March 3rd, 2015

Four Chinese Companies Set to Accelerate Global Expansion

China’s growing importance on the world stage can partly be attributed to its decade-old “go global” policy. The country’s outbound investment last year, for example, soared to $102.9 billion, an increase of 14.1 percent from the previous year. “Judging from the current speed, China will soon become a net outbound investor,” China’s Vice Commerce Minister, Zhong Shan, was quoted as saying by the BRICS Post earlier this year.

Here are a few examples of Chinese companies making headway overseas in recent months:

February 28th, 2015

In The News: The World’s First 3D-printed Jet Engine, Japan’s Nurse Robots, Scientist Paves the Way for Human Head Transplant

What if lives could be saved through human head/body transplants? This week in the news, an Italian surgeon claims that the procedure of grafting one’s head onto another person’s body could take place in just two years. You’ll also read about Japan’s latest teddy-bear shaped robots and the world’s first 3-D printed jet engine.

February 25th, 2015

Meet Our Translator – Hiromi Kondo

Welcome to T for Translation. In our continuing series profiling our translators, we meet Hiromi Kondo, one of our Japanese linguists. Just like in the previous post, we ask Hiromi to share her experience of working at CSOFT International and what she thinks makes a good translator.

February 24th, 2015

Easy Languages to Learn

There are quite a few foreign languages can be relatively easy for English speakers to learn. That’s because  English is closely related to many European languages and has absorbed vocabulary from lots of them. In other words, you may already have a basis for some languages. According to Anna Merritt, an EFL lecturer based in South Korea, some of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn are Afrikaans, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Norwegian.

But regardless of whether or not you’re a native English speaker, another easy language to learn would be your very first language—the words you understood when you were a child.

February 17th, 2015

RED around the World: What does China’s favorite color communicate in other cultures?

With China’s Spring Festival celebration in full swing, the country’s favorite color is everywhere.  During this special holiday season, red paraphernalia is not limited to home and office décor; nearly every aspect of Chinese life takes on a crimson tinge.

From the red envelopes stuffed with cash and given as gifts, to the red gowns Chinese brides wear on their wedding day, the importance of this color in Chinese culture is indisputable.

But while red symbolizes luck, prosperity, and happiness in China, the color carries different connotations in different cultural contexts.

In Aztec culture, red dye was associated with blood and red amulets worn by leaders were believed to prolong life. The dye was created by extracting pigment from the female cochineal beetle. About one million beetles were needed to create just one pound of dye, so it was considered more valuable than gold!

Sweden also reserved red for the privileged. “Falu red” was created with expensive, rare pigments extracted from the Falun mine and represented wealth. It was used on the side of wooden mansions to preserve the wood, while adding to its aesthetic value.

In some cultures, the color red has religious ties. In India, it represents purity, and is associated with Hindu beliefs in karma and reincarnation.

Japanese Shinto and Buddhist traditions often “clothe” their deities in red as a symbol of devotion. In Christian traditions, the color is one of extremes, symbolizing temptation, war, and sacrifice while also representing life, purification, and redemption. The Catholic Church reserves red for the feast days of the martyrs.

Bright red pigments have been shown to capture the peripheral attention faster than any other color. Psychologists believe red inspires passion and enthusiasm, raises heart rate and blood pressure, and may even increase appetite. For this reason, many food and beverage companies in the United States capitalize on red’s subconscious effects with their advertizing. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, and Coca-Cola all use red as their primary brand color.

Red’s subconscious effects and differing interpretations across cultures highlight color selection’s importantance when managing a global brand. If an advertisement or logo does not reflect the corporate identity, or if a product’s packaging is at odds with a culture’s perception of color, the disunity will create tension for international consumers. It’s just another example of how true localization needs to go beyond words.

When Spain sent conquistadors to South America in the 1500s, they were amazed at the vibrancy of the cochineal-extract dyed fabric. The dye quickly became a valuable trade good which spread throughout Europe and symbolized the exotic culture of the New World.

February 11th, 2015

Meet Our Translator – Wenlei Qu

A great deal of what we do here at CSOFT International is translation. So to show our appreciation for our translators, over the next 6 weeks we will be featuring some of our translators here on T for Translation. Today, we hear from Wenlei Qu, a native of Shandong province and one of CSOFT’s Chinese-English translators.

February 10th, 2015

Translation vs. Localization

There are two questions that anyone working in the localization industry is guaranteed to be asked: “What is it you do, exactly?” and “Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying you translate?” We’re here to break it down and establish a sense of clarity in the translation vs. localization debate.

February 6th, 2015

The Chinese Age of Innovation, Part 3

In T for Translation’s continuing look at China’s most innovative companies, we’ve seen a genetics firm at the forefront of the field and an Internet giant connecting everybody and everything, but not all innovation is technological; some of the greatest innovations are organizational. For our final article in “The Chinese Age of Innovation” series, we’ll look at a company with a surprisingly creative management structure.

February 4th, 2015

Wacky Word Wednesday – Gadabout

Today’s Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world, describes a person who craves high levels of social stimulation and lives on the spur of the moment.

Gadabout

[GAD-uh-bout]

-noun

A person who goes from place to place in social activity.

February 3rd, 2015

The Wearable Future

The promise of wearable tech gets a lot of press these days but seems to center exclusively on fitness trackers and smart watches. We at T for Translation know there’s a lot more out there, so we’d like to share with our readers some of the more offbeat pieces that don’t get as much airtime.