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Top Languages and Markets on the Internet Today

By Guest Author Cheryl Rettig of www.WinTranslation.com.

After extensive market research, a thorough examination of the strengths of your business, and determining whether there is a need for your product or service, you have decided you are ready to take your company into international markets. You have also come to realize that people who speak English as their first language comprise less than 30% of all online users. In light of this fact, you know that in order to be successful in your attempts at taking your business global, you will have to localize your websites, documents, and marketing materials. But with all the countries in the world, how do you pinpoint the best market for your business? With all the languages spoken across the globe, how do you determine into which language(s) to localize? With so many options, how do you choose? Read more »

Culture and Why it Matters to Your Business

By Guest Author Cheryl Rettig of wintranslation.

What is one of the most often overlooked elements in a company’s international marketing strategy that can determine the success or failure of a product or service in overseas markets? The answer is one word – culture. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, and your marketing campaign or website runs the risk of failing to attract potential buyers at best, or at worst, alienating or offending millions of people.

Keep reading to learn why culture is so important to the financial success of your company and Read more »

52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural Communication

52 Activities For Improving Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Communications

52 Activities For Improving Cross-Cultural Communications

If you are looking for specific steps you can take to improve your intercultural business communication, consider checking out 52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural Communication. This book specifically explores cross-cultural communication issues with an eye toward increasing cross-cultural understanding and effectiveness.

As the authors point out, “Communication styles and patterns differ vastly among people from different cultures” with every culture having their own “communication style norm.” When these specific styles mix with others, stereotypes begin and sometimes inaccurate perceptions arise. Read more »

Corporate Culture Shock in America – Part 3

In this 4-part series, “Corporate Culture Shock in America,” author Susan Davidson explains the cost of lost productivity incurred by American corporations because of months of isolation, confusion, and frustration experienced by expatriates and foreign nationals who relocate to the United States to live and work.

In this section Davidson focuses on The American Spirit at Work.

Click here to read part 1 of this 4 part series

Click here to read part 2 of this 4 part series

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By Susan Davidson

The American Spirit at Work Read more »

Corporate Culture Shock in America – Part 2

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...

Image via Wikipedia

In this 4-part series, “Corporate Culture Shock in America,” author Susan Davidson explains the cost of lost productivity incurred by American corporations because of months of isolation, confusion, and frustration experienced by expatriates and foreign nationals who relocate to the United States to live and work. In this section she discusses:

  • Bottom of the Pyramid
  • American English “Sports-speak”
  • Acronym Soup

Click here to read part 1 of this 4 part series.

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By Susan Davidson

Bottom of the Pyramid Read more »

Corporate Culture Shock in America – Part 1

Looking south from Top of the Rock, New York City

Image via Wikipedia

In this 4-part series, “Corporate Culture Shock in America,” author Susan Davidson explains the cost of lost productivity incurred by American corporations because of months of isolation, confusion, and frustration experienced by expatriates and foreign nationals who relocate to the United States to live and work.

At the end of this section, Davidson discusses the Stages of Adjustment.

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By Susan Davidson

Expatriates and foreign nationals who relocate to the United States to live and work often have mixed perceptions about this young nation. Those feelings are probably best described by the late Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, who referred to America as “a land of unmatched vitality and vulgarity.”

While most Americans rarely think of their country as “foreign,” the fact is that non-Americans who relocate to the United States to do business and “do lunch” are often surprised to find they experience a severe case of “corporate culture shock.”

According to recently conducted research with dozens of foreign business professionals working in Atlanta and other southeastern U.S. cities, the human resource departments of multinational corporations are woefully inadequate in preparing foreigners for the American workplace. The purpose of the study was to learn about foreign managers’ experiences and attitudes regarding the American business culture. More than half of this diverse group of CEOs, CFOs, vice presidents, directors, managers, engineers, and analysts were European. In total, 26 different countries were represented.

Equally disturbing is the finding that American employees lack cross-cultural awareness and skills that would enable them to draw on the diverse, global talents and business experiences of their non-American counterparts.

Once the physical relocation to the United States is complete, most foreigners and their families say employers provide little, if any, assistance to help them integrate into the American community and business environment. They often struggle up to a year or longer to adapt.

The financial cost of cross-border relocations is steep; often two to four times the transferee’s salary. But the cost of lost productivity because of months of isolation, confusion, and frustration is incalculable. The adaptation period could be reduced by 50 percent with adequate cultural orientation and training, professional coaching, and mentoring. If corporations would simply invest an additional 5 to 10 percent of their relocation cost into cross-cultural orientation, training, and coaching, they would be buying an insurance policy that protects their substantial investment in their expatriate and foreign nationals, realizing a greater productivity return on their investment much sooner.

Stages of Adjustment

Left on their own, foreign professionals frequently go through three stages of acculturation:

  1. Discovery. First, they encounter the barriers and differences that create discomfort and frustration for them and their families.
  2. Search. Second, they begin to look for the people and resources that can help them overcome the cultural barriers.
  3. Adaptation. Finally, they make the necessary adjustments to their communication style, work style, and business practices to build relationships with their American colleagues.

Some foreigners never make it through the adaptation stage and continue to remain isolated from their American colleagues and are less-than-effective in their jobs.

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Susan Davidson is founder and president of Beyond Borders, Inc., an Atlanta-based coaching, training and consulting firm that specializes in improving the business performance of global managers and teams. Susan has worked with Fortune 500 and global corporations for more than 25 years to improve the sales, leadership skills, communications and business effectiveness of leaders, employees and salespeople.

Ms. Davidson has published several articles on her groundbreaking research with foreign business professionals who experience “corporate culture shock” in the U.S. workplace. She is also a featured speaker for human resource, international and training organizations. She can be reached at 770.451.997 or by visiting http://www.beyondborders.us.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Davidson

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Hurdles to Cross Cultural Business Communication

Author: Neil Payne

International businesses are facing new challenges to their internal communication structures due to major reforms brought about through internationalization, downsizing, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Lack of investment in cross cultural training and language tuition often leads to deficient internal cohesion. The loss of clients/customers, poor staff retention, lack of competitive edge, internal conflicts/power struggles, poor working relations, misunderstandings, stress, poor productivity and lack of co-operation are all by-products of poor cross cultural communication.

Cross cultural communications consultants work with international companies to minimise the above consequences of poor cross cultural awareness. Through such cooperation, consultancies like Kwintessential have recognised common hurdles to effective cross cultural communication within companies.

Here we outline a few examples of these obstacles to cross cultural co-operation:

Read more »

Cross Cultural Network/Mobile Communication Issues

In the impressive list of coverage announced by Alain Yee-Loong Chong, Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Network and Mobile Technologies (IJNMT), the very last topic is “Cross cultural network/mobile communication issues.” But just why would this prestigious journal feel that cross cultural communication issues are worthy of coverage?

As Chong explains, “The aim of International Journal of Network and Mobile Technologies (IJNMT) is promote, address and capture innovative and state of the art research and work in the network and mobile technologies field,” encompassing everything from businesses to entertainment.

Let’s look at this a little deeper. Read more »

The Communication Cycle

The Cycle of Communications explained in the video below demonstrates not only how communication takes place, but helps us see why miscommunication happens so often. Now if this much can go wrong between people speaking the same language and living in the same culture, can you see how easily miscommunication takes place across cultures?

Can Silence be Eloquent?

The Japanese are known for their periods of silence in business negotiations.

Americans are uncomfortable with silence and feel an internal obligation to fill the silence with words, often making comments that tip their hand.

But do the Japanese really set out to use silence as a tool to gain competitive advantage in negotiations as many think? Not really.

The following excerpt from an article titled “Can Silence Be Eloquent?” on the WIN Advisory web site provides valuable insight into why silence is important in Japanese culture. Read more »