Very often my clients ask me, Don I need Chinese translation. If I ask which Chinese? They just say Just Chinese. If I explain them there re more

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1 Hello, fellow colleagues in Translation industry. And, Thank you very much for nice introduction. Vanessa. When you hear the topic Asian Languages and Markets, each of you probably had some questions or expectations. But as you may agree, this topic itself is too wide to be covered within just 30 minutes. Imagine you re asked to speak about European Languages and market within 30 minutes. So, I will not try to repeat those general introductions you can find from Wikipedia or the other internet resource. Instead, I will try to pick some small topics you may need to know to handle these languages. And, I will try to finish my presentation within 30 minutes and get as many questions as possible from the audience. Our moderator Vanessa and I can read your questions. So, please send the questions if possible now. Then, I will try to cover as many of them while I do presentation and the rest few, I will answer after my presentation. (How?) When I prepare for this presentation, I mainly had 2 goals in my mind. For end clients: This to introduce how different the Asian language markets are and which language you should prepare first For TSP s : What should I ask to clients when they asked about Asian Languages

2 Very often my clients ask me, Don I need Chinese translation. If I ask which Chinese? They just say Just Chinese. If I explain them there re more than one Chinese and you need to know at least whether that s Simplified or Traditional, they say, Can you do it just normal Chinese or Standard Chinese? If I explain him more, they really feel anxious. Don, what if I come back and ask them now, they will think I do not know anything about Chinese. Then, I teach them, don t worry, just ask them I will do the Chinese translation, but for more accurate tone and style, may I ask what is your main target market and usage? Then, they will not think you re ignorant but appreciate you for asking. Yes, this is not that often and most PM s PM s know there are 2 Chinese. Simplified is for Mainland China and the rest is Traditional Chinese. And they think they know everything about Chinese. Well, this may be correct but it s not enough in many cases, especially, if you re a localization specialists you need to know a lot more. As the first part of my presentation regarding Asian Languages, I will give you a little more interesting stories about different versions of Chinese I believe if you can explain at your next clients presentations, they will really be thrilled and regard you as a real Asian Specialist.

3 Now the step number 1 is to distinguish spoken languages and writing system. When we say languages, the spoken language and it s writing system is different. For example, English, the official language of UK is written in the writing system called Alphabet. Right? Most of these confusion regarding Chinese comes from forgetting this very simple principle.

4 Continued (2) Firstly, let s talk about the spoken languages in China. There are a lot of different spoken languages in China. According to different scholars, the number is approximately in the range of 150 to 292. Among them 25 languages have more then 1,000,000 speakers. The official view in China up to late 1970s was that there are exactly 54 languages. Some of them are totally different languages in different language groups like Uyguar, Tibetan, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Mongolian and Hmong. Those are totally different language groups and they can t understand each other at all. For example, Uyguar speakers can t communicate with Chinese at all, but they can understand Turkish without interpreters. Hmong is closer to Lao or Thai than Chinese. Millions of Chinese use Korean as their mother tongue and learn Chinese as the second language. Some other languages are dialects but very hard to understand each other. Just like Portuguese and Spanish. Among all these languages, the most spoken language (75%) is called Mandarin and this is the only official language of the country China and Taiwan. Mandarin is also called Hanyu or Zhongwen. So, when we just say Chinese this is the language we are talking about.

5 Continued (3) So, you can say there are 100 s of Chinese or at the same time you can say there are only one standard Chinese. Both can be correct to some sense. But if you say there are 2 Chinese, it s totally wrong! The second most well known Chinese language is Cantonese. Some PM s think Cantonese is just another name of Chinese or a dialect of Chinese. I guess one of the main reason is in UK and other European countries many Chinese will say they are Chinese and they speak Cantonese. So, some people just understand Cantonese as just another name of Mandarin. Actually, it s totally different languages from Mandarin. Mandarin speakers and Cantonese, they can t understand each other at all. Or, some may think Cantonese is the language spoken only in Hongkong not in main land. Actually, it s not only spoken in HK. More than 10 millions out of HK use this Cantonese as their mother tongue in some provinces of mainland China, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. And Cantonese is not the only other language spoken in China. If you ve been in Shanghai, you may have heard of Wu and in Taiwan, probably they were talking in Minnan or Hakka.

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7 Now, let s move to Writing System. Originally, Chinese had only one writing system called Hanzi. Hanzi is one of the oldest writing system in the world that dates back as much as 5000 year. And as many know, this writing system is a logogram, that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word. In other words, each character has different meaning. If you see the top characters on the screen you may figure what each character means.

8 Continued (2) And because of this, historically this one writing system has been shared by many languages. Not only some Chinese dialects but totally different languages like Korean, Japanese and Cantonese. Especially, in Japanese, still majority of the characters are Chinese. And one very interesting thing especially for Europeans is that When they are written in Chinese, even though they can t read, they can understand. In other words, each language may have different sounds for the same characters, still the meaning is the same. So, as a Korean myself, even if I can t speak Chinese, I can understand about 60~80% of Chinese or Japanese signs when I travel these countries. So, because Chinese writing system was logogram, it could help 100 s of different language speakers to communicate each other without learning the other s languages. But there were very big hitch.

9 As a logogram, you need to keep inventing new characters for each new things or concept. So eventually, you need to learn thousands and thousands of characters and each characters became more and more complex.

10 You need to learn about 2000 different characters to understand the documents for normal documents and it takes years to learn. so, starting 19th century, some scholars started to insist to limit the number of characters and simplify strokes. And when Chinese communist party win the war with National Party and take over the main land China in 1952, they announce that they simplify the Chinese writing system. Since then, in main land China, Simplified Chinese became the standard writing system. But in Taiwan which was built by National Party who was defeated by Communist party, they are not recognized the new simplified writing system and stick to the old, traditional writing system. HK was under British governance, so they also did not adopted the new writing system. The only other country followed China was Singapore.

11 Now, if you combine these 2 blocks, now you get the picture. Firstly regarding spoken languages, there s one standard Mandarin, and hundreds of the other spoken languages in China. For example, in HK, Cantonese is the main language and in Taiwan, it s Minnan or Hakka, In Singapore, both Cantonese and Hakka are the main languages. At the same time, most of these Chinese speakers understand the standard Chinese called Mandarin. And, within Mandarin, just like Arabic or Spanish there s slight different variations in country or regions. So, just when you ask Chinese translations, just like saying European Spanish, Mexican Spanish or Chile Spanish, in most case you need to specify if it s for China, Honking. there are many different Chinese versions. And regarding writing systems, you need to choose according to the regulation of the target government. Now, as the result if you can understand and explain this simple table, you re Chinese language Expert.

12 I do not want to go too deep today, but the last thing I want you to understand is that each language and government has different Romanization system. In other words, the same Character can have different sound and thus English spelling. For example, he characters for Hong Kong is Cantonese need to be spelled as Shang Gang in Mandarin. It s not only for the city name. It s same for almost all proper names like people s name, brand names, organization name, street, city,mountain, river etc. Because of this, another very important thing is that when you need to translate any Chinese document into English, you have to make sure to ask your clients what is the origin of the source documents. For example, if our translator do not know one Chinese name mentioned in the document whether this person is from Hong Kong, Mainland or Taiwan, there s big possibility we can write the people s name totally wrong. Converting CS<>CT is hard to be automated, but still, don t need to be started as separated language pairs. Big discount is possible when both languages are needed.

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20 At a little less than 60 million people, overseas Chinese form a far-flung diaspora that extends from San Francisco to Singapore. With an estimated wealth of more than US$1.5 trillion, they constitute what could arguably be called the third-largest economy in the world after the gross national products (GNPs) of the United States and Japan. Writing in Harvard Business Review, John Kao alluded to the eventual emergence of a "Chinese Commonwealth". Sub markets: Singapore, HK, Taiwan, Macao,

21 Although not as fast growing as the other Asian Market, still Japan is the 3 rd biggest market in the world next to USA and China. You can t enter this market without localization. Also picky, (French and Japanese)> it s they culture of perfectionism and also linguistic; How to say is more important than what to say. Always let them talk in advance. Build relationship Most expensive Japanese DTP problem: why that expensive. And all CJK requires native speakers for DTP. Different fonts and different scheme. Alignment, special language functions,

22 Make sure to give all surrounding situations Different from Chinese or Japanese; into English translations

23 Indonesian similar to Malay but different there are more than 100 languages Javanese 84 mil. 210 Bahasa Vitenam Fastest growing

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26 Mention Vietnamese Fonts and Accents problem.

27 Philippine : as Education and outsourcing hub, Philippino and Tagalog is just different terms Malaysia divided into 3 : English, Chinese, Tamil Singapore's bilingual language education policy : English, Chinese, Tamil Doesn t mean that you don t need localization into these languages

28 Mongolian Mention other Chinese dialects like Hmong, Hakka, Minan, Cantonese 10minutes left

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