U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-25-2014, 10:36 AM
 
32,079 posts, read 32,980,395 times
Reputation: 14951

Advertisements

The son of friends of mine is trilingual speaking Hebrew (native), English and Mandarin. He is actually the only foreigner in his class at a Chinese university in Beijing having passed the Chinese university entrance exam (in Chinese like the native speakers).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-25-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Estonia
1,707 posts, read 1,358,125 times
Reputation: 2293
I have a question. Do all Asian countries change the names of foreign brands to fit their language? I know the Chinese do this and quite often they don't know the original name at all.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 12:51 PM
 
399 posts, read 579,990 times
Reputation: 319
In 2007 I took up Mandarin and I was doing well. But after that year I stopped. I've forgotten a lot, but I still remember some things. Now I'm learning Korean leisurely and it's not that bad. Much easier to write and read Korean. Speaking wise it's just practice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 05:43 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,669,514 times
Reputation: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuuKulgur View Post
I have a question. Do all Asian countries change the names of foreign brands to fit their language? I know the Chinese do this and quite often they don't know the original name at all.
Chinese does that a lot, but not in other countries. In Japan, Korea and Thailand, you can often see the same brand transliterated to Katakana, Hangul and the Thai alphabet respectively. There are slight phonetic changes when this occurs because some sounds in the foreign brand is not used in the Asian country. In other places where the Latin alphabet is used, there are often no changes. In Singapore and the Philippines where English is one of the official languages, the English language labels work just fine. Singapore being more like a city with most products being imported and its proximity to Malaysia seems to me that there are more products that are labeled for distribution to multiple countries (common packaging for the Malaysian and Singaporean markets, for example), so there is often Malay in the packaging as well there (Malay being also an official language there). In the Philippines, even local products are labeled in English and there are hardly any products that are labeled in Filipino.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 06:39 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,669,514 times
Reputation: 971
For the English speaker, only Chinese and Japanese should pose the most difficulty due to the writing system. Another problem is the tones in Chinese or the relatively many grammar/politeness level changes in Japanese.

The Korean alphabet is actually very easy. I actually was able to read it from a 3-day tour in Seoul by just looking at the various signs and how they are transliterated into the Latin alphabet without any formal training.

The Brahmic alphabets like Thai, Lao and Khmer are much more difficult though as some letters are actually written before or even around other letters even if they are pronounced after.

Asian languages are difficult in certain ways, but sometimes their lack of inflection makes them easier. The similarity between English and German is often exaggerated and German is actually not easy to learn for an English speaker. Declension actually drives me nuts. Russian and the other Slavic languages are even more difficult when it comes to declension. Finnish and Hungarian have so much grammatical inflections that are even more different and difficult. By comparison, Malay/Indonesian is actually one of the easiest languages.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 06:40 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,262,981 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Chinese does that a lot, but not in other countries. In Japan, Korea and Thailand, you can often see the same brand transliterated to Katakana, Hangul and the Thai alphabet respectively. There are slight phonetic changes when this occurs because some sounds in the foreign brand is not used in the Asian country. In other places where the Latin alphabet is used, there are often no changes. In Singapore and the Philippines where English is one of the official languages, the English language labels work just fine. Singapore being more like a city with most products being imported and its proximity to Malaysia seems to me that there are more products that are labeled for distribution to multiple countries (common packaging for the Malaysian and Singaporean markets, for example), so there is often Malay in the packaging as well there (Malay being also an official language there). In the Philippines, even local products are labeled in English and there are hardly any products that are labeled in Filipino.
Yes, Chinese is very flexible and creative in this respect - it always tries to integrate the foreign concept into local culture.

For example: Cocacola is translated into "delicious and pleasant", BWM is translated to "previous horse", Este Lauder is translated into something pretty and elegant too. All bearing very similar pronuniciation with the original brand.

The advantage is that it introduces imagination for the consumers - the brands are not just meaningless syllables, but have very concrete meanings related to the products.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,244,676 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuuKulgur View Post
I have a question. Do all Asian countries change the names of foreign brands to fit their language? I know the Chinese do this and quite often they don't know the original name at all.
What do you mean, the actual name or just not write it in English? Like Coca Cola but with Chinese letters? I think they don't change the name it's just not written in the Latin alphabet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2014, 07:42 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 8,068,874 times
Reputation: 3066
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
The Brahmic alphabets like Thai, Lao and Khmer are much more difficult though as some letters are actually written before or even around other letters even if they are pronounced after.
Once you understand (Thai) that vowels can be above, below or before a consonant it's easier to recognize them. Tone marks are also placed above a letter. Years ago, I learned to read, write and speak Thai, but I do more talking than reading or writing, so it's not always easy for me to read and write anymore. I think it's an example of use it or lose it. I can still write things like my name, but that's about it. Some writing, such as signs with print in fat or fancy commercial-type fonts are hard for me to read, although if i know what it says, then I can recognize it. Standard fonts are easier to recognize for me, like street signs, most store or shop signs, bus signs, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-26-2014, 02:37 AM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,606,089 times
Reputation: 2386
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
What do you mean, the actual name or just not write it in English? Like Coca Cola but with Chinese letters? I think they don't change the name it's just not written in the Latin alphabet.
Chinese will try to find some characters that represent good meanings, so sometimes the pronunciation is off.

For example, Coca Cola becomes kekou kele, which actually means "delicious and enjoyable" in Chinese.
Subway becomes sai bai wei, which means "better than one hundred tastes" in Chinese.
Google becomes gu ge, which somehow means "valley song".

Microsoft is translated to wei ruan, literally "mini and soft".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-26-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,192 posts, read 2,644,184 times
Reputation: 2226
I heard that Mandarin is a bad language for law and philosophy since it's very connotation heavy and denotations are fuzzy. Is that true?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top