Intercultural Communication and Translation News
Archive for July, 2009
You are invited to submit a proposal for an innovative intercultural training idea or model for inclusion in a new intercultural training resource.
Many intercultural training activities and models have been used now for the past 30 years. This resource aims to highlight innovative activities and models that can be used in intercultural training. Innovative here is defined either as an entirely new and original way of engaging participants around intercultural themes and/or creative adaptations of concepts/activities from other fields.
We welcome you to submit for consideration your latest and greatest idea for working with culture, in one of two formats:
1. Training Activities – be it icebreakers, exercises and activities, simulations, case studies, role plays, games, or other types of creative training activities that you have created or discovered and that are highly effective.
2. Creative Alternatives for Culture Concepts – be it new models, analogies, pictures, processes, proverbs, quotes, cartoons, or other interesting and visual approaches to helping people understand culture concepts.
These can include the use of technology, face-to-face delivery , etc.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION
The less common, the more original, the more creative, and the more effective–the better.
If you thought of it yourself, great.
If you borrowed or adapted it from somewhere else (e.g. another field, another colleague, that’s fine too, just cite your sources).
If you have one idea or a dozen to contribute, please contribute as many as you wish.
The deadline for submitting your ideas is September 1st, 2009.
The best way to submit is online. For further instructions and a link to the submission form, go to:
If you have difficulty submitting online, you can email Kate Berardo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Darla K. Deardorff (email@example.com).
People from diverse cultures react differently to the element of surprise, according to authors Ana Valenzuela (Baruch College), Barbara Mellers (University of California, Berkeley), and Judi Strebel (San Francisco State University). The research team explored different cultural responses to promotional gifts, such as gift cards, mugs, snacks, t-shirts, etc.
The authors conducted four studies in which participants received a gift as a token of appreciation for participating in a survey. Some of the participants knew about the gifts before participating, while others were surprised. Regardless of the gift, participants from the United States enjoyed the surprise more than participants in Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.
“Why does this phenomenon happen? For Westerners, an unexpected gift reinforces feelings of control over their environment. For East Asians, an unexpected gift indicates imbalance and prophesizes bad fortune,” the authors write. “Our findings suggest that East Asians’ experience of surprise is closely connected to their motivation to seek emotional balance.”
Read more > Gifts
A go-ahead ruralbased company from North Perrott is beating the recession by taking advantage of the current economic climate to open a network of offices around the world.
Translation and multilingual communication specialists, Kwintessential, has expanded its operations to Cape Town in South Africa, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Monterey in the USA with the appointment of English speaking managers for each country.
Offices in Turkey, India and Germany will follow later this year.
Earlier this year, Kwintessential was awarded accreditation in quality management for its high standards of systems management.
Read more > Kwintessential
Clownfish Design Ltd, an international provider of websites and business softwares solutions has just completed the release of the Corporate Mailer, a multilingual online resource for emailing campaigns.
“Corporate mailer has been totally re-built as a web-based software available in 3 languages (English, French and Spanish) as a result of our constant objectives to offer international services to our clients” said Uldaric Bertinotti, Business Manager.
The new massive mailing software allows any registered company to use and resell Corporate mailer services to any client, even in a different country, by creating their email message in the receiver’s language, importing contacts and analyzing the campaign statistics thanks to detailed, automatically generated reports.
Read more > Clownfish
In 1997, with $100 billion in annual sales and 750,000 employees in 8 countries including the U.S., Wal-Mart decided to open 85 stores in Germany, a move Wall Street analysts applauded because it would pave the way for expansion into all of Europe. The retailer bought up a couple of smaller German store chains, and sent over an executive who had successfully run 200 U.S. Wal-Mart stores from headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., to manage the German operations. Nine years later, in July of 2006, Wal-Mart announced it would close down its German stores. The resulting loss: About $1 billion.
What went wrong?
Wal-Mart’s main mistake was blithely assuming that what worked in the U.S. would be just as effective in another country. First of all, that Bentonville executive in charge of Germany spoke no German, requiring all his direct reports to speak English at all times. (He turned out to be the German operations’ first of 4 CEOs in 4 years.) Worse, Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) exported its U.S. corporate culture wholesale — complete with a daily morning cheering session for store employees — and trained greeters and other staffers to ask customers “How are you today?” the way they do in U.S. stores.
Read more> Ask Annie
Intercultural Management Guide - free country specific tips and information.
Intercultural Management - an article about the role of today’s managers.
Management Coaching – one-to-one coaching for management.
Pedestrians have been left confused by a road sign telling them to look different ways in different languages.
A temporary road sign in Cardiff city centre urged English speakers to look one way before crossing the road, and Welsh speakers to look the other way.
The sign “pedestrians look left” was translated to say “cerddwyr edrychwch i’r dde” – or “pedestrians look right”.
Cardiff council said the sign was the work of a contractor, and it had been removed after the mistake was noticed.
Read more > Sign
Recent surveys of employers consistently show that what they look for in job candidates – and seldom find – are strong communication skills. As the work force increasingly diversifies and organizations become global in scale, employers are setting the bar higher, favoring candidates who can communicate sensitively and efficiently across cultural divides.
Multicultural awareness is a “critical success factor” in today’s job market, says B. K. Simerson of Tradewinds Consulting, a St. Charles, Ill.-based firm that helps organizations develop leaders and cope with change.
“We are now a global workforce. If you are entering an organization, unless it’s extremely small, you’re going to be interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds,” he says. These differences occur among co-workers and clients and in supply chains and distribution channels, he adds.
Understanding cultural differences and being able to communicate with people of different races, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds is so crucial to the success of organizations that it won’t be long before such will be the norm among job applicants and an expectation among employers, says Kristina Leonardi, adjunct instructor, NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies, New York.
Read more > Philly.com
Could you translate this?
“The promise of reform which the Green Paper heralds holds much for the public and Service alike; local policing, customized to local need with authentic answerability, strengthened accountabilities at force level through reforms to police authorities and HMIC, performance management at the service of localities with targets and plans tailored to local needs, the end of centrally engineered one size fits all initiatives, an intelligent approach to cutting red tape through redesign of processes and cultures, a renewed emphasis on strategic development so as to better equip our service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.”
Read more > Gobbledegook
The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2009 will bring together a diverse group of participants from across the world for a weeklong program of lectures, panel discussions and social events that will look at the role of soft power in contemporary international relations. The speakers during the week will be experts and leading figures from politics, academia, and the private sector. The participants of the Symposium include students, young professionals, senior academics and diplomats, who will have the chance to consider the future of soft power and cultural diplomacy with fellow participants and leading authorities. In the evenings the participants will have the opportunity to network in social events, enjoy live music and entertainment and to explore Berlin’s vibrant nightlife.
The International Symposium comprises a weeklong program of panel discussions and lectures in different locations across Berlin. Each component will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the speaker. This structure enables the participants to hear a range of informed perspectives on the issues under discussion and then raise issues they feel are important for further consideration.
During the evenings the ICD will organise activities and events that will allow the participants to experience Berlin, network and socialise with other participants and the Symposium speakers, and discuss the topics raised during the day.
The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will look at the role of soft power in the international environment and will focus on five related themes:
* The approaches of states and international organisations to soft power and the role it plays in their policy making
* The importance of multi-lateral understanding to cooperation on global challenges
* The role of cultural diplomacy in relations between the Western world and the Middle East
* The challenges and opportunities of using art and culture as vehicles of national foreign policy
* The influence of the private sector in the generation and application of soft power
To explore these themes thoroughly from both theoretical and practical perspectives we have selected expert speakers from the fields of academia, politics, and the private sector. We will hear from individuals with experience in prominent international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the European Union, as well as politicians and former politicians who have played instrumental roles in the development and application of foreign and national policies.
The Symposium speakers will also include professors and academics who have been at the forefront of international relations theory over the past two decades and who have played key roles in pioneering and developing the related concepts of soft power and cultural diplomacy.
The ICD is proud to announce the following as a selection of our speakers:
• Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Former President of Portugal (1996-2006)
• Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique (1986-2005), Former Chairperson of the African Union (2003-2004)
• Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia (1999-2007)
• Cassam Uteem, Former President of the Republic of Mauritius (1992-2002)
• Dr. Vasile Puşcaş, Romanian Minister for European Affairs
• Ints Dālderis, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
• Dr. Erkki Tuomioja, Member of Parliament and Former Foreign Minister of Finland (2000-2007)