They have a free book to download as well.
Don't know if this is what you were looking for but hope this helps.
and you asked about an IT book, here is the link to a website with an IT-related glossary:
They have a free book to download as well.
Don't know if this is what you were looking for but hope this helps.
by Summer Worsley
"Talk about the return of the Anunnaki Gods” YouTuber MrMBB333 declares in his video, ‘Unreal! Two GIANT Men spotted nearby Giza Pyramids!’
MrMBB333 tells viewers that he was perusing Google Earth by the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt when he stumbled upon the “giant” men in a street view photo. He then goes on to wonder if these giant men are the very same guys who built the pyramids.
For this YouTuber, and many of his 30,000 strong followers, the idea that Sumerian deities could be casually wandering through a suburban area in Giza seems entirely viable. Unfortunately, the concepts of foreshortening and angular perspective don’t seem quite as viable. These are not giant men at all, rather, they’re just closer to the camera than the cars and the other people in the background. And the camera is angled upwards.
This video is just the tip of the Anunnaki conspiracy-theory iceberg though. Type Anunnaki into a Google video search and watch the hits roll in; currently, there are more than 230,000. Most are uploaded by channels with names such as ‘Ancient Astronaut Archive,’ ‘High Strangeness’, ‘Enigmas of the Universe, and ‘Zohar StarGate Ancient Discoveries’.
So, who are the Anunnaki and why are they inspiring such a crusade of fervent followers and believers?
The Anunnaki were the gods worshipped in ancient Mesopotamia, a historical area that covers modern-day Iraq and stretching to parts of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The belief system stems from the Sumerians and Akkadians and was later informed by the Babylonians and the Assyrians. All of these civilizations lived in Mesopotamia in the millennia prior to the Christian era.
Anunnaki as a term refers to those gods who were the offspring of An, the Sumerian god of the sky. Cuneiform texts dating from the proto-literate period circa 3400 - 2900 BCE make reference to ‘a-nuna’, and ‘a-nuna-ke-ne’. Depending on the scholar, these terms either mean princely offspring or offspring of An.
According to the Sumerians the main god, An, came into being after Nummu, the waters, birthed him. The waters also spawned the god of the earth, Ki. Ki and An produced a son, Enlil god of storms, rains, and winds. It is Enlil who separated An from Ki and claimed the earth, leaving the heavens to his father.
Much of our knowledge of the Anunnaki come from the stories, ‘Inanna's Descent into the Netherworld’ and ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’. In both of these, the Anunnaki are portrayed as judges decreeing fates in the underworld. In other stories, the deities serve different functions and specifics on their role in Sumerian mythology is contradictory.
Like other polytheistic belief systems, the Sumerians worshipped multiple gods who were related to each other and had human traits and characteristics. Much like the more familiar gods of Greek mythology, Sumerian gods had human foibles, desires, and aims. The individual gods had wide-ranging powers and were described as imposing beings, physically far larger than non-divine humans.
Interestingly, there are a few striking similarities between the Sumerian religious traditions, — particularly as they grew and shifted focus along with increased urbanization — and the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
All four, for example, tell the story of a great flood. And all four feature a female character who is referred to as “the mother of all living”. In the Bible, this is Eve, and in the Hebrew and Aramaic traditions, Hawwah, made from the rib of Adam. In the Mesopotamian texts, “this mother of all living” is born from the sperm (or waters) of Enki, a powerful son of An.
Lost in translation?
Our knowledge of Sumerian mythology concerning the Anunnaki comes from cuneiform tablets excavated from the area in the 1800s. These tablets are predominantly literary in nature and contain myths, epics, panegyrics and the like. Of the many thousands of tablets unearthed, many are yet to be translated because there are very few cuneiform specialists in the world.
One self-proclaimed specialist is Zecharia Sitchin a Russian-born American author. In the 70s, Sitchin turned away from the widely accepted scholarly view of the Anunnaki and crafted an opposing myth of his own, one that has been embraced by independent theorists and conspiracy aficionados all over the world.
Instead of accepting the mainstream translation of ‘Anunnaki’ as “offspring of An” Sitchin based his theory on the idea that the cuneiform sign DIĜIR means “people of the blazing rockets”.
In 1976 Sitchin published a book called ‘The 12th Planet’. In it, he claims that Sumerian cuneiform tablets reveal an unrecognized planet called Nibiru. The inhabitants of this planet are the Anunnaki who came to Earth with the express purpose of mining gold in Africa.
According to Sitchin, they did so because gold would help to replenish the atmosphere on Nibiru which was failing. But the miners were not keen on working in the gold mines so the Anunnaki bred with Homo erectus resulting in Homo sapiens who were created to work in the mines as slaves.
For Sitchin, modern-day humanity is a direct result of alien astronauts genetically engineering us hundreds of thousands of years ago.
It may sound completely outlandish, but Mr. Sitchin’s theory is a popular one. ‘The 12th Planet,’ his first book, has sold millions of copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. He followed this book with six other volumes which make up the ‘Earth Chronicles’ series.
Supporters of Sitchin point to solid evidence of early mining in Africa as proof that the Anunnaki did indeed come from the stars via Nibiru. But why does an early African civilization need to have their agency and capabilities stripped from them and credited to alien astronauts instead?
Building on Sitchin’s work, David Meade, another self-proclaimed academic whose work would probably struggle to pass peer review, claims that the Anunnaki built the pyramids.
There’s a trend here. Writing for The Conversation, Julien Benoit notes that racism is the root of these theories which discredit early peoples and instead privilege extraterrestrial intervention. That all of this supposed alien activity happens in the Global South is, perhaps, unsurprising.
"Despite all this evidence, some people still refuse to believe that anyone from Africa [or anywhere in what is today considered the developing world] could possibly have created and constructed the Giza pyramids or other ancient masterpieces. Instead, they credit ancient astronauts, extraterrestrials or time travellers as the real builders."
Sitchin has faced criticism from linguists and cuneiform scholars worldwide who have called his work “amateurish” and the work of a “dogmatist”. In 1979, Roger Wescott, a past president of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States, reviewed ‘The 12th Planet’ and noted that Sitchin’s favoured expressions include ‘without question’ and ‘there can be no doubt’ which “regrettably, he applies to the most questionable assertions and the most doubtful interpretations.”
Despite reviews such as this one, alien astronaut theories of creation and past civilizations, which are largely the result of Sitchin’s ‘pioneering’ work, have massive cultural currency.
Conspiracy theories will always be appealing to us because as a species we have the ability to find patterns and craft inferences, even ones that are not really there. Once we've half-formed these ideas our confirmation bias, a powerful cognitive force, takes over and we find evidence to support what we think.
We ignore evidence that points to the other side of the story. We also like to bestow upon ourselves the ability to be different, to think outside-of-the-box, to reason above and beyond our fellow humans.
This could be the reason why, despite the flaws and contradictions in his work, Sitchin has managed to craft a modern-day myth, one that now stretches beyond his legacy.
Imagine years in the future, a society somewhat like our own discovering ‘The 12th Planet’ and the pseudo-science documentaries it spawned, in much the same way that we discovered the cuneiform tablets. What would they make of our myths?
As for the role of the Anunnaki in creation? The truth is out there. Whether it’s to be found on YouTube is debatable.
by Samuel Gitukui
One of the main reasons why it’s crucial to understand the needs of the customer is because this is the number one way to promote innovation. Predicting the requirements of customers is never easy, however.
In fact, business leaders can get biased as they try to understand what a customer wants. Such biases can have negative consequences to the entrepreneur and the business as a whole. An example of bias is the fact that an entrepreneur is more likely to use his or her most recent experience with customers. The downside is that this may not paint the complete picture.
The best way to understand customers is to think like them. However, it is hard to sometimes know where to start.
Let’s consider a few tips to help you better understand your customers.
1. Make a follow up on the outlier answers
Sometimes you may not get a direct answer but this doesn’t exclude the response nonetheless from being an important input. You can get valuable information by not just considering the responses while doing your interviews but also observing the behavior of your customers.
This type of flexibility when conducting research can provide you with information that you may not have gotten otherwise.
2. Make use of objective tools
When you are designing a product as a business leader, it is very easy to focus more on your individual assumptions. When conducting your product validation, it is important that you remain as objective as possible.
As you create the product, document all the assumptions that you have. This will enable you to make the required changes as you go along. This allows you to remain aware and to be objective.
You can also use the moderate user testing method. This is where the testing exercise is moderated in many different ways. It involves guiding the whole process and answering the questions that the participants ask.
To the business, the benefits are great. It is an excellent way to find out how the customers view your products and you can understand what parts of the product fails to meet customer expectations.
3. Try framing the questions differently
You can try framing the questions for your research differently to find out the effect on user feedback. A recent study showed that the design of the questionnaire had a significant effect on the type of responses and the type of feedback.
For example, you can ask a question in a negative way or you can use percentages instead of numbers.
The bottom line is that it is not simple to find out what users really want. Sometimes they may not be aware of what will work best for them or they may not have a direct answer.
However, to understand the minds of the customer is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the game in the modern business environment. Preforming basic studies and surveys simply is not enough. Take time, be patient and invest in knowing the real truth behind customer wants.
by Samuel Gitukui
When it comes to innovation, two of the biggest names online are Sportify and Amazon. In the modern business era, which is unpredictable, these two business models are able to remain ahead of the game.
Both Amazon and Sportify must be doing something right. They are market leaders and experts at gauging the overall direction of the trend, making the right choices and executing their plan well enough to keep customers engaged and happy.
Leadership is the driving force of a company’s success. Many businesses still feature a top down hierarchy leadership that is slow to pick on trends and equally slow to adapt.
Think of a company as a car. Just as the driver guides the car in the direction he wants, the same is true with the business leader. The role of the leader can determine whether the business dominates the market or ends up as just another failure.
There are three main types of leaders.
1. The entrepreneurial leader
The entrepreneurial leader engages the minds of the customer by creating products that are not just innovative but simple to use. Sometimes, customers may not know how much they need a particular product until they try it.
They are masters of streamlining organization by coming up with new innovations and concepts. Entrepreneurial leaders also know how to support and foster team members to bring their own ideas to the table.
Through team building, experimentation and risk taking, these leaders are able to encourage their team members to become more innovative. By looking into the future and seeing the potential and encouraging innovation from their workers, the entrepreneurial leaders move the business into the future.
Entrepreneurial leaders are also able to take full responsibility of the results. If their ideas turn out unsuccessful, they will take their fault and never that of the team members.
2. The enabling leader
These are leaders that are able to create a work environment that focuses on the wellbeing of the worker as well as the relationship with other workers. The contribution of every individual worker is acknowledged.
An enabling leader can be a great complement to the entrepreneurial leader. Since they are able to push employees to greater levels of performance, they are the ones that help to keep the business culture solid and from collapse as the business moves to the next level.
The enabling leader helps to build a strong and capable team that integrates well with each other.
3. The architecting leader
If there is one thing about architecting leaders, it is their unique ability to look into the future and put measures in place to take the business from where it is now to where it needs to be. They create the long-term plans from which other business leaders will work to drive the company forward.
Think of them as visionaries.
Architecting leaders are also able to focus on current global trends and come up with innovations to take advantage of the trends.
by Summer Worsley
Although Germany’s economy has stalled a little of late, the years beforehand saw an unparalleled level of steady progression. All this action contributes to a thriving domestic and international market, one that can be tapped into by making sure your website is in German as well as English.
Connecting to audiences who speak either language (or both) expands your business and increases your outreach.
Furthermore, with the global online marketplace crowded and packed with cookie-cutter sites offering services and products that seem largely indistinguishable, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Add to this the fact that search engine optimisation (SEO) in English is highly competitive, and it becomes key for German and European websites to have websites in German.
Not to mention, individuals respond well to text in their native language. With an estimated 220 million speakers worldwide, ignoring this market is not wise.
Translation tools are of little use to German speakers wanting to understand text in a foreign language either, these usually miss the mark completely and are rarely as nuanced as translations by native German speakers. Check out our post on machine translation fails if you’re still not convinced.
Need more reasons to have your website translated to German? Here are some compelling points.
Europe’s Largest Economy
Thanks to some pretty impressive industrial advances, Germany is at the fore of European economic development and exports many more goods than neighbouring countries do. In line with demand, businesses hire more staff who, in turn, spend their wages in the home market and beyond.
Generating online interest from German speakers and consumers is a natural step for European businesses.
Online Business is Booming
Websites with text in English and German (and other European languages) cast a wider net over the potential customer base. The German-speaking base, in particular, responds very well to online promotions. In fact, 2014 saw Germany a close second to the United Kingdom in the number of internet sales. The nation hit a staggering one-fifth of total online sales across the continent.
Moreover, online payments and transactions are popular. That same year, more than 60 per cent of all transactions in Germany were conducted digitally — a percentage even higher than that of the United States.
Unemployment is Low Across Germany
In August 2019, Germany boasted an impressive 3.1 per cent unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the world and a record-breaking figure for the nation. The steady period of financial growth enables staff to gain and maintain jobs that pay at and above a livable wage and generates expendable income.
Much of this extra cash finds its way into the coffers of online businesses and grows the digital sales sector in all niches. As imaginable, native speakers choose to vote with their wallets and easily align themselves with companies that speak directly to them, in their mother tongue.
SEO Matters — And it’s Easier in German
It’s no secret, English dominates the digital sphere. Despite the fact that roughly 20 per cent of the global population speak English, more than half of all the content on the web is in English.
Search engine optimisation is now a fact of life and something that all businesses have to consider, whether they operate fully online or maintain a slight digital footprint. Consider the world’s top-ranking websites across all industries, imagine how many people open those sites just because they appear on Google’s first page? If your business is in a highly competitive field, SEO matters even more.
Differentiation your website can be as simple as getting some first-page Google power with clever SEO in a language that is not English. Ranking highly in search results is simply easier in German than in English because there is less competition.
Make Sales With German
While Brexit may be taking its agonisingly slow toll on Europe as a whole, the German economy has remained steadier than expected. Now is the perfect time to incorporate German text into your website and make sure you reach the German-speaking market.
But there is a right way to add text in German (or any language) do it with the help of fully qualified human translators. Sub-par content in any language is off-putting and may scare off the very clientele you’re trying to court.
Need to get your website ready for the German market? Talk to us today to find out how we can help with German to English and English to German translation services.
Central European Summer Time (CEST) this year ends on 27th October 2019!
by Samuel Gitukui
One thing that sets entrepreneurs and great business leader apart is their drive. Most successful leaders have at some point had to overcome great obstacles and challenges. Everybody admires those that aim high and fail hard.
But there’s a downside to being competitive. Many entrepreneurs and business leaders who have the drive to pursue a new concept may also be prone to changing their minds too quickly. This can cause a few problems.
The importance of consistency
A good business leader needs to be aware of the fact that while they may be fine with trying new things, the employees may feel insecure about new business concepts.
Employees want security and a steady income at the end of the month.
If the leader is inconsistent, the employees will be doubtful of the future of the business and their position in the organization.
One study showed the top reasons why workers leave a business. Two of the main ones included poor communication and poor management. On the list were also factors such as favorism as well as double standards.
The moral of the story is that consistency is important in a business. It provides the workers with a sense of security. Otherwise the team members are likely to have high levels of stress. This will obviously impact negatively on the operations of the business. Workers will be distracted and the production will be low.
One the other hand, the entrepreneur and business leader thrive on new concepts and ideas.
Sometimes, leaders show inconsistency without being aware of it. Some of the main ways they do this is by:
1. Making changes without communicating to team members
Sometimes changes in regulations and the business environment in general will require the business to adapt. However, if you do not communicate to your team mates, it is likely that you will build resentment.
When the change is taking place, it is important to let others know why as well as how it will impact the business for the better. Otherwise, the team members are less likely to accept the change and even if they do, they will do so at a slower rate.
2. Different rules with different teammates
Sometimes it’s only natural to treat different employees differently. For example, a worker who has been in the company for a long time and always hits deadlines may not be treated the same as someone who just joined the organization.
However, it is important that even the new worker understands the situation in order to prevent resentment in the workforce.
All employees need to be treated fairly. Note that there is a difference between treating them fairly and treating everyone the same. The most important thing is that there is communication and understanding of the business culture.
Business leaders need to be competitive in order to stay ahead of the game. However, keeping an eye on what the competition is doing and always reacting to it could make one seem inconsistent without them knowing.
For example, if the business follows certain rules and principles, then a competitor uses tactics and methods that the business doesn’t believe in, you may seem inconsistent when you start copying the competition.
At the end of the day, communication is needed to explain to team members why the business is changing its course.
by Samuel Gitukui
One thing is for sure, entrepreneurship requires one to have a knack for managing stress. Indeed, it is not for everyone. Setting up shop, attracting customers, marketing and processing payroll can take its toll on the business leader.
There are also the team members to manage and sometimes creating a good relationship with your employees can be difficult.
There are only two main reasons why entrepreneurs will hire. First is the need help with the current work load and second, is that they need people with more experience than they have to fill a void in the company.
Such employees will have their own opinion and views on how work needs to be done. It is likely that they have worked with different managers and businesses before and will therefore have different views and experiences to yours.
This is not to say that they are right and should not be given directives. This simply means that it is important to consider their side of things and incorporate it in your decision-making process.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders are prone to making certain assumptions that could ruin their relationship with their employees.
1. Employees will hold themselves accountable
It’s easy for business leaders to be under the misconception that the employees believe in the course and that they have the same interests as you. This type of thinking might cause you to expect them to work extra harder and to not complain when things get tough.
However, the truth is that they are not as invested as you are to your business and will not hold themselves accountable. They will mostly see your business and their employment as a means to an end.
2. Employees are motivated by money
Money can be a good incentive and any business leader may be tempted to increase salaries to prevent employee turnover.
However, employees are motivated by more than just money. Imagine a case where a team member complains that they don’t have enough time to spend with their kids. Simply increasing their salaries will not solve the cause of their frustrations. For this you will need to provide more free time and flexible work hours.
3. Employees will be fine with a lack of decorum
Employees understand that business leaders can be busy, having to run around dealing with the major issues of the business. However, being busy doesn’t means that they will tolerate a culture where nobody is smiling or talking to each other due to being overworked.
Business leaders need to slow down and take the time to complement their team members and acknowledge the efforts to the company.
4. Employees cannot handle change or risk
The mind and body get used to the status quo and changes are not always easy to deal with. However, thinking that the employees will not tolerate any risk or changes is wrong.
This type of thinking could cause the leader to keep things at a slow pace. As a result, employees are likely to deal with monotony at work.
As long as the change is communicated, employees will be open to new challenges.
by Samuel Gitukui
As a business leader, it is a good thing to be competitive. It allows you to enhance your performance. Having a rival will also help you commit to achieving your goals, hitting your targets and therefore boost overall performance.
However, before you can pick a business rival to compete with, it is crucial that you first understand the disadvantages of competition and the risks involved. Being too competitive may cause you to make irrational business decisions and take more risks. This could end up hurting your business in the long run.
These are 3 main tips you can use for healthy business rivalry while also helping you to avoid risky moves.
1. Commit to your business principles
You can boost your focus by finding someone to compete with. You are better able to achieve your goals which will ultimately take your business to the next level. The downside is that when the competition is fierce, you may have a win-at-all-costs mentality.
This may cause you to put aside your business principles and “play dirty”. However, you may ruin your businesses reputation in the process and damage business relationships that are crucial to the success of the business.
Take time off as a business leader and think about what is important as well as the business principles.
2. Take regular breaks to think
Rivalry will make your business perform more efficiently since you have the motivation to work even harder. However, note that the eagerness to be the best may also contribute to your business’s lack of success.
This is especially the case when you end up making impulse decisions. One study proved that business leaders are more prone to make reactive decisions instead of being more cautious in their decision making.
However, as a smart business leader, you can avoid this by performing critical thinking. Think about different viewpoints, and consider the cost and benefit of your decision.
3. Do not take unnecessary risks
Having a rival that you want to beat not only causes you to make irrational and reactive decisions but it can also cause you to take unnecessary risks. This could jeopardize the position of your business in the market.
An example can be seen clearly when it comes to football. If a team views an opposing team as a high risk, they are more likely to have more offensive strategies and lag behind on the defensive and risk aversion strategies.
Many business leaders will instead of focusing on avoiding the risks, will dive into a strategy without performing proper market research.
Being a good business leader means finding the right balance between controlling your emotions and competing with your business rival. Making the wrong move can slowly cause your enterprise to crumble.
The best way to avoid unnecessary risks is to employ critical thinking. Take regular breaks and engage your mind in a rational conversation. In this way you will be able to remain competitive and still make the right business choices.
by Samuel Gitukui
Many big businesses unfortunately do not treat their workers in an ideal manner. Whether its management barking orders or the supervisor never letting the employee perform their tasks without breathing down their necks, this is simply inefficient management and undermines the creativity and the job satisfaction of the employee.
The small business or startup is often characterized by few employees and the business leader takes the time to acknowledge individual contribution to the company.
Many business leaders have recently become aware of the treatment of employees and have put in place policies for allocating more benefits to the employees. However, there is more that needs to be done. The great thing is there are those enterprise leaders that are pushing for workers to receive a share of the company profits including dividends.
These are some reasons why modern large businesses should maintain a startup mentality.
It can be disastrous to force changes on the workers
It is crucial for the employees to have a choice in the company matters. Since there are at the forefront of the day to day business, they will after all, be the first to come up with ideas on how processes and procedures can be improved.
Modern businesses see changes at light speed. Unfortunately, there are some managers that still believe that the best way forward is to do more talking and less listening.
Surprisingly, it is the management that needs to embrace change the most. The employees need to be allowed a voice and should not feel as though they are being controlled all the time.
This will also result in employees having more opportunities to grow as they share their ideas. Team members feel appreciated and valued and this increases job satisfaction and reduces turnover.
Employees want more than money
The younger workforce of millennials wants more than a well-paying job. They want a job that gives their lives meaning. In fact, studies show that millennials will gladly leave the organization for a lower paying job that offers greater fulfillment.
The main reasons why many businesses should maintain a startup mindset will often come down to a sense of belonging. If millennials are given the opportunity to make a difference, they will have greater job satisfaction than simply having a better pay.
As a business leader, it is important that you ask yourself, does the job offer my workers more than just a check at the end of the month? If the answer is no, then something needs to be done about it.
And there is good reason to keep a young workforce and the right company culture is key to maintaining your workforce. Being an autocratic leader is more likely to put off the younger worker force. They are the most energetic and have the best potential of skyrocketing the business to the nest level.
One excellent way of giving employees meaning in their jobs is allowing them time every day to work on what they think will benefit the business.
Creating the Ideal Company Culture
The company culture has the largest influence on employee job satisfaction and whether they enjoy working for the company or not.
Creating the perfect company culture however is not easy. It needs patience and somewhere along the way, the business leader is going to make mistakes. With the right ideals, and a willingness to create a workforce that enjoys working for your business, there are a few things that you can do.
Let’s find out!
1. Start off by hiring for skill, attitude as well as knowledge
When hiring your next employees, having the right skills and knowledge is crucial. Granted there will be new job skills that will be acquired once the employee is in training. However, it is important that the employee demonstrates what they are capable of doing. Only then will you be able to judge whether the candidate is right for the task or not.
During the interview, instead of just using buzzwords, the potential employee will show their knowledge of the subject matter. This makes training easier and ensures that you get someone who is capable.
But having the right skills and knowledge is just the first step. It is important the interviewee has the right attitude. You want to hire people who are likeable and who will integrate well with the rest of the workforce.
Try learning the individual at a more personal level and you can tell how likeable they are.
2. Make the hiring process more streamlined
The interview process can make or break the attitude of the candidate to your business. If it lengthy and has too many questions, the worker will be discouraged and will no longer have any enthusiasm to work for the company.
In fact, if another company offers the candidate a more attractive offer, they will prefer that company over yours.
Always make sure that the interview process is simple and doesn’t make the interviewee feel threatened. Also ensure that you follow up and send feedback to the potential employee whether or not they got the position.
Do not completely eliminate them from future positions and assure them that they will get first priority when there is another position in the company.
3. Make your employees comfortable
If you want your employees to enjoy coming to the office every day, it is important to put measures in place to make their work environment more comfortable.
Some savvy business leaders will go as far as having inhouse acupuncture or holding parties and comedy shows for their employees. All this is great but not always necessary.
You can maintain a healthy and thriving workforce, by providing a few basic essentials such as office space filled with natural light, fresh air and allowing them to personalize their work area.
You can so make sure that the equipment is up to date as well as adding a few green plants that bring a bit of life and color to the working area.
Note however that managing a young workforce requires skill and a good business leader will know how to bring everyone together.
How To Manage a Young Workforce
While the goals of managing every workforce is to bring people together, it is important to understand that managing a young workforce is not the same as managing an older workforce. Since they have different needs, the approach on management needs to be different in order to bring everyone in sync.
A younger workforce has greater demands and these demands are also more intensive. For one, the younger generation requires a greater sense of job flexibility, as well as participation in business objectives. They want to do something that has meaning and want to know that their actions are directly impacting the business in a positive way.
Millennials are first and foremost in search of a company culture that is more open. The business environment needs to adapt by having fewer departments. Granted what one business does may not apply to all businesses, but you can get valuable information from understanding what the younger generation requires.
Communication is key and according to a recent study, companies that have invested in good communication systems provide 47 percent more profit to their shareholders than companies that have not invested in proper communication channels.
Simply put, if you are dealing with a smaller and younger team that is highly energetic, you can increase the business revenue significantly by boosting communication. All you have to do is listen to your young workforce and understand their needs and requirements. From here you can tailor the right communication channels to them.
This is the age of social media and almost all tasks are digitalized. The human resource department thus needs to work even harder to ensure that the office is running as expected. Consider that almost everyone who is under 40 years old is using a social media channel. As a business leader, it is important to consider applying similar channels of communication. Simply put sending an email is more likely to be ignored than sending a slack conversation.
Once you understand this, you can incorporate into your own business. You will need to put a two-way communication channel to the organization. You can do this by putting in place an open reporting system where everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The employees also need to know what management is planning.
Also talk to the employees. Find out about their worries and concerns and use that information to come up with proper communication channels. After doing this, you need to share your views to them to get the young workforce conversant with your plans. You can then sell them your ideas and internal protocols.
However, all this is faced by certain challenges top of which is selling the idea to the CEO and the business leaders. There is every chance that providing such an idea will be met with a certain level of resistance.
As a business leader however, you should aim at ensuring that the right communication channels are in place. Stand firm with your decisions and see to it that your ideas are implemented.
Once you have the right communication channels in place, use them to provide positive feedback to your employees.
Why Business leaders Need to Make Use of Positive Feedback
Feedback is not always about telling your team members where they need to improve. It is also important to complement them where they have performed well. Many workers will tell you that their boss is yet to give them any positive feedback and will often receive much criticism when they have underperformed.
A positive feedback is a direct, effective and sophisticated way to encourage positive behaviors in the business. But there is a right way to provide positive feedback.
Complimenting team members for performing well in their work will automatically increase their morale. In turn, their productivity goes up.
On the other hand, team members who work extra hard on their job but don’t receive any acknowledgement will be demoralized.
Some leaders simply believe that people should not be complemented if they are being payed to do their job. However human psychology proves otherwise.
Avoid being vague in your compliments. Be specific and tell the team members exactly why you are complementing them and what part of the task appealed to you.
The compliment and acknowledgement will have a greater effect and appear more real.
Elements of a positive feedback
Start by using positive terms such as excellent, great, and wonderful. When you give the compliment, be specific on what was good about the work or presentation.
Also talk about the results of the actions of the team member such as increased revenue, and greater efficiency.
End the compliment by thanking them.
Don’t add in any criticism
Make sure that you do not add in a negative feedback while giving your positive feedback.
Note that in a meeting, there may be need to talk about what can be improved as well. However, giving a positive feedback on its own is enough to provide a significant effect as well.
Write it down
After giving a positive feedback, you can also put it in writing such as sending a note or sending an email to the team member.
A hand written note feels more personal in this digital era.
Let all the other team members know
The positive feedback will have a greater effect if it sent during a meeting. After all, it is always the best to praise in public and correct in private.
When you want to give negative feedback, call the team member to the office and have a private conversation. Do not do this in front of the other team members as this can create a feeling of resentment.
Also, it’s a good idea to have a specific time of day to give positive feedback and to do this regularly. The aim is to boost the self-esteem of the workers. This can have a huge impact on their productivity.
Another major benefit of positive feedback is employee satisfaction. Team members feel content in their place of work when the leader shows them that they are making an impact in the business. This will reduce the rate of employee turnover.
Having a workforce that enjoys working for the business makes it that much easier to delegate tasks and focus more on where the business is headed. Delegating however demands patience.
Learning How to Delegate Tasks
Delegating work as a business leader is one of the hardest choices you can make. It is not easy to trust that someone else will complete the work in time and maintain the same level of high-quality standards that you do. However, failing to delegate will often leave you with too much work, leave you feeling overwhelmed and burned out at the end of the day.
There is great benefit to learning how to delegate. You are able to focus on other tasks and you will not be as emotionally and physically drained.
Delegation is important for any business leader. Why? Because you are also able to develop the strengths of your individual team members. As a result, your collective strength increases. As a leader you can focus on the future and the direction of the business without being clogged up by the weeds.
And when it is all said and done, delegation helps you remain sane by not having too much on your mind.
Many business leaders however will struggle with delegation. The good thing is that you have access to tools that can make the delegation process simpler. However, to really get into the whole delegation process there are some myths that you will have to dispel from your thoughts.
1. Team members are already busy
As a leader, you may be grateful that your team members are busy and all involved in their own individual tasks but you may also worry about them being too busy and unable to take on more tasks. You may be concerned that being too busy will cause them to feel resentment.
However, the best way to get around this is to talk to the team members themselves. Ask them if they are open to more work. You would be surprised at how much work can be taken off your shoulders.
Asking is far better than assuming.
2. They will not meet the quality standards
The fact is you will be better at performing a task than your team members simply because you have spent a lot of time doing it. However, unless you believe that your team members can create quality output, you will never be able to delegate.
Always remember that your team is the best resource that your business has. By taking the time to build on their skills, you are making an investment into the future. Granted, they may not be able to work up to standards the first or second time. However, over time, their skill set will grow and they will be able to provide quality output.
3. I will finish faster
Of course, if you are the expert, your team members will not be able to complete the task as fast as you can. However, the alternative is being in a position where you cannot grow. The whole business stagnates because of this.
If you focus on the speed of finishing tasks, you will not see the bigger picture and the business will not grow any more than it already has.
October marks the start of our new series on business leadership. Enjoy!
How A Business Leader Can Help Manage Stress in The Work Environment
by Samuel Gitukui
As a business leader, you want to avoid stress at the workplace as much as possible. In the modern hectic business world, stress at work is an epidemic. Not only will it hurt the health of the worker, but it will also hurt the overall performance of the business.
But there are different levels of stress. Acute or short-term stress lasts just a short time until the project causing the stress is handled. The human body is designed to cope with short levels of stress. It is the long-term stress that has the largest potential for disruption.
Whenever you notice any type of chronic or long-term stress, it is important that you have measures in place to deal with it.
This explains why the leader’s job is highly important. Team members will have improved health, relationships and productivity once stress is managed.
Happy workers translate to better relationships with the suppliers, lenders and customers. This will push your business to the next level.
This is how to manage stress in the workplace.
1. Provide solutions
The best business leaders empower their workers to manage stress by themselves. One of the ways to do this is by providing them with time management classes where they learn how to delegate and prioritize on tasks. The team members are better able to determine the best way to manage their own stress.
While most managers will leave the task of managing the workforce to the HR, getting into the problem yourself as a leader shows your team that you are concerned for their wellbeing and that you want to see them develop both health wise and career wise.
But why is empowering employees so important. Well, when they feel in control, they have less stress and more job satisfaction.
Cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine are all stress hormones that are released by the brain. The more comfortable people feel, the less of these hormones are produced.
2. Be transparent
By creating time for conversations with your employees, you can discuss company values and morals and objectives.
Take the time to thank the team members for being a part of the organization and acknowledge each individual’s contribution to the team.
Regular meetings will allow you to show the company data and performance to the members. Attribute the individual successes to the individual team members.
Your team members will feel part of the business family and will have a clear picture of what their roles are in the organization thus reducing overall stress and boosting performance.
3.Take time off
Research shows that up to 80 percent of workers will force themselves to work when being sick. A good business leader knows that this will only make things worse eventually as the stress levels rise to chronic levels.
Be the leader that creates an environment that encourages workers to take the time off and take care of themselves. Less stress equals more job satisfaction and thus better production.
Hi folks, it's me this time.
I hope you'll all read Summer's brilliant posts below, but I just had to barge in and post this text excerpt that I had translated by the free version of DeepL, a translation program available on the web.
In keeping with the topic of some posts I wrote a while ago (on machine translation) and because I saw a job offer recently where the client suggested using the program to do a preliminary translation and then "making the necessary changes", I decided to give one of those programs another try. Turns out that employer was right -- about having to edit and make changes, I mean. Because even a simple text like the beginning of an (edited) article about photography ends up with only part of its meaning intact. Look at this:
Any type of or style of photography presents endless challenges. Whether you’re capturing people, buildings, or wildlife, there are a million different ways things can go wrong or take unexpected turns. Now, throw in working with the ever-changing sun, random weather, and unpredictable clients, and you’ve just scratched the surface of using and shooting with natural light.
Overcoming the variability and challenge of natural light photography begins and ends with understanding the sun. This guide will teach you what you need to know, like how to plan a shoot at 12pm on a sunny day, or what lens to use during a sunset, or what to capture when the day’s light is all but fading way. Here’s how you can take your best photos yet using only the light supplied by the sun.
Jede Art von Fotografie stellt eine endlose Herausforderung dar. Egal, ob Sie Menschen, Gebäude oder Wildtiere einfangen, es gibt eine Million verschiedene Möglichkeiten, wie Dinge schief gehen oder unerwartete Wendungen nehmen können. Jetzt können Sie mit der sich ständig ändernden Sonne, dem zufälligen Wetter und unvorhersehbaren Kunden arbeiten, und Sie haben gerade die Oberfläche der Verwendung und Aufnahme mit natürlichem Licht zerkratzt.
Die Überwindung der Variabilität und Herausforderung der Naturlichtfotografie beginnt und endet mit dem Verständnis der Sonne. Dieser Leitfaden zeigt Ihnen, was Sie wissen müssen, wie Sie eine Aufnahme um 12 Uhr an einem sonnigen Tag planen, welches Objektiv Sie bei Sonnenuntergang verwenden sollten oder was Sie einfangen sollten, wenn das Tageslicht fast verblasst ist. So können Sie Ihre besten Fotos machen und dabei nur das von der Sonne erzeugte Licht verwenden.
Übersetzt mit www.DeepL.com/Translator
Those of you who speak German and English will see what I mean, the others can contact me and I'll explain. Have a lovely autumn!
by Summer Worsley
The Linguistics of Doge
Amidst claims from purists that the online community is committing a collective English language genocide, some rather inventive language patterns champion the rights of writers and speakers to toy with a living language.
Many of these new constructions and phrases, which fly in the face of “correct” English, are popularised by memes. Far from simple jokes, memes operate within a highly intertextual semiotic field driven by user participation. With each new iteration of a meme, the image is spread to a wider audience and the accompanying text becomes known and accepted.
Thanks to memes, we can greet someone’s pet by saying “what a good doggo” where we might once have said “what a good doggie” or “what a good dog.” We can also let the pet owner know we’re having a hard time “adulting today because reasons.” If the person we’re speaking to is an avid internet user, they will have no issue with the structure of the sentence and will understand it immediately.
In today’s post, I’d like to look at one popular meme that has had an impact on both online and offline discourse: doge.
The doge meme we all know and love today is an amalgamation of random internet happenings. In 2010, a Reddit user commented “LMBO LOOK @ THIS FUKKIN DOGE” on an image of a corgi. That same year, a Japanese woman named Sato began posting images of Kabosu, her Shiba Inu dog, on her blog.
Three years later Sato was “taken aback” to see her dog’s face plastered all over the internet with much comic sans on her original image. Her dog had become the doge of the internet.
There is no commonly agreed pronunciation of doge. But after completing a very informal survey, I found that native English speakers seem to favour /oʊ/ as in “code” with a soft ‘g.’ The /oʊ/ is a natural step as the non-syllabic ⟨e⟩ on many English words dictates the pronunciation of the preceding vowel.
While it might seem like ‘doge’ is a word best left to memes (and to denote the Chief Magistrate in Venice) people use meme-speak in daily spoken and written discourse. In fact, I was inspired to write this post because within the same week I heard a friend refer to a passing dog as “one fluffy boi” while another replied to a message with “much wow.”
Dog memes can influence our communication patterns, while a meme’s popularity lasts anyway.
The Heckin’ With Syntax
Linguists love doge and with good reason; the ungrammatical constructions are fun and frivolous yet still distinct and describable. To make a classic doge meme, there seem to be a few standards.
Firstly, there are the doge modifiers: much, many, so, very, and such. These are then combined with another word to form classic two-word doge phrases such as “much delicious” “very stop” and “such eat.” The rule here is syntactic non-concordance, if it doesn’t sound right, it’s right for doge.
‘Wow’ is featured on most doge memes and may or may not be combined with another word as in “much wow” “very wow” or “so wow.” Over at The League of Nerds, they have compiled a corpus of doge. Notably, most words are spelt correctly so misspellings, although present, appear to be less doge-like than a syntactic mismatch.
The third feature of classic doge is the preference for the root form of a given word; confuse over confused or confusing, sex over sexy or sexiness, although, “much sexual” has a distinct dogeiness.
Doge reads like an interior monologue, the short phrases convey snippets of what we imagine a dog’s thought process is like. Linguist Gretchen McCulloch, the author of Because Internet, notes infant-directed talk as one possible reason for doge linguistic patterns. “If we speak to our pets in baby talk or simplified language, then it’s only logical to assume that when we anthropomorphize our pets, they’d speak back to us the same way.”
Another possible reason, also described by McCulloch, is the correlation between emotion and deliberate syntactic error in internet-speak. To convey a sense of overwhelming emotion, we mess with the syntax. For example, “I can’t even today” “I don’t can” and “I got the feels.”
Concerned language users needn’t worry that doge-speak will penetrate the very core of English. Unlike lexical change, syntactic change is a long, slow process and prescriptivists should rest easy in the knowledge that “many wow” will soon give way to the next joke. Much celebrate.
by Summer Worsley
I recently met a young boy of around five or six years of age who was enamoured with his family’s smart speaker. To him, Alexa was a friend with outstanding dinosaur knowledge on the other end of a digital line, not a disembodied, computer-generated voice.
Of the many predictions sci-fi and dystopian fiction made, a fair few have come true. One prediction remains frustratingly elusive for researchers though — artificial intelligence (AI). In this post, we’re going to take a look at why linguistic research and work is at the cornerstone of AI advancements.
Alexa, what’s the time?
From home devices like Alexa to automated voice-to-text dictation software, voice activation and AI technology are becoming increasingly commonplace in our lives. In Europe, reports suggest that smart speaker sales will hit 23 million in 2019.
Whether you’re currently calling out to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google, the rise of AI is reaching you. But these devices have limited capabilities because their spoken language skills lag far behind those of a human speaker. Full AI depends on the ability of machines to “speak” as humans do.
Natural language is the goal
Artificial intelligence aims to replicate human intelligence and present humanlike capabilities. So if we are going to have machines we can easily communicate with, AI has to crack the natural language barrier. As MIT cognitive science professor Josh Tenenbaum puts it, “There’s no way you can have an AI system that’s humanlike that doesn’t have language at the heart of it.” Language is “one of the most obvious things that set human intelligence apart.”
At the moment, AI has yet to fully solve natural language use. Smart assistants can “understand” certain words, phrases, and sentences, and deliver appropriate responses, but cannot comprehend the responses they give and are limited by their literal interpretations of utterances.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Although some of us are less than wowed by Alexa’s ability to set a timer, play a song, or say “42” when we ask her about the meaning of life, there is some impressive tech going on behind the scenes. In the cloud, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) receives and interprets the recording of our voice then sends the information back to Alexa as an audio file so she can reply.
NLP (not to be confused with neuro-linguistic programming) is what powers smart assistants like Alexa and Siri, and it’s taken us decades to get to the point we’re at now. NLP, a subdiscipline of computer science, is dedicated, in part, to linguistic interaction between humans and computers. More specifically, training machines to analyse and interpret large amounts of human voice data and respond appropriately.
As imaginable, the rules of natural spoken language (many of which are unspoken) are hard for computers to grasp. While a machine is easily capable of collecting, collating, and organising large amounts of data from computational and corpus linguistics, applying the same nuances as human interaction is tricky when it comes to machine-to-human communications. Human sentences also display high levels of ambiguity and are often context-dependent.
This is where linguists come in. NLP requires knowledge of the fundamentals of morphology, syntax, semantics, prosody, and more. And, at its core, a linguist’s job is to describe those fundamentals and actual language use to tease out the unspoken rules that dictate how we interact in utterances.
While tools such as Google’s Parsey McParseface are becoming increasingly adept at breaking down, and, as the name suggests, parsing sentences, there’s still a lot of work to be done and linguists are in demand at computer science units across the world. Digital tools continue to struggle with those aspects of language, such as prepositional phrase attachment ambiguity, that require real-world knowledge.
These same issues spring up in machine translation programs, which are still incapable of matching the skill level of a human who speaks multiple languages fluently.
Linguists of the world, learn to code!
Tech and retail giants such as Google and Amazon are racing to create NLP solutions that will grant them a hefty slice of the voice-tech pie, an industry which some predict is worth a whopping $49 billion. Meanwhile, more scholarly pursuits are being carried out in research labs around the world and linguists with coding abilities are sought after. Is this the new future for traditional theoretical linguistics? I asked Alexa who said, “sorry, I’m not sure.”
One thing is for sure though, AI and voice tech is only going to increase its presence in our lives. While that may seem insidious to some, for others, having a friend on hand to ask about what triceratopses ate, is the norm they will grow up with.
Dear friends and clients of Witinall Language Services,
The office will be closed from July 12 to July 21 for a short break (while I will be getting rid of my cast and recuperating a little), but please call again after my summer holiday or leave your message and I will get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful and
HAPPY SUMMER 2019!
By Archu Dhamija
Punjabi and Hindi both are the most recognized languages in the Indian media culture. Punjabi is recognized as the third official language of Canada and is the fourth most spoken language in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, Hindi is the most spoken language in India and constitutes up to 44% of India’s total population as native speakers. One astonishing fact about these two languages is that both Hindi and Punjabi are widely oriented to Hinduism and Sikhism religions. Both these religions have strong roots in the Indian subcontinent region.
Hindi and Punjabi language have made striking recognitions in the world and are suffusing at a rate faster rate than 6,497 and 6,490 languages respectively. Let's shine some light on the emergence, usage and the presence of Hindi and Punjabi languages in the media culture of India and the world.
The Punjabi Language
The word 'Punjabi' has been derived from two Persian words 'Panj' and 'āb' meaning 'Five' and 'Waters'. The world literally translates to the land of five rivers which are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Beas and is commonly known worldwide as Punjab. The word 'Punjabi' thus means the language spoken by the people of Punjab.
Originally, Punjabi was written in two scripts which are Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. Originated in the 7th century, today Punjabi is the 10th most spoken language of the world with over 130 million speakers. With changes in time and due to India’s partition in 1947, Punjabi got restricted to the Gurmukhi script in the 21st century.
Punjabi's Connection to India and Pakistan
Regardless of Punjabi being the most spoken language in Pakistan, it is still not recognized by its constitution as an official language. The reason behind this discontent with the Punjabi language is the rivalry between these two nations. The rivalry between India and Pakistan began on the basis religious affiliations of pre-independent India's population to Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. This division is most famously known as the 'Divide and Rule Policy' of the British in India.
During the partition of India, millions of Muslims migrated to Pakistan which resulted in the formation of a new country, whereas the majority of Sikhs and Hindu's remained in India. Punjabi, as the religious language of Sikhs, thus maintained its official supremacy in India.
Punjabi in Indian and World Media Culture
The Punjabi literature first originated in the 10th century by the 'Natha' section of Hinduism and was written in verse form. It spread widely amongst the region of Sapt Sindhava which is modern-day Punjab. In recent history from the 17th century on words, Punjabi spread in the Persian-oriented Shahmukhi script and was mostly used by the Muslims saints.
In the year 1867, the Punjabi language gained some momentum with the publication of the first Gurmukhi script newspaper 'Akhbaar Sri Darbar Sahib Sri Amritsar Ji'. Following its arrival, manifold newspaper agencies started publishing in Punjabi. Today, an individual can purchase a Punjabi newspaper in Western Countries like Ambedkar Times and Desh Doaba in the USA, Ajit Weekly in Canada and Europe Samachar in the European continent.
The Pollywood industry, which is the film-industry of Punjab has also marked its reputation all around the world. Established in early 1920, the Punjabi cinema industry released sound movies without any videography. Later came notable movies like Jatti, Satluj De Kante and Teri Meri Ek Jindri that gave the industry a rapid boost.
In the pop-culture, the Punjabi music industry set a record with hit songs. The song Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi got renowned internationally in the year 1998. In the 21st century, with the advent of Punjabi songs in Bollywood movies, the Hindi music industry suffered a setback. Today, a large majority of Bollywood movies feature Punjabi songs and the language itself has become a tough contender to the Hindi language for producing Bollywood music.
The Hindi Language
Hindi is the third most spoken language with over 450 million speakers worldwide. Along with Punjabi, it is one of the 22 officially spoken languages of India. It has derived from the Vedic Sanskrit language and witnessed a quick growth in the 7th century. The dialect in which the modern Hindi language is spoken is the Khariboli dialect. In the year 1949, the Hindi language in Devnagri script replaced the Arabic Urdu language as the official language of the Republic of India. It was until the year 1958, there was no fixed standard of Hindi grammar in the world which was then set up by the government of India in a report named ‘A Basic Grammar of Modern Hindi.’
In the recent past and even in the 21st century, the Hindi language has been the reason for communal riots between Hindus and Sikhs and amongst the population of North India and South India. The common languages spoken in South India are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada whose threat of replacement by the Hindi language often became the major cause behind the riots.
The majority of users of Hindi language are native to the Indian sub-continent including the countries India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bengal and Sri Lanka. However, the Hindi language is also spoken in the UAE, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Guyana, Mauritius, Singapore, Fiji, Suriname, Trinidad, and Tobago. The total number of Hindi speakers outside India is 8 million.
Hindi in Indian and World Media Culture
Hindi as a form of literature is the most famous literature in India. There are several translations of Hindi literature present in English, Chinese, Japanese and other languages. The Indian Hindi literature can be divided into two categories which are pre-colonist literature and post-colonist literature. The pre-colonist literature consists of epics, folktales, autobiographies, and poems whereas the post-colonist literature is composed of fictional literature, novels, and poems. The most famous Hindi writers that are recognized worldwide are Premchand, Tulsi Das, Kabir Das, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Due to the spread of Hindi language and literature in the western culture, Hindi words like namaste, bazaar, guru, mantra, etc. became understandable by the world population. The Oxford Dictionary even gave recognition to the word bazaar as a valid word in the English language. In the 21st century, people started using Hindi language in Latin script and a new language Hinglish (combination of Hindi and English) came into existence.
The Bollywood industry of India compromises of Hindi movies and songs. The industry alone produces more than 2,000 movies per year and is the world's largest movie industry. Dadasaheb Phalke is considered as the father of Bollywood who produced the first Hindi Bollywood movie in the year 1913. In the 20th century and the early 21st century, Hindi movies like Sholay, The Guide, Salaam Bombay, Awara, Nayakan, Earth, Lagaan, and Devdas made the Hindi speaking community internationally proud.
The usage of Hindi language did not remain restricted to the Indian movie cinema and marked its presence in Hollywood movies like Slumdog Millionaire, Bend It Like Beckham, Big Sick, etc. The famous Indian character 'Raj' from the Western TV show The Big Bang Theory often makes references to the Hindi language. The world popular Hindi song Jai Ho sung by A.R. Rahman for movie Slumdog Millionaire made groundbreaking achievements in the music industry by winning the Grammy award for the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture in 2010.
If you're the owner of an e-commerce site and thinking about offering your products on the German-speaking market, it pays to use familiar terms that people will recognize and subconsciously respond to.
As you might have noticed if you've ever been to Germany, for instance, many shops on the continent use the word "sale" instead of the less catchy and much longer "Ausverkauf", "Abverkauf" or Räumungsverkauf" or similar, so with this word there's no need to worry about getting your sales message across in the translation.
If in doubt, ask a native to help with choosing the correct and meaningful terms rather than giving a machine free rein, or you'll end up with a rather unfortunate mistranslation like the "Verkauf" in the picture below. (It seems that not even the big players are immune to a little creative linguistics!)
Thank you, Summer, for some more great insights – and those hilarious examples of machine translations gone wrong. I thought these were a thing of the past, but no, they’re alive and kicking. And to confirm your observations, here’s one I actually came across this week:
Congratulations, first-time users of this technical appliance, on having bought a great product with a leaflet instructing you to put the cart before the horse! (And trying to figure out what’s what.)
by Summer Worsley
Machines make our lives easier; no one doubts that. Think of the wealth of information that’s just a few clicks away and right at our fingertips, giving us instant answers to our questions. But should we reach for the computer when we’re looking for language translation services?
Yes, the technology exists. You can simply plug in one text, select your current language and the one you want it translated to and with the push of a button, you can have an actual, instant translation in mere moments. Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteeing what you’re left with is an accurate translation.
Any language involves many nuances. Machines use rules and algorithms to translate text and as the old adage goes, rules are made to be broken. When they are, a machine doesn’t know how to take that into consideration.
While it may be convenient and fast, computers will never take the place of native speakers when it comes to professional translation. Current technology, while advancing, proves no match for speakers.
Who’s Using Machine Translations?
Wondering who’s turning to machine translation? You might be surprised to learn that companies outsourcing to non-English-speaking countries are moving toward machine translations (MT) for customer service needs.
Using machines means these companies can skip the costs involved in hiring native speakers. While saving the company money, it also gives instant translations to customers at any time of day. In a fast-paced world that doesn’t sleep, that kind of service is incredibly appealing.
It’s not all good, though and when machines make a mistake, it can lead to a major faux pas that is anything but professional. Consider the food festival misrepresented as a Clitoris Festival, the Translation Server Error Café in China? These MT gems wouldn’t have happened if a native speaker were translating or proofing written work.
When to Use Machine Translations
There is a time and place for everything, of course, so MTs aren’t all bad. They can help you understand the general gist of a text, especially if you’re at least a little familiar with the language. When it comes to sophisticated, professional work, though, you’ll want to leave it to, well, the professionals. Of the human variety, of course.
You may think you can do a rough translation, then have a human proof the work and make necessary corrections but losing the original work will compromise the translation and all those important nuances will be lost.
The kicker? You won’t be saving that much money if you opt to approach your translations this way. Instead, you’re likely to wind up with a shoddy translation and still out of money by the time you have it fixed. You’re better off starting with a human and getting the closest translation possible from the original work.
Where Do Machine Translations Struggle?
Longer pieces of work, or those that are more complex, are more likely to encounter problems during MT. These machine translation programs aren’t able to process contextual clues or easily divide sentences as they’re intended.
You’ll also find cultural differences impact the way language is processed. Regional dialects and sayings may not come through during a translation. Even more problematic, that may have an entirely different meaning behind them that could dramatically alter the translation.
Additionally, a machine has no way to incorporate cultural norms, or recognise needed sensitivities. This can lead to inaccurate translations and even be downright offensive.
You’ll also find that idioms don’t translate well through machines. The meaning behind the words can’t be expressed or interpreted. Idioms are so ingrained in our everyday vernacular you may not even realise when they’re being used.
This isn’t just true for English speakers. After all, idioms are a worldwide phenomenon. Not only don’t you realise when you’re using them yourself, you likely won’t recognise them when you stumble across someone else’s.
Don’t Fire Your Translator Just Yet
Language is a living, breathing thing. You can strip it down to short sentences to try and make it more manageable for MTs, in the process, though, you’ll lose that part of a language that makes it sound human. What you’re left with will be lacklustre and far from professional.
Aren’t convinced just yet that MT isn’t the way to go? Consider these exceptional mistakes machines have made during the translation process. Ask yourself if you really want a machine representing you or your business. You may find the risks far outweigh the benefits.
by Samuel Gitukui
For email marketers, getting as many leads as possible seems to be the goal. These are the people you are going to convert into willing and regular customers after all.
So, if people are unsubscribing from your mailing list, then this should be cause for alarm, right? Not exactly.
You see, most companies will make it difficult for the customer to find the unsubscribe button, putting it in a hard to see font at the bottom of the email. The problem with this approach is that as the customer receives more and more of your emails, they are more likely to hit the mark as spam button.
This then means that all of your emails will be going directly to the spam folder only to be deleted later.
Making the unsubscribe process that much easier can actually be a great business strategy where people who are simply not willing to read your emails opt themselves out. You can then make the process easy by adding a large unsubscribe button that is very simple to spot. As soon as the reader clicks this button, he or she is immediately taken out of the mailing list leaving you with only the people who are interested and allowing you to tailor your marketing to these people.
While there is always the possibility of losing a large potion of your mailing list, the benefits far outweigh having your emails sent to the spam folder.
If you are concerned about losing a huge portion of your mailing list then there are a few things that you can do. One of them is to create a catchy line saying something like, “Okay, so you’ve been unsubscribed, but we still think we can work things out. Having seconds thoughts? subscribe again here”.
This has the effect of making the customer reconsider their move to completely unsubscribe from your mailing list and is one way to avoid the spam folder.
Another way is to create a short video after the customer has unsubscribed. The video should be fun and say something to the effect of, so you’ve finally decided to leave us, we are going to miss you. We will be waiting for you to get back where you belong…so we can take our awesome business relationship to the next level.
Then there is the third way where you can provide your customers with the option of reducing the number of emails that they receive in a week. If for the example you were sending 7 emails a week, the customer can opt for say two or three emails a week.
Sometimes they are committed to hitting the unsubscribe button and will still do this so always make sure that the process is simple for them.
At the end of the day, what you need to avoid the most is not losing people from your mailing list who are not interested in the business’s products but the focus is to avoid landing on the spam folder.
by Samuel Gitukui
If there is one thing that every entrepreneur should be concerned about, then it has to be the spam folder. This is where all those emails that the potential customer is not interested in end up and it only means that you are losing valuable time, effort and business when writing those emails.
The good thing is that there are steps that you can follow to write emails that result into conversions.
Let’s find out!
Always do it with intent
Some entrepreneurs try to remain vivid in the minds of their prospective customers by sending them emails on regular basis. It is a sure way to end up in the spam folder. Instead always send emails when there is a purpose of sending them such as alerting a potential customer to a new product, new offer or sending them helpful tips.
Write a proper subject line
The subject line is the first thing the recipients will look at when considering to read your email. Some people put so much effort on boosting their subject line with little to match up on the email.
Instead what you should do is to write a subject line that explains to the reader exactly what they will get in their email. Once your prospective customers learn that your claims are genuine, they are far more likely to purchase from you.
Researching on client
One of the most important parts of writing an email that converts is to engage the client and write something that is personalized. You can do this by understanding the needs of the client.
The growth of social media and the internet means it is much simpler nowadays to get background information on a client. There is Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn which you can use to conduct your research.
Once you learn of a recent activity that happened to the prospective customer, you can go ahead and include this in your email. For example, if he has recently received a promotion, you can use this in your email and start of by congratulating them for their promotion.
This will also show the prospect that you took the time to get to understand them and their needs. The responses from these types of emails will be more than can be expected with generic emails that are sent by most businesses and those that only end up in the spam folder.
If it’s a customer who has bought a product from the business before, then the same process and principles will apply. These will include conducting your own research before writing a message.
Finish up with a question
The majority of the emails will lack conversions and will go unanswered simply because of one thing, they lack a question in the end prompting the reader to respond.
You should ask a relevant question such as would you like to know more about the product? Or would you like to connect with us directly?
Once the prospect reads the email and the above tips are observed, it is going to be that much easier to receive a response from them.
by Summer Worsley
Neuro-linguistic Programming and Digital Marketing: Pseudoscience or Is There Something Behind It?
Over the past couple of years, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) seems to have been co-opted by a number of digital marketing gurus. It’s only fair to ask: is it a pseudoscience or is there something behind it? In this post, we’ll examine what NPL is, how it is being used in digital marketing, and how it differs from common rhetorical tactics such as presupposition and implicature.
What is NLP?
According to the Linguistic Society of America, neurolinguistics is “the study of how language is represented in the brain”. This fascinating area of study is intertwined with cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics as it looks at how and where our brains store knowledge of languages and what happens when we acquire new knowledge.
The term ‘neuro-linguistic programming’ (NLP) was coined by University of California psychologists John Grinder and Richard Bandler as a way of describing how our thinking processes (neuro) and language (linguistic) can affect our behavior (programming). While neurolinguistics does overlap with NLP, the latter places an emphasis on how language can affect our body and our behavior.
Is NLP a pseudoscience?
That’s a legitimate question to ask. After all, some of NLP’s biggest proponents, such as professional pick up artist Neil Strauss, have limited scientific credibility and a worryingly relaxed attitude towards ethics. Applying NLP principles to influence who people choose to date (as in the case of Strauss’ book ‘The Game’) has proved highly controversial. However, much of the scientific research backing NLP is legitimate.
Why NLP has been co-opted by digital marketing gurus
The goal of all marketing and sales efforts is to influence people’s decisions and communicate a message more effectively to a target audience. It’s little surprise, therefore, that NLP has been seized upon as the missing piece of the digital marketing puzzle that might help train salespeople, copywriters, and marketers alike.
NLP is not only great for motivating people, it also fosters an atmosphere of positive thinking. Salespeople exposed to NLP ideology are therefore more likely to sharpen the same skill sets that might lead to positive results, regardless of whether NLP techniques work.
Do NLP techniques work?
Yes. Most NLP techniques are backed by solid amounts of scientific data. One of the most studied techniques is ‘framing’, which holds that wording a given statement in a positive light is far more likely to generate positive responses. As UC Berkeley professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science George Lakoff observed, “The choice of language is … vital because language evokes frames — moral and conceptual frames.”
The evidence shows that this NLP technique works. When one study asked participants to choose between ground meat that was ’75 per cent lean’ and another meat that was ’25 per cent fat’, most people chose the lean option despite both types of meat being essentially identical.
When it comes to marketing, framing helps significantly. Michael Aagaard was able to dramatically increase signup numbers for a gambling website (bettingexpert.com) by framing headlines more positively. He found that headlines featuring the phrase ‘Make more money’ were 40 per cent more effective than alternative headlines promising readers that they would ‘Lose less money’, despite both options offering the exact same betting tips and advice.
Sometimes negative framing works well too
While these two examples (as well as other studies) support the NLP principle that positively framed statements and headlines can work wonders for salespeople looking to convert, there’s also evidence that highlights the power of loss aversion, too. For instance, this study found that 61 per cent of women in a group who were shown a negatively framed video about breast cancer signed up for a mammogram. This was significantly more than the 51 per cent of women in another group who were shown a positively framed video.
Unfortunately, NLP doesn’t offer a cut and dry answer about which approach is best for a particular product, company or individual. Finding the right approach takes considerable amounts of research and testing.
How does NLP differ from common rhetorical tactics such as presupposition and implicature?
Some NLP tactics are borrowed from established rhetorical tactics that have been in common use since antiquity. A good example of this would be increasing the persuasiveness of text through the use of presuppositions. Many digital marketing gurus suggest this approach as a way of using NLP to maximize the impact of a text on its intended audience.
One well-known example of presuppositions in use was the notorious Protein World advert in the UK which featured an impossibly slim bikini-clad model next to the question; “Are you beach body ready?” The advert was roundly condemned as being sexist and generated a fair number of complaints, but its text was essentially a type of loaded question known as a presupposition.
According to the linguistic branch of pragmatics, presuppositions make an implicit assumption necessary for completing a thought, questions or statement. So, in the question, “Are you beach body ready?” the advert is implying that the viewer is headed to the beach and is likely to want to wear a bikini. It is also a good example of implicature as it implies that only those with slim bodies are able to wear bikinis.
This seems like a trivial technique, but it’s a powerful way of influencing the way that people remember adverts and marketing copy. Presuppositions and implicature are a good example of the way that NLP techniques borrow from established rhetorical tools.
While there is a significant body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of NLP techniques, there are clear similarities between some NLP techniques and established rhetorical tactics that copywriters have long used to influence readers’ decisions. NLP is more than pseudoscience and there is clearly something behind it, but when it comes to putting NLP techniques into practice, a solid knowledge of commonly used rhetorical devices will stand you in good stead.
by Samuel Gitukui
With over 3.7 billion emails users, and growing, a business can really put its name and brand out there to potential customers using email. However, it’s not just about sending a promotional message as we’ve seen throughout this post.
People are receiving tons of emails every day that clicking the delete or spam button is almost a reflex. So how do you make your email stand out? There are a few things that you can do to succeed at your first email marketing campaign. Let’s find out.
Have an email list
Of course, you will need people to send all those promotional messages to and that means putting in the time and effort to build your email marketing list.
This allows you to access plenty of qualified leads.
The question now becomes, how do you get people to sign up to your email list?
One proven way is to use a non-intrusive pop up whenever someone opens a page on your website. You can provide an incentive to encourage users into signing up such as a discount or a free present. An email list is one of the main elements of a successful email marketing campaign.
Pick a good and reliable email marketing service provider
It’s now time to get your campaign on track. It is never advisable to use Gmail or Outlook. You will need an email marketing service provider such as convert Kid, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact. These will provide you with plenty of benefits.
Some of these benefits include being able to send bulk emails, using customizable email templates and access to campaign management techniques.
Set goals for your campaign
Before you can even create those emails and send them, one thing you will need to do is understand why you are sending the emails in the first place. Sending emails without focus or goals will only end up confusing the readers.
An example of the goals for your email marketing campaign would be upselling, promoting products, getting people to read your blogs, educating readers about the products.
Keep in mind that the ‘why’, is only a part of the goals, you will also need to define the ‘whom’. You may be sending the campaign to repeat customers, to first time customers or to potential customers who have never bought a product from you.
Defining your goals will help you create the right email.
Crafting the email
Now its time to get to the meat of it. You will need to craft the right email and this will start with a catchy subject line that will grab your readers attention and excite them into opening the email.
Once in, they should find attractive images and attractive font.
The message should be sweet, short and straight to the point. The last thing a reader want are lengthy texts.
Once you have these three things in order, it’s time to press the send button. You can then analyze the response rate by checking the opening rate of the website, blog or conversion rate.
How to avoid sending spamming messages
One of the most important ways for businesses to market themselves is through email. It follows then that it can be quite the challenge when you are suddenly blocked as a spammer.
Getting out here could be a nightmare for many businesses. There is a huge battle going on. That between internet service providers and spammers. In fact, statistics show that up to ¼ of all business emails will never get to the recipient’s inbox.
This is because the email is either blocked or marked as spam.
Many who are just beginning at email marketing will often get the short end of the stick. They start off completely wrong sending as many emails as they can and hoping that some will receive a click to buy.
Instead what ends up happening is those emails will hit the spam folder or get blocked all together.
What’s even more ironic is that some companies will send few emails, trying to avoid being marked as spammers which then reduces the chances of reaching even more prospective customers. However, by following a few steps you can increase your odds of making those conversions and preventing your emails from ever going to the spam folder or being blocked.
1. Work on your reputation
Once upon a time there were spam filters that could check emails and punish you for sending messages that were spammy. However, there is a general consensus among most experts that a business’s reputation is more important.
Just like you can have a lot of trouble getting credit due to a bad credit score, you can also get a bad sender score for your domain name. This can cause your emails not to reach your recipients inboxes.
Whether its Gmail, Hotmail, or yahoo, ISPs have their own strategies and algorithms for determining the senders score. The main one is the complaints by the users when many users click on the spam box on your emails.
For most ISPs if you receive the spam button by more than a thousand users you will end up having your emails blocked.
And things only go downhill from here. Trying to get out of the spam folder is going to be very difficult.
What you need to start doing is to check whether you are liked or whether most recipients simply don’t like your emails. By using services such as senders.org, you can add your IP address and quickly see your senders score.
What’s more is that you will be able to tell where the problem is coming from and fix it.
2. Always use clean lists
If say you have a shoddy email list, you are going to get punished by your ISP. One of the things that you will definitely need to avoid are buying lists as they often come with spam traps which are only fake addresses put there to trap spam messages.
They also include the addresses of those that do not want to receive emails. These are more likely going to complain and cause your senders score to decline fast.
While it will most likely take a considerable amount of time, you will benefit from creating your own list of real email subscribers who are willing to receive the emails that you are going to send to them. In fact, as you ask your customers for their emails, you want to make sure that you ask them what kind of emails that they would like to get from you.
If they agree to subscribe to a newsletter for example but make it clear that they do not want marketing content, always ensure that you avoid sending them content that they did not ask for. Otherwise you would only serve to bring down your business reputation.
Also, it is a good idea to separate your list according to the type of customers. This will make it easier for you to send your emails according to what the subscribers want.
Yet another thing that you want to make sure that you do is maintain good email hygiene. You can do this by removing emails from the list that have a tendency of bouncing or opting out. Also, you can take this a step further by sending emails asking customers if they wish to keep receive those emails. You can then only send emails to those customers that respond.
This is where you will really set yourself apart. Instead of concentrating on having a large email list, you are going to maintain only the high-quality customers on your list.
3. Get skilled at writing good emails
If there is one thing you should know about spammy content is that it triggers the spam folder only around 17% of the time. This however could be higher if you are just starting out at email marketing and haven’t build a reputation yet.
Sending messages that are not only irrelevant but annoying could cause the recipient to quickly click the spam button. Make sure you target your messages in order to avoid all that and always identify yourself on the from section. The subject line, remember will hit the recipient first so ensure you write a crafty one that grabs interest.
Also, those messages should appear the right way on mobile phones as well as on PCs.
4. Don’t hesitate to hire help
The one thing about sending business emails is that you will indeed benefit from sending many of them as long as you are sending the right type of email. If for example you were to send over 30,000 emails each month, your ISP would be able to tell whether or not you are legitimate.
But not all businesses can send that volume of emails. In this case, it’s a good idea to team up with other smaller businesses. Make sure you share the servers. You can boost your sender score in this way helping you to manage your email list and ensuring that you avoid some of the common pitfalls that trap many in email marketing that we’ve mentioned above.
As an email marketer its absolutely crucial to understand the main parts of an email.
Understanding the 4 main parts of an email
Billions of emails are sent each day. Why? Because emails just so happen to be the most important form of communication especially in business.
Simply put emails are not going anywhere and for you to be effective at writing business emails, you need to understand its main components.
If you are at that point where people are not responding to the emails that you send them, then there has to be something that you are simply doing wrong.
Let’s find out some simple yet effective tip on writing your emails.
1. The subject line
This is something that you will come across often when it comes to business emails. It is the number one factor that will cause your email to either be read tor deleted.
Getting it the wrong way can cause it to be sent directly to the junk box. Other than being truthful and informative, the subject line needs to capture the reader’s attention, and make them curious as to what is contained in the email.
What this means is to create a feel of curiosity in the minds of the reader. If both the subject line and the email are talking about two different things then the reader will end up with a bad impression of your business.
2. The email salutation
How you begin your email will create the tone that you are going to use throughout your email. These first few lines are where the reader will get a feel of what you are offering and will decide whether to continue reading or to completely ignore the rest of the email.
You definitely want to avoid appearing too formal or too impersonal. If you know the name of the person you are writing to, start by addressing them directly by their name.
On the other hand, if you do not know the name, start off with Hi, instead of using terms like “to whom it may concern”. What you should always keep in mind is that in business when trying to create good customer relations, you want to avoid sounding too formal.
3. The middle of the email
Nobody likes reading extensively long text. If you are in a situation where you receive many emails every day, the last thing you are going to look at are extensively long emails. Even if the recipient opens up the email and finds that to find that it is long, he will probably end up closing it and looking at something else.
Nobody is interested in spending more than the required time going through emails. Always make sure that you send only short and clear and straight to the point emails.
4. The ending
If the recipient decided to read the email right up to the end, you want to make sure that you end it the right way as this will determine the impression that the reader leaves you with.
Ensure that it is clear what, you expect your reader to do but use a polite tone. Such as “I look forward to hearing from you” or “please let me know what you think”.
Then sign off with phrases such as “kind regards” or “many thanks”. Since this is a business email, you want to make sure that you include any relevant LinkedIn, twitter or Facebook accounts and include your name and signature.
Now that you have a clear understanding of email marketing and the different parts of an email, its time to take things to the next level!
If you want to expand your email marketing list, these are the 3 rules you need to break
Coming up with great copy and excellent promotions is one thing, but all that information and all those great offers need to mailed out to someone. If you don’t have anyone to send them to, you are really accomplishing nothing at the end of the day.
The normal procedures of getting people to your mailing list is to take their emails when they make a buy decision or when they register with your website.
Another way is to include a big “subscribe to our mailing list” button whenever they open a blogpost on your website, and granted, these are all methods that have been proven to work.
However, if you really want to take thing a step further from your competition, then you obviously need to figure out a way to do things different and that may mean breaking some of the conventional rules.
These are the 3 rules you should in fact consider breaking to add on to your emailing list.
1. Avoid using pop ups
A pop up would normally appear when someone has opened a blog post or a page on your website for the first time.
Sometimes when you are trying to read content and a pop up appears, the first instinctive reaction is to close the pop up and try to access the content even without reading what the pop up is saying. If it is requesting you to subscribe to the mailing list, then you still haven’t been impressed by what the company is offering and so you will just close the window.
Instead, it is more beneficial to use pop overs. These work in a similar way to pop ups but will only appear when the reader clicks on two or more webpages.
By now he or she has an understanding of what the business offers and has decided mentally where there or not they would be interested on what is on offer.
Companies that have used this method have seen great improvement on the number of people who subscribe to their mailing list and the fact that the pop overs appear less frequency means that the reader is not annoyed when they do.
2. Always ask for a double subscription or opt in
It sounds like going through a lot of unnecessary trouble having already received the first subscription but research shows that some customers will actually send an invalid email address because they don’t want their inboxes filled with emails that they are never planning to read.
However, by asking for an email the second time such as when a customer is purchasing a product, you are able to confirm their email address and send relevant content to them.
3. Provide people with the option to opt pout
Instead of asking people to subscribe to your mailing list, you can actually ask them to opt out. This allows them control to decide whether they actually want this.
When your business is always popping up the question “would you like to subscribe to our mailing list?” then the reader feels like they are being coaxed into something. Providing the option of opting out gives the reader full control and surprisingly most will often decide to subscribe.
by Samuel Gitukui
When marketing your business through email, you will be sending plenty of these to your customers. However, your prospective customer may just decide to mark it as spam or completely disregard it.
If your emails are not being read, then your conversions will be low as less people will actually get to see the buy button contained therein. Do you think that you spend too many emails but still your conversions are lagging behind? There are 4 things that you can do to turn things around and increase the number of people that actually read your emails.
This include solving a problem, providing them with interesting content, showing them how to save money or making them much smarter buyers.
1. Helping your customers solve a problem
Imagine that you had a problem and a certain website convinced you that the content they would send would help you solve such problems. How willing would you be at subscribing to their newsletter? You would be very much willing, wouldn’t you?
Part of creating great content to send to your readers is understanding their problems and helping them solve those problem. Once your readers see that you are actually doing this, they are much more likely to open the emails that you send to them.
This strategy has been showed to have a huge effect on conversions with an opening rate of between 50 to 70 percent. The average opening rate for emails is 25.6%.
2. Saving customers money
If there is one thing we all love is to purchase that item we’ve been wanting for so long time at a discount. Whether it’s that restaurant meal or that microwave, any chance to purchase a product at less than the stated price always seems to grab people’s attention.
Because of realizing this fact smart businesses will include promotions in their subject lines and include words like, promotion, save, sale, or even free shipping. This makes it that much easier for the customer to understand what is ono offer.
As you probably already know, the subject line is what the customer reads first before opening the email.
3. Make them learn something, make them smarter
Many people embrace having more knowledge on a particular subject area. If you are in business, then you obviously want to know how to increase your conversions.
If you had a source of reading important business concepts, then you would want to subscribe and open their emails to learn more about turning yourself into a great business person.
Instead of focusing on always selling a product, sometimes you may just want to inform your readers on a particular topic of interest to them.
4. Source of Entertainment
Perhaps one of the best ways to grab someone’s attention is to entertain them. People love a good laugh and if you can send regular blog posts that make them reach a point of bless then you can seriously increase your opening rate.
Try to include a fun blogpost and then include a promotional message somewhere in the text.