JR Language had the opportunity and privilege to be present and have an exhibition table at the US Arab Summit last week in New York City. The event was held at the Union League Club and the results and turnaround were excellent and impressive.
Through enlightening presentations, we learned that there is a wealth of growing business opportunities in the Arab region, which boasts a population of 400 million. This high population number means there are a multitude of consumer needs waiting to be met. It is crucial, however, to be aware of cultural differences (highlighted on many occasions) and the importance of having a local partner in the region to help in facilitating successful business transactions. One of the speakers spoke eloquently regarding the importance of cultural awareness that many business people tend to forget while conducting business on a global scale: “Sensitivity and awareness are important in establishing good relationships; shortcuts create problems and leave doubts forever”. The most important advice was, understand and respect differences as a key factor to building business relationships in the region.
There are already several European countries working with the Arab region to make good use of business opportunities. Another country participating in the mix is China. For example, in the food industry, China has identified the market potential of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and has made a lot of progress in procuring Halal food for that market. Halal foods are foods and drinks that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. Before, companies in China would not pass certification for Halal food. Now, there are many companies certified in the last 2 years since they worked and adjusted to reach the 400 million consumers.
The U.S Arab Summit gave us great insight on creating opportunities to improve the US- Arab relationship thru commerce and business, with an important ingredient of social responsibility to help the region. A way to help is to educate their people and create jobs. The MENA region is not only the fastest growing region in the world but its official language is also the fastest growing language on the internet, Arabic. The impact of the internet in this region has been incredible and can be seen in the political impact of social media. Of the 400 million people living in the MENA region today, 60% are under the age of 25, 120 million are Internet users, which represents a growth over 1000% during the last decade. Internet has given the young people a podium for their voices and new resources for information and products from far away.
JR Language networking at the C3 Summit 2013.
Partner, Carter, DeLuca, Farrell, Schmidt Panel: Why Developing, Protecting and Defending Intellectual Property Can Help Increase Global Valuation
The Chinese language is unique and fascinating in the world of human languages and linguistics. It holds the title of being the most widely used language in the world, with one fifth of the population speaking Chinese as their native tongue. It is spoken in numerous Asian regions, in addition to several more regions of the world containing Chinese communities. This figure is forecasted to grow in the years to come.
In contrast with other languages, Chinese has a level of complexity that comes from the fact that there are several dialects in the spoken form and two sets of alphabets for the Chinese written form of the language.
Unlike most written languages, written Chinese is not based on an alphabetical system. If you open a Chinese newspaper or book, you will see a wide array of intricate and decorative looking symbols. Each symbol tells its own story, by conveying a single concept and sound. When put together on a page, the symbols are like notes on a sheet of music: in different combinations, the symbols create a variety of different meanings and moods. These symbols are known as the characters of the written Chinese system, of which there are approximately over 80,000.
The written system can be further broken down into two forms: Traditional and Simplified. Traditional Chinese is the original form of the written language. Simplified Chinese is the modern form of the written system and is characterized as having less pen strokes per character than a Traditional Chinese character, which makes Simplified Chinese exactly what it sounds like it is- simpler to read and write. Both forms are used in varying degrees of regularity in different Chinese speaking regions. Simplified Chinese was adopted in Singapore schools in 1969, and in Mainland China in 1956.
There are numerous Chinese dialects, and several regions of speakers for each dialect. The most popular dialects of the Chinese language include: Mandarin, Cantonese, Xiang (Hunanese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Min (Fujian, Hokkien, Taiwanese), Hakka and Gan. Mandarin is the most widely used dialect, and is considered the “common language”. Many Chinese speak Mandarin, in addition to their local dialect. During vacation in Taipei, I noticed several citizens were fluent in Hokkien (Taiwanese language) and very familiar with- if not absolutely fluent in speaking Mandarin.
Chinese is also a tonal language, the meaning of a word changes according to the tone used.
The first crucial step to provide Chinese translation is to work closely with the client to determine his target market, after that you can identify the proper written form to use in a written/printed document. On the other hand for interpretation services, you need to determine the proper dialect to use to communicate effectively with your Chinese audience.
The recent growth of the Chinese population in the U.S. on one hand, and the potential of the Chinese economy on the other hand, have propelled the need for Chinese translation and localization. The same has happened in the U.S. in relation to Chinese interpretation services. We often see training material that needs to be translated in Chinese and afterwards voiced over into Mandarin. The same is true for the marketing of products in Chinese. Due to these developments, it is beneficial to take a look at the Chinese population in the U.S. to understand their needs.
Within the Asian population, Chinese is the leading group
The Asian population saw dramatic growth in the U.S. during the decade beginning from 2000 to 2010. During this time period, a giant 43 percent increase in the Asian population- from 10.2 million to 14.7 million- was observed with much of the population residing in the Western region of the country. If we break down the Asian population into its separate racial groups, we will find that nearly a quarter of the total population is Chinese: 23 percent- which accounts for 3,381,000 of the 14.7 million Asian individuals residing in the U.S.
It is no wonder, then, that there has been a growing demand for Chinese language translation and interpretation services in the U.S. These services are needed for a wide range of purposes to serve this population, from Human Resources, education, business to health care.
The Chinese population in the different U.S. regions
Nearly half of the Chinese population in the U.S. lives in the Western region (49%). Furthermore, the Northeastern region of the U.S. is populated by over a quarter of the total Chinese population (26%).
The NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area has the highest Chinese population count of all metro areas (Chinese pop. 695,000). After the NY metropolitan area, the following areas in Los Angeles round out the top 4 metropolitan cities with the highest Chinese population: LA-Long Beach-Santa Ana (Chinese pop. 544,000), San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (Chinese pop. 477,000) and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara (Chinese pop. 173,000).
Metro areas tend to draw in individuals of not only varying cultures but also ages. We can conclude that there is great demand for Chinese language services in NY and LA. We also know that particular attention and research will need to be done on the demographics of the Chinese individuals living in the metro areas to determine the spoken and written form of Chinese to use. The U.S. population is morphing continuously. A few decades ago, NYC’s Chinatown was largely comprised of Cantonese speakers emigrating from Hong Kong. In 1979, the People’s Republic of China came to being, and under its jurisdiction, Mandarin Chinese was taught in schools throughout Mainland China. Since then, NYC has seen more immigration of Chinese people from Mainland China and thus resulted in Mandarin becoming the “lingua franca”- or common language-of spoken Chinese.
Language services wanted
As the Chinese population grows, we will continue to see demand for Chinese language interpretation and translation services for several important needs. There will be more Chinese families who need quality health care, their elderly well taken care of, and their children to be provided with a good education. I can attest to this – my family was fortunate to have a professional Mandarin interpreter on hand, when my mother was raced to the ER several years ago. Having the interpreter’s service, helped make meeting my mother’s needs a comforting process that might’ve otherwise been chaotic.
In regards to education, progress has been made to facilitate clear communication between parents and teachers; for example, the IEP (Individualized Education Program) forms are now available in multiple languages, including Chinese. And, in the business world, language services are also requested for business purposes to tap into the Chinese and Asian markets, as more U.S. corporates conduct businesses abroad.
Throughout the years, JR Language has successfully delivered Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation services as well as Korean translation services, among other Asian languages, for many academic and health care institutions, as well as companies from different sectors in the U.S. to assist in their efforts of communicating with the Chinese and Asian world.
The UN celebrates English Language Day annually on the 23rd of April. This date was chosen in commemoration of the birth date of the influential English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare. To celebrate the English language, all United Nations staff takes the opportunity to attend a series of events and activities that entertain, inform and enlighten. Book signings and readings are held at the UN bookstore, featuring American authors. Poetry exchanges take place, also in honor of “National Poetry month” established by the Academy of American Poets.
English is often referred to as the “lingua franca” or the common language- of the modern times because it is so widely spoken. Among the top three most spoken languages in the world, English is spoken by over 300 million people as a first language, and by another 300 million or so as a second language. English has status as an official language in approximately seventy five countries. In populations of the world where English is not often spoken, demand for competency in the language is on the rise.
JR Language Translations joins the United Nations in celebrating English Language Day. With the English language increasing in demand for a wide variety of translating needs, high quality translation and interpretation work is a necessity for our clients. We take this opportunity to acknowledge and extend our heartfelt thanks to our translators and interpreters for their hard work and quality services.
The Spanish language is celebrated on International Spanish Language Day, which takes place annually on April 23rd. The day was chosen to pay homage to the great Spanish novelist, poet and playwright Don Miguel Cervantes Saavedra, who passed away on April 23rd, 1616. In Spanish speaking regions throughout the world, events and activities are held in celebration of the Spanish language and culture. Readings of one of Saavedra’s most acclaimed novels, Don Quixote, are a common staple of honoring classic Spanish literature on this date.
With approximately 400 million speakers to date, the Spanish language is among the top three of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is an official language in up to twenty countries. As one of the most phonetic languages, Spanish is one of the more accessible languages to learn due to the fact that much of Spanish vocabulary is pronounced the way it ‘looks’ or is spelled. This has contributed to the steady 8% annual growth in Spanish speakers/learners, especially among younger people.
JR Language is delighted to join Spanish speakers worldwide in celebration of the Spanish language. With the steadily growing popularity of Spanish language, the need for high quality Spanish translation/interpretation services grows as well. We are thankful to our Spanish translators and interpreters for their hard work and consistent delivery of high quality services to our clients.
Every year on April 20th, the UN celebrates Chinese Language day. The event was established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization. As mentioned in this translation blog before, the other five official UN languages are: Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and English.
This date was chosen as the date for the Chinese language to pay tribute to Cangjie, which corresponds to Guyu in the Chinese calendar. According to a legend when Cangjie invented Chinese characters, the deities and ghosts cried and it rained millet; the word Guyu literally means “rain of millet”.
JR Language joins the celebration and takes this week of April to acknowledge the amazing job that our Chinese translatorsand interpreters carry out for us every day. Thank you for your loyalty and work ethic. Without your effort and knowledge we will not be able to provide high quality Chinese translation for our clients.
To Celebrate Chinese day we offer 15% discount for Chinese Translation this week.
Happy Chinese Day!
Pan American Day and Pan American Week in the United States is observed by Presidential proclamation on April 14 and the week thereof. This observance commemorates the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90, which created the International Union of American Republics. Pan American Day and Week also commemorates the diplomatic ties and relations of the United States with the other countries of the Western Hemisphere, including Latin America.
Each year Pan American Day and Pan American Week set the moment when Americans of all ages and nationalities can strengthen the bonds of friendship. Americans from one end of the continent to the other, come to know each other better through special observances, classroom projects, club programs, plays and pageants, parades and social events.
As part of both, Latin America and the United States, JR Language Translations joins the Pan American Day and Week celebrations. We proudly and diligently provide, day after day, high-quality translation, localization and interpretation services to hundreds of clients along the Americas in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and many other languages, allowing effective communication that enables business, social, and diplomatic relations.
Let’s celebrate the cultural richness of the Americas and sing together the Pan American hymn!
Every year in March, French people all over the world, as well as people who study French, celebrate French Language Week (“La Semaine de la Franchophonie” or “La Semaine de la Langue Française”). During this celebration, French institutes, universities, theaters and cinemas hold French film and play festivals, food and wine tastings, and French language workshops.
Following traditions and customs different countries start their week on different days, some do on Monday other on Sunday, due to that variance the festivity starts on March 8 and ends on March 24. Additionally, the International French Day is celebrated on March 20th. Furthermore, UNESCO also set this day as the UN French Language Day because it coincided, in 2010, with the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie.
JR Language team joins the celebration with a special recognition to our French translators from France, Canada, Africa, and from all over the world. We thank them for their hard work, professionalism, and expertise, which allow us to deliver high-quality French translations to our clients every day of the year! Their wide range of subject matter expertise make us the first translation option for business clients and individuals for their legal, marketing, and technical translation needs.
Let’s celebrate together with the 200 million French speakers worldwide. Let’s promote the francophone culture and the beautiful language of Camus, Voltaire, Hugo, Dumas and many others great writers, artists and, of course our outstanding, professional French Translators!
JR Language will attend GALA’s 5th annual conference at the end of March 2013. GALA’s acronym stands for Globalization and Localization Association.
We are looking forward to this conference after the fantastic experience we had last year. From Monaco 2012 we got new partners and providers, as well as a myriad of new ideas for the growth and development of JR Language in 2012. Overall we came back energized, and with new technologies to improve quality and the specialization of our translation services.
After checking the conference schedule, we are looking forward to get more insight on the maturity and new developments in Machine Translation; we have big plans for this technology in 2013. We are especially interested in post-editing techniques and measurements for TM.
GALA brings together a diverse and interesting group of people from all areas of the translation industry, among them: language technology developers, translation agencies, localization providers, consultants, and clients. Presentations will continue to focus on the tag line of the organization: “The language of business and the business of language”. This year the keynote speaker is stressing the importance of embracing technology, in general but, particularly in localization and translation services.
We are also interest in the updates on localization standards and connectivity between applications and translation tools.
Stay tuned for JRL’s summary of this important conference, which gathers representatives and players from all industries and countries of the world.
The words, “Happy Chinese New Year!” harken back for me some of my most cherished memories of my childhood. We watched in awe as a gigantic, bright and colorful lion creature pranced playfully about engaging and entrancing us to the point we forgot there were over two dozen human legs dancing under the lavish costume. The sight of close friends and family arriving filled us with joy, and the sounds of the elders’ hearty laughter were contagious. And of course, all that food! We feasted on enough delicious dumplings and spring rolls that could’ve lasted us for months.
The Chinese New Year is the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar, typically lasting up to 15 days. It begins on the first day of the first lunar month. The holiday is celebrated by well over 1 billion people in Asia, in several countries that include Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. To Asians who are not of Chinese descent, the holiday is also known as the Lunar New Year. It is also aptly named the Spring Festival, celebrated in China. The Lantern Festival often concludes the New Year celebration with a massive display of illuminating, bright red lanterns in streets, stores and homes. The color red is symbolic of fire, which is believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. It is a constant theme throughout the celebration, thus it is not uncommon for celebrating individuals to dress head to toe in red or decorate their homes accordingly. The giving of red envelopes takes place most often during family gatherings, and is meant to demonstrate the close bond and kinship between the elderly and child.
Regardless of how one chooses to recognize the holiday by name, the Chinese New Year is widely celebrated as a time for family reunion. It is also a time of giving thanks to our elders and honoring our dearly departed ancestors because they were the ones who provided the younger generation with the tools and foundations for a good life.
Each Chinese New Year is assigned an animal from the Chinese horoscope. This year, we say farewell to the Dragon and welcome in – the Snake.
As one of the main goals of this blog, we like to share with our readers the wonders of every culture to increase tolerance and understanding among people from different backgrounds to ease communication and interaction. Our translation agency deals with Chinese translations and Chinese culture every day, thus we have developed an understanding for aspects of the culture that were foreign to us in the beginning. We welcome and cherish any opportunity that allows us to learn and celebrate different traditions from any culture. This weekend we rejoice in this Chinese celebration!
The JR Language Team celebrates this Sunday, February 10th, this beautiful custom with our Chinese translators: Happy Chinese New Year!