Slate published a fascinating article with several different maps showing which languages are most prevalent in each state. It starts to get really interesting when Mr. Blatt filters out Spanish and English. So what are people speaking in your state?
THE AWKWARD TRANSLATION ON APPLE'S CHINESE WEBPAGE OF THE IPHONE6 TAGLINE.
Author: Yvette Fang | CEO, RABI
For one day and night, Chinese media and netizens were having a party with a theme: making fun of the simplified Chinese version of the main slogan for iPhone 6 because of its awkward language.
Why does Apple call the iPhone “Bigger than bigger?” Because, according to its website, "iPhone 6 isn’t simply bigger — it’s better in every way. Larger, yet dramatically thinner. More powerful, but remarkably power efficient." However, Apple’s Chinese version of the slogan is a word-to-word translation, which forms an awkward phrase and refers only to the actual size, not the added functionality.
Translation has three levels, from low to high: faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance. Apple’s Chinese translation does not even reach the faithfulness stage, never mind expressiveness or elegance, despite Apple’s reputation in the U.S. for its marketing prowess.
The translation has since been revised to a better reflect what Apple is trying to say, but not without having left its mark. In China, Apple competes against upstart cell phone maker Xiaomi, whose phones are known for being competitive in terms of functionality and inexpensive compared to the big brands. Apple’s translation snafu has led to Chinese consumers debating whether they should purchase a phone that is “bigger than bigger in size,” and missing the point that the phone also offers functions that cheaper imitations don’t provide.
Most of us, at one time or another have had a similar experience, where we encountered an advertising slogan that made no sense or didn’t explain the value in a way that spoke to us. It is like hearing a song which does not touch your heart. If it doesn’t ring true, you won't buy it. When selling premium products and services in foreign market, using a premium local language service is key. Subtle language nuances can make all the difference in relating thoughts and information.
Steve Jobs used to scratch iPhone screens with a key to test the material. If Apple had taken the time to test their marketing message like they did their product, they would not have damaged their reputation and confused their customers.
Go-Globe.com's Chinese social media infographic shows that Chinese consumers are strongly influenced by social media. 91% of the Chinese population uses social media, as compared to only 67% of the U.S. population, and 38% say they make decisions based on recommendations from their social network. View the entire infographic here: http://www.go-globe.com/blog/social-media-china/
Economies thrive on the global exchange of goods, services, people and information. The U.S. used to head the list of globally connected countries, but the latest data from McKinsey Global Institute and the McKinsey High Tech Practice shows that Germany now tops the chart followed by Hong Kong. The U.S. has sunk to 3rd place. And what about global powerhouse China? It is in 25th place, largely due to restrictions on the flow of people and information.
Why does global connectedness matter? This research shows that the more connected a country is, the faster it's GDP grows.
A Harvard Business School study examined the present and future tense constructions of different languages and discovered people who speak languages whose tense constructs were similar prepare better for the future than those who speak languages that have different structures for present and future tenses.
What does that mean? If you speak French, English, or Korean you're more likely to be obese, less likely to save for retirement, and less likely to take actions to stave off climate change.
Swedes, Germans, and Chinese are more likely to take actions today that are socially responsible for the future.
The good news? As a corporation becomes more global, the language effect decreases. One more reason to hire with diversity in mind. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7479.html
This great video has some amazing facts that will astound you! Did you know:
Watch this cool video for more fun facts!
Joel Backaler, author of “China Goes West: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Companies Going Global discusses why so few Chinese companies have successfully taken their brands global and how that is going to change in the near future. Don't miss this insightful video about the coming power of Chinese brands. http://show.thoughtfulchina.com/china-goes-west-en.html
Your Chance to Seize a Huge Opportunity
This video, posted on Jing Daily, explores the opportunities available in the nascent mobile advertising market in China. Using well crafted, and dare we say, well translated messages, foreign firms should jump in now to take advantage of this huge new marketing channel. Watch now.
Lack of Ability to Speak and Read English Creates Business Opportunities
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing immigrant groups in the U.S., and 35% of them are classified as not speaking English "very well." While Chinese is the most commonly spoken language of Asian immigrants (with 472,000 Mandarin speakers and 454,000 Cantonese speakers), Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean are also popular languages spoken in the home. Moreover, there are an additional eight South Asian languages that are spoken by more than 100,000 people in the U.S.
Why does this matter?
The statistics show that millions of Americans have limited ability to speak and read in English. This represents an opportunity for businesses to branch out from just English and Spanish advertisements. By advertising in languages that are used in the community, for example Chinese language television ads, print ads in Vietnamese newspapers, or websites in Korean, businesses can show their markets that they are tapped into their needs. Companies that ignore these opportunities may lose out when their competition recognizes the value of the under-served local market.
For More Information, read the Center for American Progress' Press Release and access the full report.