Friday, 26 June 2015

Genes and the Ability to Learn a Foreign Language

Singapore has four official languages- English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin. So if you are able to speak more than one language it can improve your job prospects in Singapore, drastically.

Some people can learn a second or even third language more easily than others. One wonders if it is just a talent or is there something more to it. Now a new study claims to have proof that the ability to learn multiple languages may be more hardwired into our brain than previously thought- maybe at the genetic level.

A group of University of Austin researchers have found that variations in the FOXP2 gene strongly influence your chances of learning a new language as an adult. The study found that some adults, far from have difficulties in grasping new languages, have exceptional language learning skills. The researches said that understanding this variation can actually help design improved language learning tools in the future.

This means, if you want to learn a new language it may not be so difficult as you think it is. On the other hand, some of you might have to work harder to learn a new language. But here too, you can achieve success by changing how you learn rather than giving up the attempt altogether. So all those of you who are attending language classes, don't give up.


Want to Teach Your Kid Tamil in Singapore? How About Using an App

There are more than 500,000 people of Indian origin in Singapore and more than 60% of them have a Tamil background. Many Singaporeans have enrolled their children into Tamil learning classes, seeing how Tamil is also one of the four official languages of Singapore. The government is also chipping in in various ways, to make learning Tamil easier.

One of the steps it has taken is launching a Tamil learning app for pre-schoolers. The app called 'Arumbu' was launched at the recently concluded 14th Tamil Internet Conference. The app will use audio/visual aids to help children get a grip on the Tamil language. Incidentally, the conference was attended by over 200 delegates from Sri Lanka, Middle east, Switzerland, US, UK, France, Australia and more.

Earlier, a local company had launched a internet based Tamil news/current affairs portal so that people could follow developments concerning the community. The government is also actively promoting Tamil through Tamil speaking campaigns, national debates and cultural activities.

These development are important because many expats are coming to the Singapore to settle. Many local businesses are owned by the Tamil diaspora. So by learning Tamil and teaching your kids to speak Tamil, you can open up more job avenues for yourself (and for your children in the future).

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How Language Localization Can Help MNCs in Singapore

With MNCs expanding businesses, thanks to globalization, boundaries are being dissolved at a rapid pace. It is not difficult to find a product manufactured in the US in South East Asian countries or to find Asian products in the West. But launching the same product in different countries is not an easy task.

However well-meaning an MNC might be, they have to promote the product in every country in a way that is acceptable to the consumers, socially, culturally and economically. The same applies to the MNCs in Singapore. This modern island-country has a highly developed market economy which makes it one of the best countries to invest and expand in. While doing so it is important to respect local language, customs, and beliefs so that the product which is being offered is easily integrated into the market and accepted by the consumers.

Language localization helps in doing this. It not only involves translation of a certain language to English, Tamil, Malay, or Mandarin, the four official languages spoken in Singapore, but also helps in adapting to numerous other specifications which the local organizations follow when introducing their product to the market. Knowledge of cultural differences, and how the same term can have different meanings in different countries, can help in presenting the right message in the right way. Using language localization MNCs can successfully introduce their products and services and set up a mutually beneficial relationship in the Singaporean market.

Why the Hong Kong Government Urgently Needs a Language Translator

Hong Kong has been named the freest market economy by the Washington D.C. based Heritage Foundation in its 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. True to its new name Hong Kong houses immense capabilities to become an international financial center if only it can cross the impediment of language.

Hong Kong has always used English and Cantonese as the two languages used for governmental; and public communication till the handover to the Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Ever since then the use of English as an official language has been dwindling with every passing year. Journalists who report in English often find themselves at a disadvantage as most of the press releases and public announcements occur in Cantonese. This leaves out the non-Cantonese speaking population from understanding the happenings in the country they live in.

A language translator can help bridge this gap by offering translation services to the government and journalists to make sure that news reaches everyone and journalists are not led to misquote something they did not understand in the first place. Official translation services will help the government focus on their work while at the same time honoring the language specifications mentioned under the Official Languages Ordinance, thus addressing a big problem currently faced by the city full of possibilities.

How Interpretation Systems Can Help Hong Kong’s Global Firms

The language predominantly spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese, with English being the second predominant language. The global companies based in Hong Kong with clients or partners all over the world might often be faced with language comprehension issues.

Simultaneous interpreting has become a prerequisite for carrying out international meetings in a smooth and efficient manner. There are various advantages of using wireless infrared transmission over traditional hard-wired systems.

The infrared interpretation system is a more secure system as it contains the infrared light within the confines of your meeting room. This ensures that various proceedings are not heard outside of the room. Systems can also be used simultaneously in adjacent meeting rooms without any interference. Each participant in the meeting is equipped with a personal infrared receiver that has multiple channels allowing them to listen in the language of their choice.

With wireless infrared interpretation systems, delegates in the meeting also get the freedom to move around. Hong Kong is fast emerging as one of the most vital contributors to the global financial economy and language is the only barrier which might interfere in its ability to establish a network of investors and customers all over the world. In such a scenario, interpretation systems can provide all the support that is needed by companies in meeting the demands of international meetings and conferences.

Rising Demand of Foreign Language Training in Indian Corporate Industry

The globalized world has put increasing demands on Indian MNC professionals and there is growing awareness that foreign language training could benefit several companies. It is not only helpful while traveling but also a great way to broaden work prospects abroad.

Where thousands of aspiring job applicants are vying for that one position in a big MNC, you could possibly be the one to get selected basis your knowledge of an additional language such as French or Spanish and so on. The ability to read, write and communicate in a foreign language is slowly becoming a norm in the Indian MNC work culture. With such a skill in hand, you could also be guaranteed a premium Embassy job with a variety of perks.

According to Randstad India, Staffing President, Aditya Narayan Mishra, all organizations are looking to expand and enter new territories. The requirement for skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have the ability to transcend language as well as cultural barriers is on a rise. These are the people who can ensure smooth processing and closure of international business transactions.

Corporate language training, whether group or individual might be helpful for employees working in Indian conglomerates and MNCs across all sectors including IT, Advertising, Hospitality & Tourism, Mass Communication, Education, Public Relations and so on.