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Nottingham Lace Gives the British Economy a Boost!

The city of Nottingham has a lot of services to offer - a strong legal sector, many creative industries and of course SanTranslate translation services. Good translation is the springboard for brilliant British business ideas to go global. Selling abroad is in fact the business plan of Mary Portas, a retail expert who is having great success with the feature of Kinky Knickers in Mary's Bottom Line, a TV show on Channel 4.

Mary Portas wants to bring manufacturing back to the UK and has created high-quality ladies' knickers which are 100 percent British. They are made of Nottingham stretch lace. Mary revived the family firm of Headen & Quarmby of Middleton and got Nottingham-based lace-maker Jim Stacey, the last Nottingham stretch lace manufacturer in the UK, involved in the project.

Mary's idea is making people proud of buying a British product, not only in the UK but also worldwide. This ambitious experiment involves giving a chance to the long-term unemployed to learn new skills, and since the factory's new £10 'Kinky Knickers' went on sale on 20 March, the firm has had to take on extra staff to cope with the demand. This seems a very good start!

By | April 16th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Language, Imperialism and Culture<

With the economic boom of the so-called BRIC nations, interest in the language and culture of these countries is increasing in the West. Dr. Thorsten Pattberg of Peking University has recently written an article called Language Imperialism, Concepts and Civilization: China versus The West, where he analyses the ways that translation of certain key concepts misrepresents history and culture.

He distinguishes between linguistic and language imperialism. The first one entails that a dominant language replace another one, whereas the second means picking up foreign concepts and translating them with a term familiar to the target culture.

He gives the example of shengren and wenming, two Chinese words that most Americans and Europeans have never heard.

Shengren(聖人) is the ideal personality and the highest member in the family-based Chinese value tradition. The word is normally translated into English asphilosopher or saint.

In a recent lecture at Peking University, the renowned linguist Gu Zhengkun explained that wenming (文明) describes a high level of ethics and gentleness of a people, while its English translation, civilisation, is linked to the control over materials and technology.

Until the 20th century, the Europeans believed China was not a proper civilisationbecause it had no police force, while China accused Europe of being withoutwenming because it lacked filial piety, tolerance, human gentleness and so on.

Since the European languages have their own histories and traditions, Dr. Thorsten Pattberg thinks that they cannot sufficiently render Chinese concepts. The solution he proposes is to not translate the most important foreign concepts at all but to adopt them.

By | April 16th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

New Job, Old-Fashioned Jealousy

The Economist has recently published an interesting article about the impact of beautiful women including photos in their CVs. Studies have shown that at work attractive women are more likely to get a promotion than plain ones. Most people will think that they are also favoured in job interviews, but research by two Israelis apparently suggests the opposite.

Bradley Ruffle at Ben-Gurion University and Ze’ev Shtudiner at Ariel University Centre looked at what happens when a beautiful woman includes her photo with her CV, as usually happens in Europe and Asia. The two lecturers sent fictional applications to over 2,500 real-life vacancies. For each job, they sent two CVs, one with a photo, one without. The result was that attractive females were less likely to be offered an interview if they included a photo. The researchers found that when applying to a company, beautiful women needed to send out 11 CVs before getting an interview, whereas plain women just needed seven.

What’s the reason for this trend? The researchers found out that it lies in old-fashioned jealousy among females. Most HR staff are women, so they tend to discriminate against pretty candidates. Mr. Ruffle thinks that the practice of including a photo in a CV should be discouraged, like in the Belgian public sector, where CVs do not even include the candidate’s name.

If you like this blogpost, you can also read Personal Names, Such Important Words!

By | April 15th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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