As an international cross cultural training company one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how individuals can become intercultural trainers.
Unlike with many other professions, there is no simple answer....
Are you new to working abroad? Travelling to a foreign country for the first time for business?
Getting it right when working overseas is critical; but what do you do if you have little or no international exposure? You run the danger of too much exp...osure Borat-style!
Working internationally requires a very different skill-set to working domestically. What works well for you in your home country may count against you when working abroad. ...More
Things are heating up in Iran at the moment. We can tell. Why? Because as new markets open up we usually see this reflected in the countries we provide cultural awareness courses for; and you guessed it, the demand for Iran is big.
On occasion when t...he help needed by our clients is specific enough, I deliver some of our Iran cultural awareness courses. One topic that attendees always struggle with is the cultural concept that is known as ta’rof....More
As a cultural awareness training consultant, I spend most of my time arranging cultural awareness training sessions for relocating expatriates, existing global companies and companies who plan to go global.
The training is delivered either face to fa...ce or remotely via professional trainers, with great feedback from our delegates....More
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.
Playing games at work? From the work floor to education, gamification is becoming more and more common in a lot of areas. But the practice isn’t as straightforward as it seems: cultural differences prevent game developers from distributing one single game for different countries. Want to know what should be done to these games to cross the globe?
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!
In many Western cultures, the Christmas celebrations are more or less the same or thereabouts. The family gathers on Christmas Eve, a Christmas mass is possibly attended and presents are unwrapped. There are numerous cultures, however, that like their Christmas traditions a little less conventional…
It's Cyber Monday! Time to get your website translated and capture the Christmas shopping sprees! However, just because it is December it doesn't mean the only holiday that is held this time of the year is Xmas. Some countries traditionally have other fantastic celebrations which are not widely known, but still deserve online retailers' attention.
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.
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.
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!
Some recent findings by The London School of English show language and culture are still not getting the attention they deserve within companies today.In fact, the spirit of Basil Fawlty seems to live on within some British businesses!
Despite the Government pinning hopes on UK PLC exporting, it brings into question whether UK companies are thinking globally or relying on the rest of the world to think and act in such a manner?
The findings suggest that, "UK-based businesses could be risking international growth by failing to invest in cross-cultural, language and communications training."
The results spwan from research carried out that questioned 100 HR directors on their attitudes towards language and communication skills and their approach to training.
“These centenary research results show a shocking lacking of regard for our international, non-native English speaking business partners,” says Timothy Blake, Chief Executive of the London School of English. “The Brits may be reluctant to learn other languages, but this research suggests that we are not even prepared to invest in the training required to adapt our own language, accents and behaviour to help non-native English speakers understand us.”
Headline findings in the report include:
• 78% HR Directors questioned did not consider it necessary to train native English speakers to moderate their vocabulary when negotiating with non-native English speakers
• 98% believed their non-native English speakers could communicate effectively in English.
• Although 67% of those questioned believed that it was “very important” for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners; only 23% would offer training.
• Only 4% believed the “Basil Fawlty” approach of speaking “more loudly” would be effective in communicating with non-native English speakers.