyway, though.
It’s interesting to note that kissing in public in India is a complete no no. I found BBC news article that tells us of a young married couple of whom were picked up by the police for kissing in public. You will not often see kissing in any Indian films, and if you do, you will certainly hear about it!
‘You don’t have to go to university to succeed.’
My name is Megan Elliott and I’ve recently started an apprenticeship at Kwintessential. I’ve been an apprentice for a week now and I can honestly say leaving university was the best thing that I could have done.
When I was studying for my A Levels, I remember there being such an emphasis on the importance of going to university in order to get ‘a good job’. It’s interesting to consider, then, that students in the UK applying to university for autumn 2012 has dropped by 7.6%. An article in the Guardian tells us that this is feared to be because of the fact that it could cost up to £9,000 a year. An extortionate increase when one considers that universities are already giving students a nice £30,000 debt to look forward to at the end of their studies.
University wasn’t for me for in so many ways, but I will admit that I felt the cost to play a big part in my decision to leave. I did not feel that the tuition I was getting was worth the debt that I would have to pay off for years to come. I studied Psychology, and after being at university for 4 months I honestly felt disappointed and upset that I had left my full-time job. I thought the lectures lacked any real energy or anything special to separate it from sixth form. Ultimately, there was nothing that made me feel better about the fact that I had spent all of my savings on a degree. When I was having doubts towards the end of my time at university, I had so many people tell me that “it’s the degree that counts”, but all I could think was, “but what does it count for, and what are my job prospects in getting a career in Psychology upon graduation?”
Despite the fact that people think university is about freedom and really ‘getting out there’, I couldn’t have felt more trapped. Having a very small amount of money compared to what I had been used to made me feel like I had less independence than I did when I was living at home. Essentially, I felt like I had no drive or desire to achieve or even try at university because I found the course and lack of routine or discipline so demoralising.
I knew that I wanted to leave university. I also knew that I wanted to continue to learn, grow and have someone that cared about my progress on a deeper level – not like the one-off chat you have with your tutor at university once a year. This is when I started looking for apprenticeships. After around one month, eight applications and two interviews, I got my apprenticeship.
I have no regrets about leaving university. After being at Kwintessential for a week I already know that I am in a far better place than I was 4 months ago. Most importantly, I know that I can succeed and progress within a career that does not require me to be poor for a large part of my life, or be filled with doubt about my progression and constantly asking myself, “is this right?” I know this is right and I cannot wait to see where I am this time next year. You don’t have to go to university to succeed and it is my intention to prove that.
It’s always shocking to hear of taxpayers’ money going to waste in vast quantities: especially when it’s easily avoidable. Likewise, it’s always shocking to hear of suffering or death where this is easily avoidable. One of the key concerns for the NHS in the current savings drive is to ensure that services can be provided efficiently: helping people with healthcare needs for the lowest possible spend. When lives are on the line, quality cannot be compromised: price cannot be the bottom line.
A recent Freedom of Information Act request revealed that over £59,000 is spent on translation services2 every day in the UK3 within the NHS: and the immediate response to this information was panic. Advice was given to find a cheaper solution in machine translations, or cutting foreign language provision in favour of plain English. Responses were centred around cutting costs and minimising provision, with little concern for solutions that worked for both provider and user. However, experts in the fields of linguistics can point out the flaws of approaches that put translation costs as the bottom line; and can suggest logical ways of reducing costs and maximising efficiency without compromising on provision- indeed often offering savings in the long run.
One such expert is Katy Pritchard of Kwintessential. With an in-depth knowledge of both the public sector and the translation industry, she has today released a video outlining where the NHS could save money without compromising on quality.
In the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7aTO08AVyc), Katy outlines how literal translations can be more costly than they are effective. Translations must not only reflect the original meaning of a document, but they must also be suitable for their target audience. In order to ensure that translation spend is efficient, producing a well tailored piece, and ensuring that it is made available in an appropriate manner is vital. Machine translations are unable to correctly and consistently translate grammar and contextual meaning. In the long run this can mean that time spent producing flawed and unusable translations will result in unnecessary suffering. In the long term, providing well translated information to assist patients with prevention offer the opportunity to save money in the long term.
Translation in the health industry gives a high return. It really is a case of spending to save, but this spend must be in the right area. Imagine if the NHS Direct website was multi-lingual. Surgeries and hospitals up and down the country would no longer need to translate their own documents on conditions or treatments, as they would be available centrally. Not only would this save the repeated spend, but also hours of administrative and doctors’ time would be saved as patients could access information online without the need for an appointment and in-person interpreters. These provisions would be available to all regardless of where they lived.
Developing a Translation Memory is critical. Translation Memory is a tool which records the translation of specific words, phrases and sentences, with consideration given to their context, which can then be used in future translations. This technology, which is very different from literal online machine translations such as Google Translate, can provide a considerable cost saving as words that have been used in a set context before do not need to be charged for translation again. The user gains all of the benefits of a high quality human translator with a good knowledge of the subject matter, and documents can be produced consistently and cheaply up and down the country.
Translation and interpreting facilities are essential provisions in the modern day NHS, but unfortunately are not ones that are ingrained into its structure. Living in a multicultural society it’s inconceivable to suggest that we should preclude individuals who need healthcare – who are already facing enough barriers in accessing this due to cultural norms or expectations – from being able to communicate with experts or understand the information which they need. Before panicking when sourcing translation in the NHS, the industry encourages provisioners to work smarter; and to reap the rewards.
- Kwintessential was established in 2003 and offers linguistic services and cultural awareness training.
- ‘Translation’ is rewriting text from one language to another. ‘Interpretation’ refers to oral translation only. The report linked below incorrectly uses the two terms interchangeably.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all at Kwintessential. Here’s a small multilingual guide to saying those 3 magic words in another language!
It’s that time of year again! Valentine’s Day arrives on February 14th and it’s time to start booking in your restaurant for the evening. If you are looking for something culturally stimulating this year, check out our top 5 suggestions for restaurants in Bristol we believe will give you a taste of something different. All the restaurants offer to stimulate your senses through the food and ambience that represent their cultures.
- Style: Chinese
- Address: Nelson Street, Bristol BS1 2JT
- Tel: 0117 9450505
- Website: http://shanghainightsbristol.co.uk/
- Valentine’s Deals: none
- About: Part of a leading, family run, Oriental food group established in the South West with over 40 years of catering experience, Shanghai Nights Restaurant offers freshly made dim sums and authentic Chinese cuisine prepared by chefs from China.
- Style: Spanish
- Address: 57 Prince St, Bristol, Avon BS1 4QH
- Tel: 0117 925 6014
- Website: www.el-puerto.co.uk
- Valentine’s Deals: Valentine’s menu.
- About: Ideal place to bring that someone special for an intimate Mediterranean romantic dinner and a few glasses of wine. El Puerto Restaurant ofers a taste of Spain with its traditional tapas menu, made with fresh and authentic ingredients.
- Style: Lebanese
- Address: Small Street, Bristol BS1 1DE
- Tel: 0117 927 7937
- Website: http://www.mazati.co.uk/
- Valentine’s Deals: none. The Chef suggests the platter of 8 mezzes (selection of small dishes) together with a wine from the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
- About: If you want to try “The true taste of Lebanon”, this could be the right place, since every dish is created from recipes handed down from one generation to the next. Lebanese cuisine is a fascinating collection of tastes, colours and textures combining the tantalising cooking styles of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The menu is updated regularly and offersa rich choice, including mouth-watering national dishes, carefully chosen mezzes, as well as Mazati’s own signature dishes prepared by the head chef.
- Style: Turkish
- Address: 31 Marmaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 5BZ
- Tel: 029 2048 7477
- Website: www.bosphorus.co.uk
- Valentine’s Special: Valentine’s Set Menu. The Chef suggests the Charcoal grilled sea bass served with salad Izgara Cupra.
- About: Turkish Cuisine is a heritage of the Ottoman Empire and can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. At Bosphorus Restaurant each dish is cooked using traditional ingredients and techniques and are packed full of spice and fragrance. You will also find a good selection of Turkish wines, raki (traditional Turkish spirit) and of course wonderful Turkish Coffee.
- Style: Indian
- Address: 35 King Street, Bristol BS1 4DZ
- Tel: 0117 929 1132
- Website: www.raj-bristol.co.uk
- Valentine’s Special: none
- About: If you like a decent curry, The Raj Tandoori is a popular and well known restaurant in the centre of Bristol. It has a reputation for good service and good food.
It’s that time of year again! Valentine’s Day arrives on February 14th and it’s time to start booking in your restaurant for the evening. If you are looking for something culturally stimulating this year, check out our top 5 restaurants in London we believe will spice up your night. All the restaurants offer to stimulate your senses through the food and ambience that represent their cultures.
- Style: South African
- Address: Stables Market, Camden, London, NW1 8AB
- Tel: 0207 428 4922
- Website: http://www.shaka-zulu.com/
- Valentine’s Deals: none
- About: London’s largest South African restaurant opened in August 2010 with a special royal blessing from the Zulu King, HRH Goodwill Zwelithini.
- Set over 27,000 sq ft in The Stables Market, Camden the restaurant boasts carved wooden murals covering every inch of Shaka Zulu’s walls and ceiling. On the lower floor they have a display of 20ft high warrior statues. The main A La Carte restaurant is located on the lower level and features open flame grills and offers diverse cuisine from all parts of South Africa showcasing the originality and flair of the culture. They also serve game meats, such as Kudu, Ostrich and Springbok from Namibia!
- Value: £20-£40 per head
- Style: Chinese
- Address: 8 Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London, W2 6EZ
- Tel: 0207 289 7000
- Website: http://www.pearlliang.co.uk/
- Valentine’s Deals: none
- About: Pearl Liang is an up-market, stylish, Chinese restaurant located in the heart of Paddington.The surroundings find the right balance modern and Oriental through the use of water features, bamboo and a full room-length painting of Chinese blossom branches. Pearl Liang’s menu is rooted in Cantonese cuisine, although you’ll find chicken satay and Thai green curry too.
- Value: £20-£40 per head#
- Style: Korean
- Address: 34 Durham Road SW20 0TW
- Tel: 0208 947 1081
- Website: http://www.cahchi.com/
- Valentine’s Deals: none
- About: Time Out call Cah Chi “the jewel in the crown of south-west London’s Korean restaurant scene”. The mix of incredible food, relaxed atmosphere and attentive staff make this a favourite even amongst Koreans themselves.You can try the classics of Korean cuisine with everything available from kimchi to offal to seafood stew! There is a BYO wine policy too although Korean wine and beer, soju and saké are also available.
- Value: £20-£30 per head
- Style: Afghan
- Address: 24-26 Headstone Drive, HA3 5QH
- Tel: 0208 861 6213
- Website: none
- Valentine’s Special: none
- About: Maybe not the most glamorous of locations but a hidden jewel for sure. You will be greeted by a spectacular chandelier, wooden furniture and artwork on walls that entice you in.
- Afghani food is a not well know but delicious. A blend of Arab, Iranian and Indian cuisines you’ll dine well on rice, kebabs, curries and mango lassis. If you fancy some of the uniquely Afghan dishes don’t be afraid to ask for help! It’s not licensed so you can take your own.
- Value: £15-£25 per head
Santa Maria del Sur
- Style: Argentine
- Address: 129 Queenstown Road, SW8 3RH
- Tel: 0207 622 2088
- Website: http://www.santamariadelsur.co.uk/
- Valentine’s Special: £30 3-course special (see website)
- About: If you are a vegetarian, this may not be the place for you. A traditional Argentine affair involves meat, and lots of it! Opened in 2006 Santa Maria del Sur specialise in Argentine steaks. It has a good selection of wines from Mendoza and there are options for vegetarians as well as fish. For a taste of gaucho culture this is the place to come.
- Value: £20-£40 per head
At Kwintessential we work with a lot of design houses; both digital and print. One area we have to constantly coach our clients on is how language expands and contracts when undergoing a translation. So for example, 1,000 characters in English could end up as 850 when translated into one language and 1,400 in another. This poses headaches for designers as they usually build a website or graphics in English and then expect translated text to slot in nice and neatly.
By way of offering a simple ilustration, have a look at the menu bar below . Lets say Mr Designer starts with the English template and then wants his website to go into Italian, German, French and Spanish. You can see that if he bases his site around the dimensions of the English template, it is not going to work! This is because the translated text has inflated the area he needs for his menu.
The answer to this is not very difficult. Your translation agency or translator needs to know how text will be used and what for. Once the context is understood either they look for alternative translations to fit defined spaces or we work with the designer to create a more flexible layout.
If you need help with regards to web or graphic design please contact one of our team.
This image was posted up on Facebook. We are unable to locate the source, so if the source locates this please get in touch so we can give you the credit.
It’s a great insight for those who find the British communication style puzzling at times. We tend to beat around the bush a lot, rely on others to interpret what we are really trying to say and be as polite as we can. For more info on this topic visit our British Culture and Customs page.