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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in international
Travel by its very nature means meeting and living with people from different cultures; and with cultures coming together there will always be differences in the way we do things. By way of highlighting this, the insurers Insure and Away have compiled a rather cool infographic of 50 Foreign Faux Pas to help keep you out of trouble!

The World’s Happiest People Live in ... ?

Posted by on in News
What would you have guessed? Well the answer is...Denmark. Surprised? 'Happiness come from within', some say, but it also seems that your happiness might be in relation to the country you live in as well.

Alternative Maps of the World

Posted by on in News
Maps are a wonderful way of looking at the world. The Washington Post has listed 40 maps that "explain the world". Although they don't necessarily do quite that, some of the maps are of interest from a cultural perspective. Here are some of the the more interesting maps.

Fiscal Cliff - Global Translations

Posted by on in Translation
News broadcasts that cover a foreign subject often translate (or at least explain) the terms that occur in their news items; this is true for American economical term "fiscal cliff" which is a current buzz word in the context of the global recession. So what happens to these buzzwords around the globe? Do they get lost in translation?
Ever thought of going global with your design or construction company? You might run into problems you didn’t expect to occur. Here are a few tips on how to realise your global ambitions as smooth as possible!
Do you export? AstraZeneca's Stuart Anderson offers some insights into the importance of understanding and adapting to the local culture in order to maximise success.
Did you know a video game can have over 1 million words? How does a company go about getting that translated? and translated well?

Do you think the "at" @ symbol is called 'at' all over the world? Think again! Here's a look at some of the more interesting names.

Legal translations for international courts

Posted by on in News
In the news: legal translations abroad for courts, Twitter languages, Microsoft developing translation tool and intercultural viewpoints.

Some interesting news pieces this week around language learning, the impact of Welsh on gas prices, Pokemon localization and a cross-cultural analysis of "fairness".
Currently in the news > the French aren't happy about English terminology, the release of a great new book on translation and a look at global mobile phone use and cultural differences!

Do's and Don'ts of Website Localisation

Posted by on in Localization
Taking your website global? Here are some Do's and Don'ts to Website Localisation you can't ignore.

Do you sell online? Have you started considering foreign markets to boost your sales?

The App Localization Process

Posted by on in Localization
If you want international success with your app you need to make it available in other languages through the process of localization.

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!


A report out today suggests that students in the UK are not what the country needs in order to remain competitive in the global economy. The Global Skills Gap report by the British Council warns that the “UK economy risks losing global competitiveness”.

Although the research is making headlines, including on the BBC, is anyone really that surprised? I’m not.

The report was compiled off the back of a survey of 500 business leaders. So what were their conclusions?

•    Recruiting staff who can “think globally” is crucial for multi-national companies
•    75% of the leaders fear the UK is going to be left behind because of the lack of recruits with international awareness
•    The UK is in danger of being taken over by countries such as China, India and Brazil who produce more ‘worldly’ recruits
•    74% warned that in the UK young people's "horizons are not broad enough" for a globalised economy
•    35% of multinational firms find it difficult to recruit employees of the calibre they need
•    Business leaders suggest that schools are too worried about exam results and league tables not “about the wider world beyond the school gates and beyond our shores"
•    If UK students do not have the skills wanted by multinational employers then "highly skilled and highly paid jobs will be increasingly taken by young people in countries other than the UK"
•    Young people in the UK risk being confined to low-paid jobs or being out of work

This is a massive issue for UK PLC. It should not be underestimated. School leavers and graduates from many countries leave with a good standard of education, speak another language(s), are conscious and aware of the outside world and appreciate the need to be competitive in every way. They are armed and hungry!

So what’s the solution? Well three very simple places to start are 1) language, 2) our immigrant population and 3) topics at school.

In the UK we are notorious for our appalling lack of language skills. The uptake at school and then at university has been dropping consistently over the years. There is a complete lack of emphasis on the importance of knowing another language. In order to produce young people that think and act global we need to start with language. The evidence is clear that learning a language broadens the mind in terms of cultural know-how, empathy, out-of-the-box thinking, etc. We should be demanding from our schools that each and every leaver leaves with French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic or Japanese [and any others].

In addition to this, why are we not taking advantage of the languages spoken in immigrant homes such as Mandarin, Somali, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, etc? Immigration should be used to benefit the UK at home and abroad. These children hold massive potential in that they are naturally cross-cultural, they are multilingual and they do have something to offer us in terms of our position in the global economy. We are not capitalizing on this. Children are brought up thinking their food, language, etiquette and values are for “the home” and not for the global workplace. Wrong.

How many schools do you know that teach international business? How many school leavers would know what ‘BRIC’ means? How many appreciate how inter-reliant all the world’s economies are? How many are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, think globally, explore the international scene, etc? How many have used social media such as Facebook and Twitter as a platform to look at all the above? The answer is not many. The education system needs to catch up and catch up fast in order to ensure this generation have a voice.

In conclusion, the report reveals nothing of any surprise but what it does do is highlight the fact that if we are to remain globally competitive in the next 100 years, we need to address these issues now.

by +Neil Payne


Interesting to read about Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke’s speech at Clifford Chance earlier this week. It is clear the government has to get the UK exporting in order to get us all out of the current slump. UKT&I continue to do great work and now the government has launched the ‘Legal Services Action plan’ which aims to promote London as the legal capital of the world.
Clarke hailed the UK’s legal services industry as ‘world-class’ and gave an overview of initiatives the Government is taking in order to further the interests of the UK’s legal businesses.
At Kwintessential we have worked with a number of legal firms setting up shop abroad and exporting their brands over the past few years. Cultural awareness training has been provided pretty much exclusively on China, the Middle East and India identifying those as the main markets. That’s why it is interesting to see the government has targeted what they call ‘new markets’ such as South East Asia, Brazil and Turkey.
It seems the Government have woken up to the potential the sector holds at present. With a high reputation abroad, British legal firms have long been looked to for guidance by other nations keen to establish rigorous legal systems and practices. I spent a lot of time in Dubai last year speaking to local lawyers all of whom acknowledged that it is the British legal system that the local laws look towards in terms of a standard.
“Law as an industry has sometimes felt itself to be overlooked in its treatment by government – certainly relative to financial services. So I want to make it clear that for this Government, the City of London is a legal centre – not just a financial one. Contrary to popular myth, I do not wear hush puppies but I am prepared to wear out much shoe leather promoting the UK as lawyer and adviser to the world, particularly in areas where protectionist regulations remain an impediment to exporting UK services,” added Clarke.
Let’s see how this initiative goes but from appearances the sector should get a real boost from this support and can now start looking towards expansion into foreign markets.

by Neil Payne



Across the business world culture clearly affects the way in which business is conducted and as such if you are thinking of moving your business into the international arena and the global marketplace then you need to start making sure that you and your staff have a sufficient amount of intercultural understanding.
Intercultural understanding can truly only be gained through experiencing foreign cultures first hand and through this people will then start to get a real feel for what makes people from other parts of the world tick and give them a deeper understanding about the different types of business practises around the world.
When you are learning about new cultures you have to be careful not to just scratch the surface and take things at face value. True intercultural understanding comes about from knowing an area of the world very well and understanding the key differences between that area of the globe compared to other places.
Whilst going on training courses and reading books about other cultures can hold a certain amount of value nothing will ever replace the true knowledge that comes from having been to a place and having lived and breathed the culture first hand.
Whilst cross cultural training is a great idea for employees that are about to embark on business within a new country it should only really be looked upon as the first stage in learning about the new culture.
Businesses who give a high value to intercultural understanding usually fair a lot better on the international stage than those who do not feel that it holds very much importance in the business world.

Bilingual Business @ Home

Posted by on in Cultural Diversity



The benefits of launching operations globally have been well documented. Launching offices in places like India and China has allowed companies like Nestle and Google to harness the benefits of addressing consumers in their own language.
But you don’t have to go abroad to benefit from going bi-lingual. Your operations can stay at home and still significantly increase their consumer base through the use of additional languages.
1.    Cultural Diversity Online
Many countries are culturally diverse today, especially in urban areas, so launching websites that address the multi-lingual roots of your consumers can bring you big business at home. For example the USA has a population of 311 million people, of this number almost 50 million have Hispanic roots. Adopting Spanish-language websites could improve the uptake of internet shopping in this culture-group as they feel that their linguistic needs are being directly addressed. Furthermore on a practical level, roughly 12 million of these people are unable to speak English proficiently meaning that Spanish-language websites are the only way for them to access the web.

2.    Bi-Lingual in-store
However, not all companies want to make the investment in multiple websites, perhaps deciding that the translation output or the cost of personale to run these sites is too high. Some companies such as Home Depot have even found that multiple sites can cause problems where consumers believe they can purchase products in countries like Spain (because the website is in Spanish) whereas the company only currently deliver in the USA. Home Depot’s solution was the facilitation of bi-lingual communication in-store.
Spanish-speaking employees in-store were able to serve the quarter of Hispanic people who don’t speak English and the further fifty percent of Hispanics who, although proficient in English, prefer to communicate in their mother-tongue.

Of course companies can then expand their delivery or offices worldwide in response to the demand for their multiple lingual sites. Companies like Best Buy, NutriSystem, AFLAC and Vonage have all made moves to service their culturally and linguistically diverse consumer base.
So if you haven’t the money or just don’t want to make the move to global offices or delivery at the moment you can still benefit from making your company bi-lingual. Whether online or in-store people respond better when they feel their custom is appreciated; so bi-lingual could not only encourage people to use your services but also ensure they continue to come back to you in the future.

Guide to Selling Translations

Posted by on in Press Releases



If you are in need of a boost to your translation sales then you might want to take a look at a new guide that has come from The Common Sense Advisory entitled “How to Drive Translation Sales”.
This guide offers a manual on how translation companies can help to guide their sales teams back to selling more and achieving higher sales targets. The manual claims to get your translation sales team selling and therefore pushing up your profits.
Business sense determines that in order to get your sales team working to your advantage then your company will need to have a very clear guide to its selling strategy. However it is a fact that many companies see their sales figures drop as a result of their translation services not having an organised sales guide for their staff to follow.
The theory behind the new manual “How to Drive Translation Sales” is based on The Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model which claims to help bolster selling techniques by providing a strategic manual for selling.
Instead of using regular hit and miss selling techniques this guide hopes to change the way that you are selling your translation services, by showing companies how to create their own manual for their sales force to follow. This manual will help guide them to maximising their sales figures. This is done by using a comprehensive selling guide when approaching new clients and by looking at their translation needs as a whole, therefore providing a solution based selling method.
The manual was a result of collaboration between The Common Sense Advisory and Selling Translations®. Both of these companies agree that it is a powerful manual for those who are looking to overhaul their sales techniques in order to maximise translation sales.
The guide claims to help you put together your very own manual to outline a selling strategy for your translation business and offers a helpful guide on such things as:

  • Average salaries for translation salespeople.

  • A guide on how to keep your translation sales in line with your corporate strategy.

  • A watch list of common mistakes that lead to selling failure.


For more information on the manual go to commonsenseadvisory.com.