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What It’s Like to Live the Life of an Expatriate

What It’s Like to Live the Life of an Expatriate

It’s been two years, and it’s time to come home

How can a concerned employer minimize re-entry pain for the returning expat and the family when the way things used to run has changed?  Is there any way to avoid reverse culture shock? At Techworld, we believe there is! Repatriation orientation programs can provide your expats with a new sense of belonging and an ability to better visualize and manage successful returns.

Techworld follows a re-onboarding plan that begins months before an actual return. It addresses both sides of this complex equation:  for returning families and for returning professionals alike.

The Family

Repatriation assistance for the family begins with assessing expectations.  Basic questions are asked about the expat assignment and how families see their impending return home. Answers to those questions – particularly those which express doubt or uncertainty – are used to develop specific programming.  A one or two-day repatriation programs developed and delivered to family members.  (Based on age, children may be included.)

The best repat orientation programs key on assessing the significance of what family members have learned abroad and its impact on their lives.  They identify new family member skills, interests, and perspectives.  They examine common readjustment difficulties in values, trends, and culture and provide suggestions for dealing with such challenges.  A common program thread is that all family members will support, encourage and contribute to each other’s experiences in addressing such reverse culture shock.

No two expats or families are the same.  The best repatriation programs and processes are highly individualized.  “One size fits all” approaches don’t fit.

The Professional

Returning expats need formal, well-thought-out support from their employers. Fewer than 25% of companies have repatriation program for returning employees. There is a distinct loss of the return on investment associated with international assignments if new skills and expertise aren’t integrated into the organization.  It’s vital to find ways to recognize and use new skill sets and the experiences your expats gain abroad.

The very best way to do so, of course, is to align the returning expat’s ability to perform with new work.  In addition, employers should take pains to solicit helpful, big-picture lessons about differing overseas practices and protocols.

You may not want the returning expat to immediately be placed in a position where they are independently responsible for various tasks. If this is unavoidable how might those lessons be leveraged to fit the needs of your company? Wise employers will take pains to find alternative outlets for such new skills and expanded expat knowledge.  Among the possibilities are collaborating with expats on:

  • Lunch-and learn-presentations
  • Special projects which draw on overseas insights
  • Hands-on support for the company’s future expats

A global organization’s success in providing outlets for sharing key expat learnings, expertise, and suggestions will benefit both returning expats and the company.

The Bottom Line

There are many benefits to an organized repatriation of deliberate re-onboarding from Techworld.

Failure to develop and deploy such a plan, on the other hand, may very well prove a gold mine for headhunting companies which are only too happy to locate and woo experienced talent to succeed on a global stage under another firm’s banner.

To learn more about the programs we offer, visit our Repatriation page today!

Ted Travels to Shanghai, China

Ted Travels to Shanghai, China

 

Shanghai Museum of Ancient Chinese Art

The past few weeks have been amazing.  Shanghai is beautiful! Chelsea brought me to the Shanghai Museum of Ancient Chinese Art housing over 120,000 pieces. It is considered one of China’s first world-class modern museums after being rebuilt in 1996. The building was designed by local architect Xing Tonghe. The building is in the shape of a ding, an ancient bronze cooking vessel which is round on top with a square base. The ding symbolizes the ancient Chinese perception of the world as, “round sky, square earth.” 

  

People’s Park

One sunny day Chelsea brought me to People’s Park located in the Huangpu District, which was originally part of the Shanghai Race Club’s racecourse, where the people of Shanghai gathered to watch horse racing. The Race Club, built in 1850, was Shanghai’s first racecourse. The Race Club’s activities came to an end during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.

Every weekend the “Match Making Corner” is held where anxious parents of unmarried adults attend with a paper listing basic information of their children such as age, height, income, education, and personality to find them a significant other.

 

Chinese Cuisine

Let me tell you, the food there is AMAZING! We ate dinner at a local street food venue where I had so many amazing dishes. Everything from Spinach Noodles (bō cài miàn) to Fried Mashi (chǎo má shi) and BBQ Meat (kǎo ròu). It was pure Chinese cuisine, like nothing I have ever had before.

 

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Shanghai, China, I highly recommend going. The food, local venues, and history are just a few topics that Techworld’s instructors like Chelsea can help you with. Contact Techworld today to set up your cultural or language training.

 

Next, I’m heading back to New York City in the United States to work with Rachel, one of Techworld’s great group of Project Managers. Check back in next month to see how it went!

 

How A Killer LSP Can Make Your Life Easier

How A Killer LSP Can Make Your Life Easier

LSP.  Great, you think, just what I need. Another acronym.

But wait until you hear how an LSP can make your life easier.

LSP stands for Language Services Provider.  An LSP can help you by translating your marketing or training materials, providing an interpreter when your German team comes to visit the American headquarters, teaching your employees in Italy how to greet their Chinese colleagues and get your CEO ready for his trip to Brazil by helping him learn some Portuguese. We know what you’re thinking: I already have a global team.  I have employees all over the world who speak their native language and English. I’ll just have them do it!

Here’s why you might want to leave it to the professionals.

Techworld Is Convenient

Say you need your video translated and subtitled in 26 languages.  Do you really have the time to manage that process? And how do your bilingual employees fit this into their schedule with everything else they need to do?  By the way, none of your team knows how to subtitle a video either. Techworld has a team of linguists around the world, with years of translation experience.  Our in-house production team can create subtitled videos as easily as you can open a Word doc.

Techworld Guarantees Quality

Our translation process is rigorous. First, your material is translated by an experienced, trained linguist.  Then a second linguist reviews the entire translation to ensure proper spelling and grammar, consistency with previous texts and – most important – that the message is as loud and clear in Arabic as it is in English. Techworld will even partner with your teams to ensure that specific regional preferences are taken into consideration and incorporated into your translations.

Techworld Lives and Breathes Customer Service

Like most companies, we are only as good as our customers think we are.  So we go out of the way to treat your business like our business.  Sometimes we start our day at 4:30 am.  And sometimes we end our day at 4:30 am.  We’re always available and ready to go. Nothing is as important to us as how we can make your life easier, so you can meet your own business goals.

If getting a few things off your plate sounds like something you need, please give us a call at 01.248.288.5900.   Or explore the rest of our site to see how we can help you and read more about our specific language services.

How Do You Use Loanwords?

How Do You Use Loanwords?

Many of the words we use today are “loanwords”, or words borrowed from other languages. It’s fascinating to think that over time, some foreign words can become a part of one’s language. This is due to contact with other cultures and languages. Usually, loanwords become part of a language when we encounter a new concept of if that word does not exist in the native language. Other times, the new words just sound “chic” and it slowly becomes part of the native language. Here are some commonly used loanwords that have become part of the English language:

  • Siesta, pronto, llama, armada, armadillo, barracuda, bronco (Spanish origin)
  • Bundt cake, delicatessen, hamburger, pretzel, pumpernickel, strudel (German origin)
  • Bonsi, haiku, karaoke, manga, origami, edamame, hibachi (Japanese origin)
  • Alchemy, alcove, alfalfa, algebra, carat, gazelle, hummus, lemon (Arabic origin)

It may seem ‘kitschy’ to be so ‘gung-ho’ about loanwords, but who knows, being familiar with these common words and phrases might stop you from committing a major ‘faux pas’ at your next important business ‘rendezvous’! If you would like to learn more about loan words, we suggest taking a look at these texts:

  • Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English, by Philip P. Durkin
  • Loanwords in the World’s Languages: A Comparative Handbook, by Martin Haspelmath

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

What Are Language Services?

What Are Language Services?

In today’s global environment, you need to be sure your message gets across everywhere.  It could be a training manual or a proposal that needs to be translated into seven languages. Maybe you need an interpreter for a major press conference.  Or perhaps you’re hosting your client from Germany and want to make sure you learn something about their culture – before they arrive. When all you know is you need “something” in another language, the best way to start is to find a language service provider like Techworld to help define your options.  Not everyone offers the full suite of language services that we do – and we’ve been doing it for over 30 years. To learn more about the specific services Techworld offers, read on!

  • Translation Services – From technical manuals, drawings and, business presentations, to websites, marketing brochures and training content, Techworld can translate written material into any language you need. Every piece of crucial information needs to be adapted to your specific requirements so that it becomes a powerful tool of effective information.
  • Interpretation Services – Conversations, meetings or presentations that take place in person between people who don’t speak the same language requires interpretation. Interpreters often specialize in subject matters and execute a variety of assignments from one-hour meetings to multi-day conferences. At Techworld, we’ll work with you to find the best interpreter for your specific needs.
  • Language Training Services – Language training can be helpful for both individuals and groups who have a need or an interest in learning a new language. Beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners will all benefit from taking language classes, but each group will have different needs. Learning to say even just a few things in your client’s language can really have a positive impact on your relationship. Techworld can even provide language training for children traveling with their expatriate parents.
  • Cultural Training Services – Why does it sometimes feel so difficult to connect with colleagues and clients of different backgrounds? This is where cultural training can be a huge benefit to your company, allowing you to understand where someone comes from and what impacts their decisions. You only get one chance to make a good first impression; cultural awareness training can make a big difference.
  • Voice-over Services – Voice-over services are often used by clients or companies who have translated materials that also have a spoken component. Voice-over recordings are used for commercials, training videos, online training courses, and for many other purposes.
  • Corporate Language Policy Development – The goal for a corporate language policy is improving communication and meeting corporate objectives. Companies need a plan for what languages will be used in which settings, and understand that not everything needs to be translated; it’s important to think carefully about what documents require translation and into which languages.

At Techworld, we offer all these services and more. No matter what language or cultural challenges you may be facing, we’re confident that we have the solution. Contact us today for a customized approach to language services that will meet your needs and empower your communication.

Your Career Around the World – What it Means To Be An Expatriate

Your Career Around the World – What it Means To Be An Expatriate

Okay, let’s start with a definition.  Do you know what an “expatriate” is?

It used to mean someone on a corporate assignment in a country other than the United States.  Global companies send their team members around the globe to fill in missing skill sets, develop global leaders and create stronger corporate identities.

But with the world getting smaller, “expats” can now mean anyone who goes to another country to work.  It could be for a good career move, an opportunity to be closer to friends and family or for a better quality of life.

Who Are Expats?

The stereotypical single male who transfers to an office in another country on his way up the corporate ladder is long gone.  Today’s expatriate is more likely to be a woman (56% to 44% male), is in a relationship and 26% take children on their assignment.  The average age is 43.5 and 83% have a college degree.

Perhaps even more surprising, fully 29% contemplate a permanent stay in their new country.

What Are the Top Locations?

Today’s expatriate can go just about anywhere.  A recent survey by the consulting group InterNations showed the top three locations for expatriate assignments are Bahrain, Costa Rica, and Mexico.  InterNations polled expatriates in the following five categories:  Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life and Personal Finance.

Bahrain came out on top for Ease of Settling In, Costa Rica ranks in the top 10 for all 5 categories and Mexico comes in at number 3, retaking a top spot after dropping in 2016.

What’s Involved In Moving To Another Country?

If you’ve never done it, it’s difficult to recognize what goes into moving to another country for your job:

   1 – You need housing.

   2 – If you have a family, the children will need to attend school.

   3 – You all need to learn the culture, the language, the currency, etc.

   4 – You need to move or buy furniture.

   5 – You need work visas, permits, etc.

We’ve been helping expatriates for over 30 years, mostly with language and cultural training.  With all the items an expat has to worry about, how to do everyday tasks like ask where the grocery store is and talk to a doctor about a child’s health shouldn’t be on the list.  Language training alone can mean the difference between a great expatriate assignment or several months or longer of feeling out of place.

If you’re even thinking about becoming an expatriate, let us help you start off on the right foot.  We’ll find you a language training teacher so you can start to understand the language before ever leaving the United States.  Or if it works better for your schedule, we’ll find you a language teacher once you arrive in your adopted country.  We can even find a language teacher who specializes in teaching young children.

Techworld can also plan and present cultural training for temporary assignments or visitors from your global team.  Please call us today at 1.248.288.5900 to learn more about how we can help you.