The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

The Death of Cockney and the Rise of Multicultural London English

The Death of Cockney and the Rise of Multicultural London English

Accents are an amazing window onto our history.  As accents die, so too are accents born in response to changes in our environment.

In ‘The Lost Cockney Voice’ available on podcast via Radio 4 downloads, Cole Moreton talks about the unique cockney accent of his grandmother’s era.

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London Hospitals Spend £15m on Interpreters

In areas such as London where there is large culturally diversity, it seems that hospitals are running up larger than average bills because they are having to employ interpreters so that patients who do not speak the language can understand the medical staff who are treating them.
Recent numbers indicate that around seven hospital trusts in London have run up large bills employing interpreters trying to tackle language barriers. It has sparked fresh outcry across London and the rest of the UK that people who come to England to live need to be able to speak the language.
The London NHS Trust said that its biggest bill was for £2.2million pounds to make sure that patients who did not speak the language had access to interpreters. The figures highlight the problem of immigration and language barriers. Nick de Bois the MP who published the findings said that it was a clear example of the cost to the country that people who do not speak the language can bring.
The survey was based on information from The University College London Hospital Trust which spent £1.6million, Guy's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital paid £1.3million and Great Ormond Street Hospital and Homerton University Hospital  had to pay approximately £1.2million each.
At a time when the country is cutting back on spending it seems an unnecessary expense for London hospitals to be spending their budget on interpreters. However it is also true that hospitals still need to provide proper patient care and when patients are unable to speak the language it seems that the hospitals have no choice but to employ interpreters.
Communication is important when it comes to good hospital care but this is not always easy or cheap as these London hospitals have proved by having to hire interpreters.
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Muslim twins' discrimination case could lead to record payout

A major test of the UK's religious discrimination laws next week could see a record compensation payout, according to reports.

A pair of Muslim twins are taking City firm Tradition Securities and Futures to an employment tribunal on a series of allegations.

The French nationals claim bosses at the company took Jewish clients from them, and gave them to non-Muslim colleagues.

They are said to be seeking damages that could run into millions of pounds for religious and racial discrimination, among other claims.

The sisters worked as brokers at Tradition Securities and Futures from 2002 to 2004, when they transferred to the firm's London office for two years before quitting.

Read more > PT
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Multilingual London

multilingual longon

If you want the hard facts on languages in London, look no further. The RLN's  downloadable digest tells you which languages Londoners use, how many languages are spoken, which languages are needed for trade, how many overseas students there are in London - and lots more.

Read more >> Multilingual London
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New website supports partnerships in community languages

our languages

The launch of the website for Our Languages, a groundbreaking initiative funded by the DCSF, takes place today at the third CILT Community Languages National Conference in Sheffield.

The new website, hosted by CILT, the National Centre for Languages, provides vital information and support for community languages teachers and managers in the UK. Content includes video clips showing best practice, case studies, useful links and training and event information. Key features include a database of schools teaching community languages in England and information on how to gain accreditation in community languages:

The Our Languages project began in September 2007 in response to a need to raise the status of community languages in the curriculum and to recognise the work of the complementary (or supplementary) sector in England. The project aims to provide support for community languages teaching by developing partnerships between complementary and mainstream schools. In its first phase, which ran until March 2008, nine schools, teaching more than twelve community languages, formed regional partnerships in Birmingham, Leicester, London and Manchester.

Read more > CILT 
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Intercultural Cities Conference 1-3 May 2008 Liverpool

An official UK event for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008

intercultural cities

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Enjoy Christmas say UK's religious leaders

Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims joined Britain's equality watchdog Monday in urging Britons to enjoy Christmas without worrying about offending non-Christians.

Christmas in UK

"It's time to stop being daft about Christmas. It's fine to celebrate and it's fine for Christ to be star of the show," said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

"Let's stop being silly about a Christian Christmas," he said, referring to a tendency to play down the traditional celebrations of the birth of Christ for fear of offending minorities in multicultural Britain.

Suicide bombings by British Islamists in July 2005 which killed 52 people in London have prompted much soul-searching about religion and integration in Britain, a debate that has been echoed across Europe.

Read more> Christmas
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English is foreign for 40% of primary school kids

Schools are struggling to cover the cost of providing specialist teachers for thousands of new immigrant pupils, headteachers warned today.

english in primary school

Forty per cent of primary age children in London now speak a language other than English at home and some schools take several new arrivals a week as pupils "appear from nowhere", heads have said.

The National Association of Head Teachers called for schools to be given the "infrastructureî they needed to get pupils whose first language is not English fluent enough to cope with the national curriculum as soon as possible.Read more> Language 
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UK court permits slaughter of "sacred" cow

Shambo, a sacred bull kept by a group of Hindus in Wales who has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, can be slaughtered, a London court ruled on Monday, overturning last week's block on his death sentence.

The Shambo saga began earlier this month when the Welsh regional government ordered that the six-year-old animal, the temple bull at the Skanda Vale community in Llanpumsaint, Carmarthen, be put to death on health grounds.

Read more: Shambo 
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