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Neil Payne

Neil is Founder and currently Marketing Director of Kwintessential. His work interests are in languages and translation, as well as cultural awareness within business and international trade. Websites, ecommerce the online world are his particular passions due to his long relationship with SEO and SEM. Speaking Farsi, Turkish and some Arabic his specialisation is within the Middle East region although of late his interest in West Africa has developed.

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Neil Payne

Neil Payne

Neil Payne established Kwintessential in 2004 upon completion of his MA in Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS University (London). His previous experience as an English language teacher, a Turkish to English translator and cultural advisor coupled with many years travelling in his twenties helped in identifying the need within business to overcome the challanges and opportunities of language and culture within international trade and commerce. The result is what you see today in Kwintessential.
When reading about localization in the business world, it is important to remember that it's so much more than language localization or websites and apps. Localization in fact can refer to adapting anything to another country, culture or taste. Weetabix are now planning on targetting the Chinese breakfast market but what will they localize?
Case studies from real business life are always the most powerful of ways to highlight the importance of local knowledge and cultural awareness for those operating in foreign countries. Often ignored or undervalued, this lack of sensitivity can sometimes have messy outcomes.
For readers who are unsure of what localisation is, how it works and what it does; this blog is for you. For those who understand it, then you're probably already chuckling at the image above.
Manchester City Football Club has announced the addition of new  foreign languages to its website illustrating the growing importance of having a multilingual online presence when building a global fan base. What else does this tell us about the future of global business, marketing and football?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, translated the lyrics into the world's most spoken languages using Google Translate and then translated them back into English?

Ramadan: The Business of Fasting

Posted by on in Cultural Awareness
Did you know Ramadan starts next Tuesday, the 9th July 2013 [June 29th 2014]? Well it might do; all depends on the moon. Nevertheless millions of working men and women from Morocco to Saudi Arabia to Indonesia will be fasting from dawn till dusk as of next week. Life changes for 30 days inevitably having an impact on business.
If you have been following our blog you will know that I am over in Ghana developing our understanding of business in West Africa. As part of the trip we are involved in a UKTI - London Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission which stopped in Lagos, Nigeria and then onto Accra, Ghana, where we joined the group. The mission is being led by the shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna.
I am currently in Ghana developing our translation services for local languages spoken in Ghana. You may have read my colleague Caroline’s blog yesterday about her first day over in Accra? We are here developing Kwintessential’s skills and know-how and we plan to blog each day to give insight into our trip.

ELIA ND Munich 2013: Doing Business in Germany

Posted by on in News
I am currently in Germany taking part in the European Language Industry Association (ELIA) Networking Days conference which takes part twice a year. As members we really like ELIA, its members and what is does for the translation and language sector.
Do you keep track of the business sectors you work for? As a company, we do and we believe it's crucial we know who are clients are, what we do for them and how we can improve.

Eating Horse Meat: British Cultural Taboos

Posted by on in News
It appears a lot of people in the UK have been tucking into horse meat without knowing it. The media has gone crazy with the story and this has made me wonder whether all the attention may actually change the British view of the meat? Will we see a cultural change?

Muslim campaign to take back Translation of "Jihad"

Posted by on in News
I came across an interesting news piece recently from The Washington Post about the Arabic word “jihad”. An organisation called My Jihad has started a campaign across the USA to re-brand the word to try and distance it from those on the extremes of Islam (and of course outside Islam) who use and abuse its translation.
Can culture training for foreign footballers help solve the issue of racism in football? The Football Association seems to think educating players on British culture can help get rid of the ugly side of the game. Neil Payne gives his reaction to today's news.
Gary Lineker is facing criticism for his live comments on Al Jazeera that were seen to be offensive to Muslims.

Tagged in: culture islam media muslims
A fascinating story in the Metro (Sweden) today raises some very intriguing questions about localization and values.

Ten Tips on International SEO

Posted by on in Localization
Got a website? Looking to take it global? Well you need our top ten tips on international SEO to get your campaign off to a flying start. Let our A-Team of SEO gurus guide you to glory!
Looking for tweets on translation or by translation people? Look no further. We've got 100 of the best to get you on your way...

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Do you work in a culturally diverse team? Here are 33 invaluable tips that will help improve communication, trust and team-spirit. Got a tip to add? Then leave a comment!