Olney Rugby Club in Argentina

In 2011 the senior rugby teams of Olney RFC are undertaking a tour to Argentina. I am a fan of watching rugby and we have been given the opportunity to support them.

During the tour the club members will be undertaking a number of rugby workshops at local schools and orphanages as well as playing competitive rugby. K International has donated a sum which will go towards the equipment for the township schools.

Oliver Brackenbury the 1st Team Vice captain of Olney Rugby Club had the following to say:

“We have carried out two similar tour in recent years to both South Africa and the Philippines, where we have provided not only training at the schools and orphanages but also left them with a mountain of rugby kit to allow them to continue to enjoy the game long after we had left.  As a qualified and accredited RFU coach the chance to train with these children, who often come from backgrounds of extreme poverty and hardship, is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can assure you that this is always very rewarding for both the players and the children, and this allows us to forge a closer relationship with the companies in and around our area”

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Innovation Management

I’ve always thought that all your best ideas/innovations don’t happen to you when you are stuck behind a desk trying to think of great ideas… its normally in the shower, out running, on the golf course or whatever escape you chose to follow. But is that true? Do the best ideas just pop into your head? Are all ideas born out of eureaka moments?

Steven Johnson thinks not. He says that ideas evolve over time. They spend a long time dormant (10-20 years) taking time to incubate and need interaction with other ideas to develop. This video (and the corresponding book) from Steven is an amazing insight into where good ideas are formed. Its also a great animation, at 4 mins long its well worth a look.

and here is Steven at TED

So to build innovative spaces we need to create environments that allow people to meet frequently to exchange ideas (coffee house) so that their ideas can fuse together and become stronger than their parts. As Steven says, ‘chance favours the connected mind‘.

Storytelling + Lovemark = Success?

Each day feels like the same. You wake up, get a shower, put your suit, close the door, grab a coffee, walk few minutes to take the tube, wait, change, wait, walk few blocks and finally open the door of your office. The story could stop here but you also go for fast food for lunch, probably check your Facebook account 2 or 3 times on your mobile, talk with your colleagues, buy some useless things on your way back home, open the door of your flat and finally sit down to watch some TV before going to bed.

Now is where the real story starts…

Which shower gel have you used? designer are you wearing? coffee have you drank? fast food have you eaten to? mobile phone are you using? TV show are you watching? If among your answers, there is Apple, Starbucks, McDonalds or Oprah, then according to Kevin Roberts (CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi) you are being exposed to some of the most powerful lovemarks present on the market. The main difference between “brands” and “lovemarks” is that you buy a brand but you love and adhere to a lovemark. That’s what lovemarks are all about, make you part of something, feel good and escape the reality for an instant or more. Read more

New Language Discovered in India, Race is On to Preserve It

A group of American linguists just announced the discovery of a new language in a remote region of India. The language, called Koro, was discovered during a 2008 expedition to Arunachal Pradesh, according to the Independent.

The interesting thing about the discovery of Koro is that it was “hiding in plain sight.” Koro speakers are part of the Aka culture, and live in villages where most of their neighbors speak Aka. While the two languages are in fact very different, Koro and Aka speakers consider themselves one people, and treat Koro as if it were a dialect of Aka, instead of a “distant sister,” as the linguists described it.

K. David Harrison, one of the linguists on the expedition, told the Telegraph that when it comes to the Koro speakers:

“There’s a sort of a cultural invisibility; they’re culturally identical in what they wear, what they eat, the houses they live in…. They just happen to have a different word for everything.”

It should be noted that there is some controversy over whether or not Koro is in fact a new discovery. According to the Telegraph, linguists from the Assam chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage are claiming that Koro was known to Indian linguists before the  American linguists  documented it.

Whether it’s really a “new” language or not, Koro only has between 800 and 1,200 speakers, so now the race is on to try and preserve it, if possible. A language dies out about every two weeks, and language preservation expert Tabu Ram Taid told the Telegraph that:

“Koro might have met the same fate. But the point is now to preserve Koro. Apart from speaking, one must develop writing the language to prevent it from vanishing.”

Google translates latin

Google Translate Now Translates Latin Ad Libitum

Last week, Google added another language to its popular Google Translate service, and Latin students everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, Google Translate now decodes Latin. The announcement came via a blog post written entirely in Latin by engineer Jakob Uszkoreit. Show-offs!

Google expects the Latin version of Google Translate to be quite popular with students who are studying the language, as well as for people studying philosophical and other texts originally written in Latin.

The fact that Latin is a dead language should make Google’s machine translation more accurate, as the company explained in its blog (Latin translation from the Telegraph):

“Unlike any of the other languages Google Translate supports, Latin offers a unique advantage: most of the text that will ever be written in Latin has already been written, and a comparatively large part of it has been translated in to other languages. We use these translations, found in books and on the web, to train our system.”

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Finding an Alternative to PowerPoint

In my career I’ve given a lot of presentations (and watched many more)… I tend to use PowerPoint and Keynote…

I’ve tried to make them as visually appealing as I can, I add animations, graphs, charts – you name it. But I think I’ve pushed the medium as far as it will go. And we’ve been using it for over ten years so its gotta be time for a change.

So inspired by Don McMillan I’ve been looking for an alternative for a while now.

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Welsh Website Translation

Just a quick update on what’s been going on here at K, especially from the Government Translation Sales Team point of view. As you might not know before, I have been working in close partnership with the Environment Agency now and have been really enjoying it.

Only because I know you are really curious, I will try to explain what we do for them…

Basically, we translated their English website into Welsh back in 2008 (more than 290 000 words!) but since then we have been making sure that we keep everything updated and add any additional information that they require. The translation was completed by professional welsh translators working directly into the Environment Agencies content managment system. This meant that the content was produced as quickly as possible and left our client with a Welsh language website ready for use.

It’s a must that we comply with the Welsh Language Act and in doing so we always do our best to achieve this essential requirement. Check out the images of the English & Welsh website below!

English Version

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Free Translations of Happy Birthday

Whether it’s a colleague’s birthday or you just want to impress one of your friends, you can use the free translation of Happy Birthday below to give them your best wishes in their own language.

Happy Birthday in Afrikaans: Gelukkige Verjaarsdag

Happy Birthday in Albanian: Gëzuar ditëlindjen

Happy Birthday in Aleut: Raazdinyaam Ugutaa

Happy Birthday in Arabic: عيد ميلاد سعيد

Happy Birthday in Armenian: Ծնունդդ շնորհավոր

Happy Birthday in Azerbaijani: Ad günün mübarək

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Fragments of a Lost Language Discovered in Peru

A team of archaeologists working in Peru just announced a major discovery: written fragments of a 400-year old indigenous language that has never been seen before. The language is related to Quechua, the language family that includes the tongue of the ancient Incas.

According to National Geographic, the language fragments were found scribbled on  a 400-year-old letter found buried in the rubble of the old church of  Magdalena de Cao Viejo in Peru. The church was thought to be a place where native Americans were brought in an effort to force them to convert to Christianity. Although the letter was found in 2008, the team that discovered it just now revealed its existence to the public. They believe it was likely spoken by a group of indigenous Peruvian fishermen, as texts from Peru during that time period sometimes refer to Pescadora, “the language of the fishermen.”

Archaeologist Jeffrey Quilter told Reuters:

“Our investigations determined that this piece of paper records a number system in a language that has been lost for hundreds of years…We discovered a language no one has seen or heard since the 16th or 17th century.”

The fragments consist of Arabic numerals, the same numbers written out in longhand in Spanish, and finally translated into the unknown language. It’s no Rosetta Stone, but it’s still fascinating, and it shows that the people who originally spoke the language used a numerical system based on increments of 10, just like we do today.

Speaking to National Geographic, Quilter explained that the discovery indicates how diverse the indigenous people of the Americas were before European conquest:

“You know that Chinese curse, ‘may you live in interesting times’—well that was an extremely interesting time. We often think of a confrontation of Spanish and Native Americans, but in almost every location, from Massachusetts to Peru, it was a confrontation of a much more diverse group of people.”

London Cabbies to Take Language Lessons for 2012 Olympics

As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, even cabbies are getting in on the act. In order to better communicate with foreign visitors, around 3,000 cabdrivers working for Radio Taxi are taking CD and MP3-based courses in  French, Spanish and Chinese.

In an article on the BBC, Radio Taxi CEO Geoffrey Riesel explained the purpose of the program:

“In 2012 we expect to see an extra 10 million people in London…We are attempting to ensure many more of our drivers can pick up some of the basic phrases of a number of languages.”

However, lest the Olympic attendees be deprived of the wit and wisdom of London cabbies, the lessons go a step beyond basic phrases. According to The Australian,  while the lessons are not designed to make the cabbies fluent in the various languages, they are designed to allow them to go beyond transactional phrases and engage in some light, playful banter with their clients. Sample course phrases include: “I had that Michael Caine in the back of my cab last week” and “It’s political correctness gone mad.” For each language they learn, the drivers will receive a flag to put on their vehicle, advertising their linguistic proficiency to potential customers.

Carlos Oliveira,a driver for Radio Taxi, told the Australian that he believes the language classes will be beneficial:

“The first people these foreigners are going to see are cab drivers, so if we can show them that we parlez a bit of their language then that’s got to be a good thing. To be able to say ‘welcome’ in Chinese would go a long way.”

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