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Languages Around the Rim


What are the official languages for the following countries?

Australia   

Malaysia

People's Republic of China

Myanmar  

Fiji 

The Philippines

Hong Kong

Singapore 

India  

Republic of China

Indonesia

Thailand  

Macau 

Vietnam


Answers

English

Bahasa Melayu

Mandarin Chinese

Burmese 

English

Filipino, English

Cantonese, English 

Chinese, Malay, 
Tamil, English

English, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, 
Gujatrati, Malayalam, Kannada, 
Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, 
Sindhi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, 

Mandarin Chinese

Bahasa Indonesian

Thai 

Portuguese

Vietnamese



Coca Cola In China - "Bite the Wax Tadpole”


Foreign words adopted for the Chinese market are often created phonetically, while, at the same time, suitable Chinese characters are selected.

One of the first attempts to find the most suitable name for Coca Cola in Chinese resulted in the following...ke-kou-ke-la.  

Unfortunately the Chinese translation was..."bite the wax tadpole or female horse stuffed with wax".   

Once the error was discovered, another translation was quickly prepared...ko-kou-ko-le.  This resulted in a much better translation..."happiness in the mouth"



Betty Crocker In Japan -  “Cakeron”

Two giant confectionaries introduce cake mixes to the Japanese market.  They were not prepared for the results!    

After considerable time and money, General Mills and Japanese confectionary giant, Morinaga, realized that even thought the Japanese loved western-style cakes, most homes did not have ovens!

"Cakeron" was re-introduced as a cake mix adapted for the rice cooker.  Problem solved?  No, because no one considered the fact that rice is sacred in Japan, and housewives felt the flavors contaminated the rice, even if they thoroughly washed the rice cooker.  The product was a big flop!



But the Japanese Love Golf!

An American company attempted to sell golf balls in Japan.  The Japanese love to play golf, but the venture failed!     

The American company designed an attractive package, containing four golf balls.  Knowing the Japanese loved both beautiful packaging and golf, they were sure they had a winner.  

Later it was discovered that in Japanese, the number four has the same pronunciation as the Japanese word for death.  Never sell anything in sets of four!



Dominos Pizza - Niche Marketing - Japanese style


Dominos Pizza successfully carved out a niche in Japan. Interestingly, market research indicated that home delivery of pizza would not succeed.    

The owner of the franchise decided to go with his "gut feeling". One reason, he felt, was the fact that more and more women are working and do not have time to spend in the kitchen cooking. Also, more and more young Japanese are interested in Western lifestyle. 

The owner was right, and Dominos is big business in Japan. He changed the size of the pizza, added different toppings which appeal to the Japanese, such as pineapple, squid, etc. 

Perhaps most important, the delivery truck because a three-wheeled motorcycle with a pizza warming container on the back--ideal for zipping through Japanese gridlock traffic.



Thumbs Up! Be sure you know what it means!

As a rule, the thumbs up means "great job" or "it was a success."  Do you know what it means in Japan?

In the U.S. this gesture is also used by hitchhikers.  Hollywood gave us movies in which a thumbs up spared a person from being put to death.

In Japan, however, it designates the number five.


"Nengajo"  Japanese New Years Cards

The Japanese send New Years greetings, rather than Christmas cards.  The custom of sending nengajo, or year-end post cards, apparently began during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and were issued by the Postal Service.

The popularity of these cards increased dramatically when prizes were attached to them and awards given out.  Today, more than four million cards are sent out each year.  Often, the design incorporates the current year's zodiac animal.  2001 is the Year of the Snake, 2002 is the Year of the Horse.



"Kung Hei Fat Choy"  Happy Chinese New Year

The first day of Chinese New Year begins this year on January 24, 2001, with the New Moon, and lasts 15 days, ending with the Full Moon. The last day of the New Year is called "The Lantern Festival" and people celebrate by organizing a parade with children carrying lanterns.  

Chinese New Year, based on the lunar calendar, is not on the same day every year, as the cycles of the moon are different. This is the Year of the Golden Snake. In Lunar years, it is the year 4,699.  

Preparations For The New Year

Preparations begin well in advance.  The old year is ending so one must bring things to a close in order to welcome a new year and begin fresh.  This includes paying off debts & settling accounts; evaluation of the past year and the failures & fortunes;  spiritual and physical cleansing--getting rid of negative attitudes, cleaning one's home and office. 

During the celebration of New Years, people renew friendships, exchange gifts, dine on special foods meant to bring prosperity, good fortune, longevity, and happiness.



Valentine's Day - Japanese Style


February 14th was originally designated as the day to honor the martyr Saint Valentine. The story is that the Roman Emperor refused to grant permission to a soldier to marry his sweetheart..  Valentine Priest disagreed with the Emperor and was executed. The day became known as St. Valentine's Day.

In many Western countries, Valentine's Day has become a day of celebrating love, and exchanging gifts--chocolate, flowers, jewelry.  

The Japanese do the same, but with a slightly different twist.  February 14th is a day when women give to men.  Chocolate is the most popular gift.  There are, however,  two types of Valentine's chocolate:  giri-choco, and honmei-choco.  Giri means obligation--gifts one gives to repay kindnesses from friends, colleagues, bosses, family, whereas honmei, meaning homemade, or that given from the heart.  

The Japanese have created a second "Valentine's Day" on March 14th, and call this one "White Day."  Men who received Valentine's Day gifts from women are expected to give a gift back to the women.  Again, this marketing idea came from a Japanese confectionary company.  Needless to say, the sales on March 14th do not come close to those on February 14th!  

 


Cell Phone Etiquette in Japan - Switch to "Manner Mode" 

Cell phones, or keitai denwa in Japanese, are everywhere in Japan.  They are small, light weight, extremely convenient, and relatively inexpensive.  For many, they are the preferred form of communication.   Due to advanced satellite technology, people not only talk on the phone, but send and receive email as well.  

When riding trains in Japan, one is expected to observe proper etiquette.  You will often see or hear announcements requesting that you observe "manner mode", meaning to set the phone to vibrate, or turn it off completely.  It is considered appropriate etiquette to use the phone only in designated areas when riding on trains.  "Manner mode" applies to restaurants and other public places as well.

Cell phones, or keitai denwa in Japanese, are everywhere in Japan.  They are small, light weight, extremely convenient, and relatively inexpensive.  For many, they are the preferred form of communication.   Due to advanced satellite technology, people not only talk on the phone, but send and receive email as well.  

When riding trains in Japan, one is expected to observe proper etiquette.  You will often see or hear announcements requesting that you observe "manner mode", meaning to set the phone to vibrate, or turn it off completely.  It is considered appropriate etiquette to use the phone only in designated areas when riding on trains.  "Manner mode" applies to restaurants and other public places as well.


East-west Focus - Relationships

Savvy businesspeople understand there are significant differences in the way business is done in the United States and in Asian countries. However, what they may not understand is that there are significant differences within Asian countries. Many have made the mistake of assuming "one size fits all" in countries such as Japan, China and Korea. Making this assumption can have serious repercussions.

For example, these three countries have similar expressions to describe relationships--the basis of successful business. However, there are subtle differences.

In Japan, the focus is on "wa" or harmony, group loyalty, and consensus building.  Developing long-term relationships and plans, and loyalty to an organization or company are very important in Japan.  Loyalty to an organization or company is placed above loyalty to individuals.

In Korea, the focus is "inhwa", or harmony as defined by the Confucian system.  It is a system of loyalty between unequals such as ruler-subject, husband-wife, father-son.

In China, the focus is "guanxi", often defined as a favor-sharing relationship between individuals. Loyalty among individuals is seen as more important than loyalty to an organization or company.


East-west Focus - Relationships

Savvy businesspeople understand there are significant differences in the way business is done in the United States and in Asian countries. However, what they may not understand is that there are significant differences within Asian countries. Many have made the mistake of assuming "one size fits all" in countries such as Japan, China and Korea. Making this assumption can have serious repercussions.

For example, these three countries have similar expressions to describe relationships--the basis of successful business. However, there are subtle differences.

In Japan, the focus is on "wa" or harmony, group loyalty, and consensus building.  Developing long-term relationships and plans, and loyalty to an organization or company are very important in Japan.  Loyalty to an organization or company is placed above loyalty to individuals.

In Korea, the focus is "inhwa", or harmony as defined by the Confucian system.  It is a system of loyalty between unequals such as ruler-subject, husband-wife, father-son.

In China, the focus is "guanxi", often defined as a favor-sharing relationship between individuals. Loyalty among individuals is seen as more important than loyalty to an organization or company.


East-west Focus - Relationships

Savvy businesspeople understand there are significant differences in the way business is done in the United States and in Asian countries. However, what they may not understand is that there are significant differences within Asian countries. Many have made the mistake of assuming "one size fits all" in countries such as Japan, China and Korea. Making this assumption can have serious repercussions.

For example, these three countries have similar expressions to describe relationships--the basis of successful business. However, there are subtle differences.

In Japan, the focus is on "wa" or harmony, group loyalty, and consensus building.  Developing long-term relationships and plans, and loyalty to an organization or company are very important in Japan.  Loyalty to an organization or company is placed above loyalty to individuals.

In Korea, the focus is "inhwa", or harmony as defined by the Confucian system.  It is a system of loyalty between unequals such as ruler-subject, husband-wife, father-son.

In China, the focus is "guanxi", often defined as a favor-sharing relationship between individuals. Loyalty among individuals is seen as more important than loyalty to an organization or company.



 

 

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