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International Communication Knowledge System

Regional Language Network Language and cultural skills support for European projects

Liz Littler www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

 Funded by Yorkshire Forward  Expert body for international communication skills support  Office in Sheffield with 7 staff

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Overview of RLN services       

Inward investment – LMI function International trade – 4215 businesses assisted Migrant workers’ employers Language learning for employability Communication with deaf communities International Student Placement Office Research

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Our services  Language training  Languo - specialist providers of translation and interpreting  Cultural briefings  Engage Worldwide  Employing staff with language skills, ISPO placements etc  Intercultural awareness  Website translation / localisation / optimisation  Project managers – regional and EU

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Languages are important – some stats!  Buying in their own language is an expectation of 8 out of 10 customers  98% of those with no knowledge of English want to buy in their own language as do 75% of those who speak fluent English as a foreign language  More than 7 out of 10 (71%) respondents are more likely to purchase the same brand again if the after-sales care is in their mother tongue  People are 3 times more likely to buy from the internet if addressed in their own language

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

The Big Picture  75% of the world’s population don’t speak English  Only 6% of the population of the world speak English as a first language – your European contact is likely to be one of the 94%  Only 31% of Western Europeans speak English as a foreign language  60% of British Trade is with non-English speaking countries

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Language in European projects  Use email not telephone (easier to understand and cheaper)  Communicate in jargon free English: - aims and objectives of your project - anticipated role of partner - type of organisation you are looking for

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

General tips for clear communication    

Use short sentences Speak clearly and slowly and repeat phrases Check for understanding When using technical terms you may need to explain them – glossary  Avoid complex sentence structures – use single verb forms  Avoid irony and be careful with jokes – they often do NOT translate well! www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Examples in everyday language  I will come back to you  Close of play  Can you give me a ring  Knocked for six, stumped

 Answer (not specific enough)  End of the working day  Call/telephone  Surprised

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

What happens when you get it wrong? • European restaurant – “Our wines leave you nothing to hope for” • Hotel, Vienna – “In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter” www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Practical cultural considerations –     

Working hours differ (e.g. French lunch from 12 to 2) Different time zones Many European countries take August off Public holidays differ from country to country A smile doesn’t signify agreement !

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Tips on how to avoid them  Be prepared – learn a little about the culture ( www.rlnyh.com, www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk)  Be open, polite  Avoid discussion about politics and religion and all other sensitive subjects  ALWAYS check for understanding and follow up in writing – some cultures avoid the word ‘no’

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Be culturally aware – do your homework! • Don’t jump to conclusions • Bear hugs – reciprocate! • Handshaking is common when greeting & leaving • Kissing – how good’s your counting? • Language – courtesy language minimum; jargon! • Avoid offence – know their sensitivities

• Meals & food – go with the flow and prepare enough delays – be prepared • Dress – “when in Rome………” • Punctuality • Business cards • Titles • Smoking www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

What is culture? Cultural differences in international communication with project partners is about recognising two things: 1) Different ways of working 2) Different client/partner expectations “The way we do things and the way we view things round here� www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Cross-cultural success in international projects depends on‌.. TRUST

RAPPORT

CREDIBILITY

Building good relations

Matching Communication styles www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Rapport and credibility depend on understanding and using the 5 C’s. 1 Cultural Knowledge –minimum facts 2 Cultural Behaviour – core differences 3 Cultural Values and Attitudes – significant differences 4 Cultural sensitivity –cultural preferences 5 Cultural Adaptation – How do you adapt to another culture (and get them to adapt to you?) www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

RADAR R

Recognise you have a communications problem.

A

Analyse the causes in the cross-cultural continuum.

D

Decide what to do. Do more of something or less of something.

A

Action - Do it.

R

Review it. Did it work? Do more of it? Didn’t it work? Do less of it or try something else. www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

“If you experience something that surprises you, angers you or that you find completely ridiculous, you may be in the presence of a cultural characteristic�

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Working on a European project will be a culturally enriching experience – Vive la diffÊrence !

www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

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Sources

CILT key facts: www.cilt.org.uk Culturesmart Guides (Kuperard Publishing) Cultureshock Guides (Times Publishing) DTI – UKTI briefings: www.tradeyorkshire.com Glossaries of EU jargon exist but date quickly as new terms and acronymns are added There is a reasonably up to date one on the CORDIS website (mainly of use for bids for R&D funding at: http://cordis.europa.eu/guidance/glossary_en.html There is also a glossary in relation to the structural funds at: http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/structural_cohesion_fund_en.htm And another one from the budgeting and finance perspective: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/other_main/glossary_en.htm IATE – InterActiveTerminology for Europe: http://iate.europa.eu/ International House, Barry Tomlinson Lonely Planet Guides Mind Your Manners, John Mole, NB Publications When Cultures Collide, Richard D Lewis, NB Publications RLN briefings: www.rlnyh.com The Cultural Gaffes Pocketbook, Angelena Boden, Management Pocketbooks www.rlnyh.com


International Communication Knowledge System

Contact details Liz Littler 07918 659 190 liz.littler@rlnyh.com

www.rlnyh.com

www.rlnyh.com


http://www.nwda.co.uk/docs/Liz%20Littler%20Regional%20Language%20Network