Welcome to Dr Kirk’s Cross-Cultural Consultancy
Understanding your client is vital, whether you are negotiating a business deal or taking part in a meeting with people from another country, and sometimes from another continent with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Increasingly British institutions and companies are working with people whose first language is not English.
There is a need for effective oral and written communication between different parties in the 21st century, more so than ever before. Winning a deal and maintaining good ‘Guanxi’/ relations with your business partners requires understanding.
For companies and professional organisations, hiring multilingual personnel has become a more popular choice. However, if you do not have the resources to do so, making use of a cross-cultural consultant or a professional interpreter can play a crucial role in helping you to overcome language and cultural barriers. The quality of such services matters greatly for any individuals and companies when establishing business partnerships overseas and in the UK. Dr Kirk’s Cultural Consultancy is here to assist you to communicate clearly and effectively with your clients, and build long-lasting relationships.
The Linguist & ‘Multi-Cultural Icon’
Dr. Junying Jeanie Kirk (PhD, MLitt, MBA, MA, BA) has worked as a cultural consultant for a number of years, along with a very satisfying freelance career as a professional interpreter and translator. She works extensively with public and private clients, in legal proceedings and business negotiations. She travels frequently within the UK and in the Far East to provide high quality cross-cultural training and consultancy.
She has been fondly called a “Multi Cultural Icon’ by an American author because of her comprehensive knowledge and expertise in cross-cultural communications. She has published internationally on the cultural differences between the East and the West and vice versa. Her findings on cultural identity, cultural adaptations and other culture related issues have been reported by the Guardian, The Times Higher Education and other influential media platforms.
Cross-Cultural Consultancy & International Partnerships
Together with her business clients, Junying designs and delivers a range of workshops and training courses on doing businesses with Chinese-speaking partners, as well as training Chinese business people for UK companies, in order for them to familiarise with the British culture. In recent years, she has been providing annual cultural awareness training to groups of Chinese managers and engineers to a large UK company (bought by Chinese owners), as well as on-site training for the company’s British managers. These training courses are tailor-made, covering many aspects of Chinese and British Cultures and Society, and how British people behave differently from the Chinese counterparts.
Following her long standing freelance work with Birmingham City University, she is now working for BCU as an International Partnerships Manager, providing vital support to the University’s various international activities, including building relationships with governmental departments, Higher Education institutions in East Asia, namely in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. She regularly visits partner institutions in the Far East, to promote collaboration in different areas and to give lectures on British Culture and Education. On campus, she conducts Cultural orientation courses to new visiting academics and international students, and organises Mandarin classes for members of staff and students. Junying is also instrumental in organising the university wide cultural awareness events and leading research into the Internationalisation of the Curriculum.
A Note on Chinese & English Translation
When you consider English to Chinese translation, the form of written Chinese that should be used in communications depends on your target audience.
Traditional Chinese, written form using long-form (traditional, or complicated) characters in use in Taiwan & Hong Kong (please note that in Hong Kong, the Spoken dialect is Cantonese, whose written form may vary slightly from the Traditional Script used in Taiwan)
If you are doing business with Chinese partners in Greater China, make sure that you adapt your communication tools to suit that of your client, Mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong.
My advice: Please find a professional interpreter and translator to avoid making the same mistake as the one BBC did. Machine translation? Not quite good enough!