Just call me at this time, my time.

“So I message a millennial blogger I am working with. I ask her what her Skype is so we can chat and which time zone she is in. She says,’Hey I am in Cali, I have never heard of Tel Aviv and no idea where it is, so just call me at this time, my time.’ ” (Facebook post by Keren Brown)

With guests, customers and colleagues around the world, this answer is no longer acceptable. Yes, it can be challenging sometimes to coordinate meetings and communication with people on the other side of the globe but with a bit of geography and organization, you easily can get a hold of it.

What is a time zone? A time zone is a region where the same standard local time is used.
The local time within a time zone is the difference, the time offset, from the world’s time standard Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This offset is displayed as UTC- or UTC+ plus the number of hours and minutes.
Matters get a little complicated when we have to calculate in the Daylight Savings Time (DST) which is not applied at the same time (or not at all) in the various time zones.

The local time zone names are linked to a geographic landmark of the particular country or region and can be different in various regions of the same time zone. With that, different regions with the same UTC offset can have different names, such as Miami, Florida which is in Eastern Standard Time (EST) and Havana, Cuba, which is also UTC-5, with its local Cuba Standard Time (CST).
To make it more confusing, there are various identical abbreviations, such as IST – India Standard Time (UTC+5:30) vs. IST – Israel Standard Time (UTC+2).

There are also 25 military time zones, they are named after the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…), they are used in aviation, at sea, and in communication.

There are various websites that help you get a hold of this complex topic.
My favorite website is www.timeanddate.com, it has all you need to completely understand this system (I refrain from saying “understanding time”, that would be a different post, if you like) coordinate time differences for meetings and have fun with them.

Click the map to go to the interactive time zone map

Click the map to go to the interactive time zone map

Join in on refreshing or learning that foreign language

As my plans for spending two months of the Summer 2017 in my native Germany, my loved France, my married into Italy and my personal study Switzerland, I am starting to get nervous about my language skills.

There are no worries with German as I use it on a daily basis with my work, associates and colleagues, and my family. Although, I for sure will learn new lingo-slango in the streets and at events over there.

My fluent French after having lived there 6 years, on the other hand, didn’t have much practice lately. And I never learned Italian and would love to talk some more to my parents in law.

With that, I set up an account in Duolingo, a free language-learning platform that includes a language-learning website and app. I decided to integrate the refreshing of my French and the learning of Italian into my daily life, few minutes a day.

You plan to do business overseas? Or selling a digital product there? Why not getting started to learn some of that language. And especially if you have a profession that puts you on the forefront with communicating with European customers, guests, tourists. I wrote a post just about that.

If you like, join me on Duolingo, my username is KatrinRG. See you on the flip-side?

Research your Foreign Brand Name

Today I read an article in the German online newspaper Die Welt on how the dictator Adolf Hitler is idealized in India for his leadership qualities and strength. Most people are not at all aware of his dark past.
Using his famous grim look with the little mustache is even a very effective lead magnet for businesses. A boutique even chose for that very reason Hitler for its brand name (complete with the swastika in the dot of the “i”). Like some other businesses that used the famous name related to German history in their brand, they had to change it after the pressure of Jewish protesters.

Using foreign names in your brand or product can get significant when market to a foreign community. Check out the history related to it and be prepared for conversations about your choices (politic isn’t such a tabu topic in other countries as it is in the US, but that’s for another post).

Often, names are chosen with the intent of giving imagery and foreign flair. Such as the Salon and Spa “Le Belle” or another with “Le Bella”, or a multi-million Dollar housing construction named “Bella Fiore”, not too far from a Florist and Event Specialist with the same name. French and Italian natives shake their heads seeing those grammatical and constructional errors in brand names. And you don’t want to compromise your expertise by such disregarding of local orthography and grammar.

Yes, you can blame it to Google Translate and its linguistic limitations but at the end, it’s your research, your brand, your money.

Fazit: Test your business and product names, check in with natives or get a professional checkup to make sure to not offend possible customers and embarrass yourself.

Learn another language and help boost the tourism industry

“Taxi drivers should learn the basics of one or two other languages in order to be able to communicate with foreign tourists.”

Earlier this year, I had shared a link on Facebook to an article about a speech at a Taxi Association division meeting. It said further “Taxi drivers are among the frontliners in the tourism industry. You should equip yourselves with basic language skills so that you can at least greet tourists and ask where they want to go in their own language.”

I couldn’t forget this article and how right it was in its saying that basics of other languages would also improve quality of their service besides helping to boost the tourism industry. It was so obvious. And I started pondering which other professions are frontliners in the tourism industry. Here is what I came up with:

Hotel Receptionists

Restaurant Waiters/Waitresses

Taxi Drivers

Hotel Concierges

City Bus Drivers

Restaurant Hosts/Hostesses

Tour Guides

Tourism Information Center Staff

I am sure there are more…. Let us know!

Although Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in Washington, we became last year the only state in the US with no statewide tourism office and no money from the state to promote our state to travelers. The Washington Tourism Alliance was formed to coordinate state wide marketing and continue branding efforts and take over existing assets, such as Washington’s fabulous state website. We all have it now in our own hands!

Let’s all do something to help boost tourism!

“I’m Glad the Menu is in English.”

Last evening, my neighbor knocked at the door and gave me the menu from the Indian restaurant where they went for dinner. “Food is so good there, they barely speak English…”, and saying this, she looked meaningful – and I understood, this meant “very authentic delicious food”.

The menu showed a myriad of dishes that I certainly pronounce incorrectly; leave alone understand their meaning, nor what they might taste like. But luckily, the description/translation stands right underneath. So Lamb Jalfrezi is “Lamb sautéed in a wok with fresh garden vegetables and herbs” and Jeera Aloo is “Potatoes cooked with spices, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds”.

Well, I am not sure if the names are classic Indian dish names or self-created ones, yet in this case I am simply happy and relieved that with the description/translation I get some kind of picture and would be able to make a choice from the menu.

The owners are even so sensitive to give me an option to order my dish via a number next to the dish in case I feel self-conscious when trying to pronounce it, yet the truth is probably to avoid misunderstanding (remember, “they barely speak English”).

Of course, they have to add English because we are in America and most of their guests are English speakers, and their intent is to sell their food to the locals, and make communication easy, make their guests feel at ease. Menu International

And exactly that is always my point: Now we have the season of vacation, of travelers, visitors from Germany, France, Italy and so on. And not all of them speak English. They would appreciate a menu in their native language, would feel at ease, and very welcomed!

With that, I created a summer special for translating your restaurant menus. See here for the details: www.translationpurpose.com!

And I definitely will check out this Restaurant:
Curry Corner – Indian cuisine
9408 Martin Way East, Suite 2
Lacey, WA 98516
www.currycorner.us

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