Intercultural Communication and Translation News
Archive for the ‘Cultural Diversity’ Category
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.
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
New Zealand Education Minster, Pita Sharples, has launched a new initiative ‘Tataiako’ that aims to help teachers to improve their understanding of Maori culture. The resource, which acts as a set of guidelines, enables teachers to reflect on their past cultural sensitivity, to assess their existing knowledge, and also to take responsibility for improving their cultural awareness for the future.
The important aspect of this particular programme is that it looks to establish a long-term reflexive attitude within the teaching commuity. The stress is not to enforce rules or test teachers, but instead to encourage them to contemplate upon their own experiences and behaviour throughout their careers.
New Zealand is popular with tourists from all over the world and is famous for accommodating and welcoming their needs. However, as with every country, it is vital that it considers the cultural integration of its own citizens before true pluralism can be achieved. It is not about a short-term activity-based integration or homogenizing of migrant communities, it is about the existing people of New Zealand having respect for the cultures of their own islands.
“Engaging in respectful working relationships with Maori students and their families” (quoted from: New Zealand news platform ‘Stuff’) is a key point taken from the new guidelines. It extends from the classroom discussion and integrity of cultural awareness to broader social integration of different communities within New Zealand (school) life. A further three guidelines outline “sincerity and respect towards Maori beliefs, language and culture”, taking responsibility for the learning of Maori students and the deliberate recognition of Maori student’s heritage as the core competancies for teachers to work for.
The main need is to understand the importance of identity to Maori students and their communities. Without understanding the unique perspectives of these children and young adults, you cannot fully engage in understanding how school and learning can and will come across to them.
Statistical evidence over the past decade has shown that students from a Maori background are falling behind those children from other ethnic groups. Improving cultural awareness will not only improve the continuity of Maori childrens’ lives, but will also make it easier for communication to exist between schools and Maori communities on the issue of education.
Finally, from the development of more culturally aware and skillful teachers should come the formulation a of more respectful, united and happy student population.
A new report has highlighted the fact that the police force across the UK has spent over £82 million over the last three years on translation services. It is thought that the police have had to fork out such a large chunk of their budget so that they can effectively communicate with migrant criminals, victims and witnesses.
In 2004 the EU allowed Poland and other eastern European countries to join its ranks and since then translation costs have been soaring.
It is estimated that the police spend approximately £75,000 a day on translators which could equate to 3,542 extra officers on the beat.
The latest figures have been highly criticised as they come at a time when the police force have had to take officers off the beat as a result of spending cuts. Some forces have had to impose pay freezes but it seems as though the costs of paying for translators is rising at a great rate. .
However, the police are aware that they need to serve all of the community and in areas where a diverse range of languages are spoken it is a must to be able to communicate effectively with the public.
The government are responding to the high spend though by imposing an £18 million cut this year on translation budgets.
It seems that legal clerks are going to be required to undergo diversity training if they want to continue working successfully within the legal field.
Legal chambers are now seeking to protect themselves against the lack of cultural knowledge that their staff may have by making sure that diversity training is undertaken. The move comes after the 4 Square case where discrimination charges were laid at 4 Square’s door.
The regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), is currently drawing up set of guidelines that will help to steer the legal profession through the minefield that is culture and diversity training. It is hoped that these guidelines will be approved and will be included in the code of conduct by the end of next year.
Legal companies are starting to realise the importance of cultural training and courses are filling up within hours of being made available to firms.
Legal companies have responded to the move saying that they welcome the new regulations that will require staff to be fully made up to date on cultural and diversity issues that are facing the UK at the moment.
More and more clients also expect their lawyers to know all about the dangers of discrimination so in order to give the clients what they need the firms need to make sure that all of the staff are brought up to speed.
4 Square barrister Aisha Bijlani has highlighted this issue after winning a claim against 4Square in which she accused the firm of racial and disability prejudice.
Many multi-national businesses understand the importance of diversity and the crucial role that the inclusion of diversity training can play within a multicultural company.
It is a very well documented fact that diversity can bring along with it barriers within a multicultural work force this means that the business might not be as productive as it could be. This is something that many HR teams work hard on within the companies in order to make sure that the work force work as well with each other as the possibly can.
Multicultural business experts are warning international companies that the temptation to only pay lip service to diversity training should be avoided at all costs and that companies who ignore the challenges of a multicultural workforce do so at their own peril.
It is not just people from different cultures that are benefiting from the increased positive attitude towards diversity at work. The gay and lesbian communities are also starting to see a lot more inclusion in forward thinking companies. Companies who are embracing diversity have found that it makes for a dynamic and creative atmosphere that is conducive to high quality output and the growth of a company.
Many business experts think that the current modern work force is made up of four pillars of people, the members of each group belong to very different generations. The mains groups are “traditionalists”, “boomers”, “generation-Xers” and “millennials”. Each group has their own idiosyncrasies and world views; as a result HR teams have to work hard on making sure that that every single group is included within the work force.
The Michigan Fish Test provides a great view into a person’s psyche and is also a great way to see their perception of the world and culture around them. You see, not everyone looks at their position within the world and within their own culture in the same way. It all depends on how your culture nurtures you, as this will have a very clear impact on your perception of the world around you.
The Michigan Fish Test is an image that was developed to test a person’s view of the world. It is an image that is made up from an underwater scene, with larger fish and smaller fish in a watery environment complete with bubbles and seaweed.
The test was put forward to two groups of people; one group from America and the other group from Japan. The study was interesting as the comments that came back from each group were strikingly different. The participants were asked to look at the Michigan Fish Test image for around 5 seconds and were then asked to comment on what it was they remembered from the picture. The answers provided an insight into the difference in culture between the two countries. The American group tended to only notice the larger fish and dismissed the peripheral images whilst the Japanese group tended to look at the image as more of a whole and commented on the environment as well as the characters.
Furthermore, when the image was changed slightly the Japanese group were able to point out the changes, whereas most of the American group were unable to do so.
The study showed that an individual’s perception of the world around them and of the people and things that they shared the world with was as a direct result of the way in which the world was positioned around them.
In areas such as London where there is large culturally diversity, it seems that hospitals are running up larger than average bills because they are having to employ interpreters so that patients who do not speak the language can understand the medical staff who are treating them.
Recent numbers indicate that around seven hospital trusts in London have run up large bills employing interpreters trying to tackle language barriers. It has sparked fresh outcry across London and the rest of the UK that people who come to England to live need to be able to speak the language.
The London NHS Trust said that its biggest bill was for £2.2million pounds to make sure that patients who did not speak the language had access to interpreters. The figures highlight the problem of immigration and language barriers. Nick de Bois the MP who published the findings said that it was a clear example of the cost to the country that people who do not speak the language can bring.
The survey was based on information from The University College London Hospital Trust which spent £1.6million, Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital paid £1.3million and Great Ormond Street Hospital and Homerton University Hospital had to pay approximately £1.2million each.
At a time when the country is cutting back on spending it seems an unnecessary expense for London hospitals to be spending their budget on interpreters. However it is also true that hospitals still need to provide proper patient care and when patients are unable to speak the language it seems that the hospitals have no choice but to employ interpreters.
Communication is important when it comes to good hospital care but this is not always easy or cheap as these London hospitals have proved by having to hire interpreters.