Covid-19 Face Masks: What Medical Experts Say About Their Effectiveness

As countries around the world battle with Sars-cov-2, the novel coronavirus, different strategies have been tried and tested. Most countries have had no experience with dealing with such a contagious virus and there have certainly been quite a few mistakes. Those countries that experienced the SARS epidemic in 2003 reacted quickly using a combination of closing external borders, quarantining, physical distancing, testing, contact tracing, and face masks. This was so successful that in Vietnam, right on China’s doorstep, where the disease first originated, there have been no deaths and the number of cases has been less than 300. Taiwan and Hong Kong, close to China, have also done well, with few deaths and the virus more or less contained. At the other end of the scale, are countries like the U.S. and the U.K. The disease was ignored for too long, and measures that other countries put in place were too little too late. At the time of writing, there have been over 80,000 deaths from Covoid-19 in the U.S and 30,000 in the U.K.

One of the more controversial strategies used in fighting Covid-19 is the use of face masks. In some countries (Singapore, for instance) you can be fined for not wearing a face mask in public. Donald Trump, on the other hand, didn’t think it was important to wear a face mask himself when visiting a face mask factory. So, what’s the truth about their effectiveness?

Not every face mask is the same

Sars-cov-2, the official name for the virus that causes the disease Covid-19, is so small that it can easily pass through the pores in most easily available masks. The cheaper masks are called surgical masks. In a hospital, they may be worn by medical personnel to protect staff and their patients from infection, but are not used when there is a danger of transmission from a highly contagious virus like the coronavirus. When medical staff or carers in a nursing home are issued with personal protective equipment (PPE), they are issued with a better mask, called an N95 mask. This helps to prevent airborne viruses from infecting staff.

N95 masks are generally not available to the public, partly because in many countries they are in short supply and whatever numbers of them that can be procured are always, as a priority, directed to hospitals and other places where they are needed.

Can ordinary surgical masks be effective in preventing transmission of a virus-like Sars-cov-2? The answer seems to be a qualified “yes.” Coronaviruses like Sars-cov-2 are transmitted from person to person on airborne droplets. Most of these are ejected from an infected person when that person coughs or more rarely sneezes. Research has also shown that ‘micro-droplets’ can also transmit viruses for several meters, even when someone who is infected talks. The consensus is that an infected person who wears a surgical mask, i.e. the one type that is easier to purchase, is less likely to transmit the virus to others around them. This is because the mask stops a lot, if not all, droplets that might carry the virus.

The jury is out, however, on whether wearing a surgical mask, or even a home-made mask of any type of material does any good. It may protect others if you are infected but may not help you from being infected if someone else breathes, coughs, or sneezes in your presence.

Wear a mask, but take care with the way you use it

The best advice seems to be to use a face mask if you are going anywhere that could be crowded, like public transport or a supermarket. Be careful about handling the mask, especially the outside of it. Avoid touching the mask, then your face. Use a fresh mask each time you go out, or wash the mask thoroughly with hot water and soap. If you don’t feel well or have any flu-like symptoms, get yourself tested for Covid-19, stay at home, and if you really do need to go out, wear a mask.

Don’t Forget to Translate Your Vaccination Certificates!

Vaccinations are in the news again because of the desperate race to find an effective vaccine for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or Sars-cov-2. In reality, new vaccines are always quietly being researched and sought after. It’s not an easy task. There is still no effective vaccine for ebola, HIV (that causes AIDS), the common cold, and several other diseases including malaria. Vaccines for virus-caused diseases are generally harder to develop, especially if they mutate frequently. A vaccine for SARS and MERS, both caused by coronaviruses, was never developed before the diseases rather mysteriously disappeared.

Vaccines have been more successfully found for a variety of other diseases that have been killers in the past. There are vaccines for measles, mumps, cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, TB, typhoid, and rabies, just to mention some of the more common. Smallpox is one of the world’s greatest health victories as the virus was totally eradicated after a long, hard struggle led by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Proof of vaccination may soon become mandatory after Covid-19

Although international travel right at the moment is virtually impossible anywhere in the world, when the world returns to normal again in one, two, or more years’ time, proof of vaccination will again become mandatory. Entry into many countries for anything other than a short visit has often meant proving that you were healthy and vaccinated against common diseases. Visits to Africa or South America, where there is still the possibility of contracting yellow fever, usually means that you have a yellow fever vaccination in your home country before travel, translated, of course into several languages depending on where you go next.

You will need vaccine certificate translation

Vaccination certificate translation is a must for many immigration visas. The U.S., for example, insists that all long-term visa applicants show evidence of vaccination for things like TB, typhoid, measles, and mumps. Evidence of cholera vaccination may be essential if you have visited a country, or part of a country, where there has been a cholera outbreak.

When a Covid-19 vaccine is eventually developed, and there is a lot of doubt over how long that is going to take, it may become compulsory to show that you have been vaccinated for Covid-19 before being allowed to travel, or at least before you arrive. One of the possible ways that international travel may become possible again is to have an “immunity passport.” This would show that either you have had Covid-19 and have immunity, as proved by an internationally approved test, or have been vaccinated for the disease, so you cannot spread it when you visit another country. 

Of course, this is still way in the future and who knows what is going to happen in the next few months, or even the next year or two, but the possibility of relaxing international travel between countries that have successfully suppressed or eliminated the virus maybe soon a reality. Australians or New Zealanders, for example, may soon have access to each others’ countries. That may be extended to the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. Even without a vaccine, there may be a way forward using health certificates showing proof of immunity or lack of infection through an up-to-date test. Because of the danger that border control officers cannot interpret certificates that are not in their own language, there will be an ongoing need for effective health certificate translation. 

The 6 Best Ways to Immigrate to Canada

Canada is one of the safest countries in the world and has numerous employment opportunities.  There are several different ways to immigrate to Canada. From 2019, it was announced that over the coming years Canada has room for 1 million new immigrants.  It is just a matter of following the most suitable route to take advantage of this opportunity so that you can fulfill your dreams and take advantage of immigration opportunities to Canada.

Express Entry

Express entry is a Canadian migration program that helps a skilled worker to migrate to Canada as a permanent resident. It selects candidates based on age, education, language fluency, work experience, and educational level. Express entry allows workers to include family members in the application. It is also called ‘express’ because it only takes up to four months to complete the process in most cases.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, not including Quebec, is responsible for its own migration to Canada program. This is known as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It permits provinces to respond to individual economic requirements by nominating selected candidates for permanent residency. Often, a PNP seeks out overseas workers who have experience in jobs that are in great demand in their province. For example, Saskatchewan just recently altered its PNP because it wanted to nominate extra computer programmers. As all provinces have different PNP demands if you wish to migrate using this route you should check your eligibility by checking through each province’s website. Citizenship and immigration to Canada are possible if you follow the route that is appropriate for your situation.

Becoming an International Student

International students choose Canada because schools and universities offer quality education at affordable prices and Canadians like international students. Once a course has been successfully completed students may be able to apply for immigration to Canada through the permanent residency program. 

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP)

The 1917 Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) helps to bring additional workers to Canada’s Atlantic districts. The program allows employers in this area to hire international workers from other countries. Once a job offered has been received the worker can come to Canada and begin work.

Migrating for employment with a work permit

There are 2 categories of work permits which are called open work permits and employer work sponsored permits.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  • are an international student who has graduated from a nominated learning institution and has the eligibility to take part in the Post-Graduation Work Permits Programs;
  • are a student with insufficient money to pay study costs;
  • possess an employer-related work permit and have been subject to abuse at your workplace;
  • applied for Canadian permanent residency; 
  • are a family member who is dependent on somebody who has applied for permanent residency;
  • are the common-law partner or spouse of an international student or skilled worker 
  • are the common-law partner or spouse of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program applicant;
  • are a refugee claimant, refugee, a protected person or a family member of one;
  • are under a removal order which is unenforceable; 
  • possess a temporary resident permit;
  • are a younger worker taking part in special programs;
  • in all the above situations additional criteria may apply.

Migrate to Canada with your family

Family immigration to Canada is possible through some of the country’s immigration programs that permit you to bring your family when you immigrate to Canada. You just have to choose your immigration category and include your family in the application.  You may also be able to use Canada’s reunification category for your family especially if you want to bring parents and grandparents to join you. 

The immigration programs such as express entry and business immigration do allow family immigration to Canada. Some of the non-permanent visa programs designated for study or work may allow family members to be included in the application. If the program allows families to be included you should be able to include on your application your spouse or your common-law partner and all your dependent children up to 21 years of age. 

Sometimes, 22-year-olds are allowed as part of a family’s immigration to Canada if their family is their only means of financial support. It is not usual to allow siblings, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins to be part of your family.  Parents and grandparents are entitled to sponsorship through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP).  This is in high demand and numbers are restricted. 

Corona Virus Travel Bans

The last meaningful global pandemic was declared for the disease SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. Despite SARS being declared a pandemic, the disease didn’t spread anywhere near as fast as the present coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. The spread of the current coronavirus has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) because countries need to put in place action plans designed to reduce the scale and spread of the pandemic. This is so a country’s health service can shoulder the burden of treating people who are experiencing the more serious symptoms of the virus that may mean a spell in a hospital is required. Italy is a lesson to be learned on acting quickly, as their slow response, even in a part of the country that has some of the best health services in the world, cannot effectively assist all those who have come down with the virus.

Purpose of travel bans

One of the most effective ways of handling a crisis like this is imposing travel bans so that medical services only have to deal with a trickle of cases at any one time. It won’t stop the spread completely, but the intention is to slow the transmission rates down so that health services can effectively assist the most vulnerable coronavirus cases as required. The sorts of travel bans that have come in force are air travel to and from the most affected areas which currently still include China as well as South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Due to the lack of transparency on behalf of the Iranian government regarding the serious outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, several passengers off flights from Tehran into Australia and New Zealand brought the virus with them. The United States has a travel ban in force that bans air travel between Europe and the United States for the time being at least. Most countries are monitoring their travel bans on a week by week basis as they know such restrictions are not beneficial for a country’s tourist and business sectors, as well as for anyone in the process of migrating or visiting their families overseas.

Impact on tourism

Tourism itself is a leisure activity, but for operators of tourist activities, it is definitely not a holiday. It’s a business and a livelihood. Every area of the tourist industry has been affected by the current virus, not just by travel bans in force by governments, but even by the reluctance of local tourists to stray too far from home. Today, Flight Centre Australia announced the closure of 100 shop fronts due to a fall in demand for its services. Australia has been confronted with an unprecedented drop in arrivals of international visitors from key countries. The coronavirus outbreak has to lead to record numbers of holiday booking cancellations, with a 36% drop since December.
The key countries which attract the most tourists to Australia are China, the UK, Canada, the USA, Japan, India, and Singapore. From 24th to the 1st March, bookings were down 47% from Britain, 52% from the U.S., 71% from Indonesia, 32% from India and 100% from Japan and China. This is just up to now, but advanced bookings have fallen dramatically as well.
The 1.4 million loss of Chinese tourists affects car rental companies, tour bus companies, domestic airline routes, hotel and motel accommodation, Sydney attractions, the world-famous Gold Coast scenic flights, fishing expeditions, Seaworld, Movie World, Dreamworld and much more. It affects revenues for business operators, some of whom will be temporarily put out of business and employees will no longer have a job and get paid.

Predictions of how long COVID-19 will last

According to an article published by Reuters, Chinese officials are claiming that the restrictions they have placed on travel have meant the coronavirus epidemic has now reached its peak there. Zhong Nanshan, China’s most senior medical adviser, stated at a recent press conference that if other countries follow lead China has taken the pandemic would be completely tamed within a few months. He even went on to say that if all countries adopted the advice issued by the WHO and they intervened quickly into taming the outbreaks in their own countries the pandemic could just about be over by this June. Meanwhile, the center of the outbreak has moved from Asia to Europe, with no sign that it is slowing there or North America.

How to Become a Citizen of Japan

If you have been living in Japan and have been working there or running a business, there may be a point at which you decide that the benefits of becoming a Japanese citizen outweigh any potential disadvantages. You cannot acquire Japanese citizenship purely because you were born in Japan. You must either be born to parents who are Japanese citizens themselves or acquire Japanese citizenship through a process of naturalization. If you want your documents translated when applying for Japanese citizenship you make sure to get it done from a certified translator. This article explains how to apply for Japanese citizenship through the process of naturalization.

Why become a Japanese national?

The main benefit of becoming a Japanese national or citizen is that it ties you more into Japanese society, rather than forever being an outsider. As a Japanese citizen, you are allowed to vote in local or national elections, something which is seen as a duty in Japan. You can also take up positions in public office; even have a tilt at an election to the Diet, Japan’s bicameral Parliament.

There are other benefits of becoming a citizen of Japan. You can freely come and go from Japan without having to confirm your residency status each time you leave. If you work in Japan or run a business there, this level of certainty can make a huge difference to your state of mind and your ability to do your job or plan for the future of your business. It can also help you if you are married to a Japanese citizen as it standardizes your family and means that any children you have should become Japanese citizens automatically. As has been mentioned already, even if you are living and working in Japan if you have children born there they do not automatically acquire citizenship unless you yourself and your partner are Japanese citizens.

Dual citizenship is out

The main disadvantage of becoming a Japanese citizen, for those of you who have retained close links with their country of birth, is that Japan does not allow dual citizenship. If you become a naturalized Japanese citizen, you are expected to renounce your original citizenship.

Criteria for acquiring Japanese nationality

There are some simple criteria for deciding whether you can apply for Japanese citizenship. You need to:

  • have lived in Japan for at least 5 years;
  • be financially ‘independent,’ i.e. earning sufficient income to not be dependent on the state;
  • agree to respect the Japanese Constitution;
  • be of good moral character, i.e. not have had a criminal record, although individual circumstances are usually taken into consideration;
  • be more than 20 years old;
  • agree to renounce your old citizenship.

How to apply for Japanese citizenship

If you think that you fit the criteria detailed above, then it is time to think about applying to become a Japanese citizen. There is quite a lot of bureaucracy involved and all applicants must expect to be patient. It can take up to a full year to have your application approved and there are a lot of documents that must be obtained. It helps, of course, to be able to speak fluent Japanese and be able to read and write Japanese characters. In fact, one of the requirements of the Japanese citizenship application process is that you are expected to write a reason why you want to become a Japanese citizen in Japanese.

Despite the prolonged application process, as an applicant, you can take heart in the fact that 99% of all applications are eventually approved.

Here is a list of documents you should prepare before sending your completed application form off to the relevant authority.

  • application form with 2 attached photos 5 cm x 5 cm;
  • personal resume;
  • details of how you earn a living while in Japan;
  • description of where you live and work or where your business is located;
  • financial statements including tax certificates;
  • educational and professional qualifications;
  • birth certificate;
  • passport entry showing legal status in Japan e.g. work permit or residence
  • permit;
  • details of family members;
  • other documents, if requested.

The process of acquiring citizenship

Once you have completed your application form and have collected all the documents required to accompany it, you need to file it with the Citizenship Division at the Legal Affairs Bureau closest to where you live or work. The officials will check through the application and may ask for further documentation. They may also inspect the place you live or work or your business location to verify that the information you have submitted is indeed correct. You will be then called for an interview, which may take a couple of months into the process.

Assuming that your application is eventually approved, it will be announced through the Official Gazette. You can then go and collect your certificate of naturalization, hand in your alien registration card and complete your family registration. You will have become a Japanese citizen! Omedetou! (おめでとう).



Things to Know About Your Southeast Asian Customers

South-East Asia is becoming a new emerging target for many international businesses looking to expand. It’s a diverse region, much more so than Europe, North or South America, for example, and it pays to get some sort of handle on who lives in South East Asia and what are the trends can have an impact on
China, Japan, and Lore remain the three big players in the East Asian market, with China now showing signs of stalling somewhat, although much depends on what happens to U.S. trade relations with that giant economy, at present anyone’s guess.
South-East Asia comprises a range of different countries with vastly different histories, socio-economic development, levels of affluence, and language. The main common denominator is that they are all showing signs of strong economic growth as they attempt to catch up with the West. It could be said that one of these countries, grouped together in ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, has already long surpassed that criterion. Singapore is certainly the smallest and least populated of the ASEAN countries, but by most economic indicators it is easily in the lead with levels of GDP that match the most affluent of OECD countries.
South-East Asia is basically a geographical entity rather than a homogenous block. All South East Asian counties, with the exception of Thailand, have experienced periods of colonialism and post-colonial violence. They also have experienced quite different pre-colonial histories with civilizations recorded as having existed for millennia. Languages are spoken, religions and cultures, types of government, levels of economic development, and actual size of landmass and population vary widely, making it genuinely challenging to come to any generalizations about doing business in this part of the world.

The countries that makeup South East Asia

South-East Asia borders Bangladesh in the west, China in the North, Japan and Korea in the East, and Australia in the South. Indonesia is by far the largest in total landmass and, also, population. Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were all French colonies for a while and were all involved in violent upheaval during the fifties, sixties, and seventies of the last century. Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, and Malaysia all share a British colonial past but have gone their own post-colonial ways remarkably differently. Thailand shares most with Laos in culture and language, but has remained proudly independent throughout its existence as a nation.
The Philippines, closer to Japan than any other part of South East Asia, has had a colonial background belonging to Spain and the U.S. and with Myanmar and Cambodia is probably one of the poorest of the ASEAN nations, with many Filipinos having migrated right around the world.

SE Asia is a huge market and it’s growing

The combined population of South East Asia is around 655 million, making it the third-largest population after South Asia and East Asia. It is expected that by 2050, SE Asia will be the fourth largest economic block in the world.
Most SE Asian countries are experiencing strong economic growth, with the Lao PDR leading the pack at an annual rate posted of 7%, also matched by Myanmar. The relatively affluent small nations of Singapore and Brunei are sitting at the bottom of the league table at 2.7%and 2% respectively. Note that the GDP of Singapore, despite what seems to be a relatively low growth rate, is 30 times as large as that of Laos, which has the highest growth rate.
The predicted forecast of growth for the whole region averages out at 5.2% for 2020.

The percentage of the population with high consumer demand is growing rapidly

South-East Asian countries do share one phenomenon: their populations are consumer goods hungry, whatever their historical and religious backgrounds. There is a growing middle class who is avid for anything that the rest of the world has. That includes clothes, electronic goods, household items, and a desire to travel. 67million households across South East Asia can now be classified as having enough surplus income and assets to enable them to buy things that they do not need for basic survival.

Translation: Data Into Stories and Actions

Most people understand that translation is all about converting one language into another. However, with IT so much a part of everyday living these days, there is a new type of translation around. This involves translating data into stories and action. It’s only an extension of more orthodox translation, except that data is treated as a ‘language’ in its own right.

The point about turning data into stories is that often it’s the only way that the message that the data is storing can be interpreted and remembered by most ordinary people.

It’s not that easy finding good data translators – those people who are sufficiently comfortable with data that they can competently deal with story translation. The one clear message is that the demand for effective data translators is not going to diminish any time soon.

Storytelling has of course been around for as long as humans developed speech. There is something about stories and story-telling which is so much more compelling than studying a bunch of figures, even if the figures are the basis of the story. One study between the power of data alone and data translated into stories has come from subscriptions to a popular charity, “Save the Children.’ Two different brochures were devised. One was full of statistics about child poverty and hunger in Africa. The other told the same story as the data but in words described the tale of a particular African child. The story in words garnered three times as much in subscriptions to ‘Save the Children’ as the data version.

Other evidence for the value of stories over the data that the stories are derived from comes from neuroscientists. They have discovered that interpreting data alone only stimulates two different areas of the brain. These are the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas of the brain. When data is converted into stories and action, the stimulation spreads from the primary parts of the brain to those parts that are stimulated by emotion.

Other studies have shown that while only 5% of people can remember specific statistics expressed in number form, over 60% can remember stories. Apart from the ability to remember things, the other key advantage of translating data into stories and actions is that it makes that data more persuasive, as the charity brochure example above amply demonstrates.

It was back in 200 that Google’s chief economist said that the ability to take raw data and convert it into a story that communicated the information it represented would become an important skill. Only 10 years later, this prediction has become very evident. Companies are desperately trying to recruit talented people with the necessary skills to translate data into the narrative as data has become so much more omnipotent. In fact, data translation has consistently turned up in the top 4 skill categories in all countries analysed by LinkedIn recently.

The Top 8 Challenges for a Japanese Translation

Japanese has been labelled as one of the world’s most difficult languages. This makes it difficult to translate anything accurately by a Japanese NAATI translator.  It has 3 character groups and is not related in any way to other languages. Because of its complexity, Japanese requires full attention to be put into detail in order to ensure an accurately translated text.

The top 8 challenges in a Japanese translation that translators endure when handling translations in the language are as follows:

Kanji is considered to be a complex writing style.

As the main Japanese writing style, it includes characters complex in nature that represent concepts.  Therefore, instead of depending on just phrases and words to bring out the meaning, Kanji relies on a number of different strokes which indicate meaning from the way they are placed within sets of characters. Kanji uses 2,000 characters all the time but there are a few thousand more characters that occasionally are used as well. Because of the high number of characters, it is important that a native Kanji speaker plays the role of a translator when a translation into another language is required.

Cultural nuances create a challenge for a Japanese translation

When undertaking any translation challenge translators need to concentrate on cultural nuances of the language so that accuracy is ensured in the translation and it is in the right context.  Japanese is no exception as the language requires that the translators break up sentences into small pieces so that any cultural nuances are put across so that they sound natural. For example, in Japanese grammar tends to express an air of politeness and formality, which is absolutely essential for any translator to be able to capture in the right way.

Literal translating is not possible in Japanese

Many phrases and words that are utilised in Japanese writing don’t have equivalent words in English, so this makes it hard to translate between Japanese and English with ease. The main challenge is being able to translate something that has some real sense in English but also keeps the best Japanese meaning. Translating any abstract concepts are a particular challenge for even a Japanese translator.

Taco Bell fell foul when it was creating a Japanese website as ‘cheesy chips’ were somehow translated into ‘poor quality chips.’ Also “Crunch wrap Supreme with Beef” was translated as “Supreme Court Beef.” Additionally, the slogan, “We don’t have anything to hide,” ended up being badly translated and read, “What did we bring here in order to hide it.” Taco Bell certainly will not have gone down well with Japanese consumers.

The placing of verbs and subjects are not the same

In Japanese, numerous grammar rules exist that may seem to be not so intuitive as can be found in other languages. This is certainly the case when using verbs and subjects in Japanese when compared with English. In the English language, the subject and verb are typically positioned near the start of a sentence, while in Japanese the verbs are found as part of the ending of a sentence. Also in Japanese, the subjects are commonly understood and are not stated, which basically means that readers need to orientate their understanding of a subject based on the sentences’ context.

Plural nouns cannot be distinguished

Japanese nouns don’t differentiate between the plural and singular forms so translators have to depend on the words’ contexts. So often though there isn’t any way of knowing if a word is supposed to be plural or singular, which means the translation is far harder to achieve accurately.  Also as there are not any obvious plural nouns so the method of counting often changes, even if adjectives and pronouns are used.

The choice of pronouns is not always clear

Choosing a pronoun in English is relatively easy when compared to Japanese. Some expressions fail to offer contextual clues concerning a person’s gender so it is hard to know in a translation which gendered pronoun should be used. For example, if someone appearing in a short story doesn’t seem to have a gender preference, the person could be either a male or a female and it is hard to determine which gender the person is.

Tenses create their own difficulties

In Japanese two tenses exist which are called the non-past and past. When describing either the future or present the non-past would be utilized. This at times can present confusion when translating into English, which possesses 3 quite clear tenses, which are the present, past and future.

A translator must have great subject matter knowledge

Due to the different challenges associated with many Japanese translations, it is important that the translator has expertise in the subject matter to be translated. If the translator does not have exactly the same amount of clear knowledge as the person who is expected to read the translation they won’t know if the document has met the targeted goal. Also, the readers of the translated content will know exactly whether the words used are an accurate representation of the information that is being translated.

2020 will soon be here and that is when the Olympics come to Japan. This is the time when businesses want to be able to make their presence known in Japan. To reach this target it will be essential to get the best translators to do the best job at translating marketing material.  Any slip-ups in a translation could lose the business its credibility in overseas markets.

A Tourism Translation is Essential in This Globalized Age

A tourism translation for tourist resources means businesses associated with tourism such as tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, and hostels can reach out more easily to potential customers throughout the world. This could include any of the following tourist material:

  • websites;
  • brochures;
  • advertisements in the magazine both paper and online.

Once the material has been accurately translated into many different key languages tourism businesses are able to communicate directly with interested customers wherever they are throughout the world.

Four tips for ensuring world-class tourism translations:

Use of accessible language in a tourism translation

Tourism translation isn’t quite like formal translations as to be attractive it needs to be accessible to those who want to enjoy a holiday.  The translation has to put across a friendly message in informal language and should use appropriate idioms that suit the tourism concept. This is an acquired skill because the tourism translator has to possess a good understanding of idiomatic usage in both the targeted and source languages.

Add the right marketing tactic

Of course, the translated message about the tour or tourist facility needs to be both accurate and appealing to have any useful effect. If a museum, cultural display, or beach is an important feature of a tourist destination the translated language has to be appropriate for this. A general tourism translation wouldn’t have quite the desired effect.

You can’t forget the targeted audience

If a tourist translation is to have any effect it also needs to be localized to fit the targeted audience. The style and tone of a text aimed at an English-speaking audience are likely to be quite different from that aimed at, for example, a Japanese traveler or even a French or German traveler. One key example is the difference between using the word ‘Sie’ in German which is formal and the more informal ‘Du.’ The wrong usage could markedly affect the context of the translation as there isn’t any English counterpart. Because of these obvious differences, the tourism translator needs to have a good understanding of the cultural norms found embedded in their pair of languages.

Details are important in a tourism translation

When targeting a global market the finer details of a tourism product should not be omitted. Everyone wants to know the price of their favorite tourist attractions in their chosen destinations. Failure to add this material on a promotional tourist website might send the tourist somewhere else. A translator who specializes in tourism translations will know how important it is to include minor details. Added to this is the translation of colloquial terminology. This demands considerable marketing flair, and the translator needs to be able to localize this to fit the target audience.

Some examples of top tourist attractions which may need a tourism translation are:

  • forests, reserves, and national parks;
  • communities of people from different ethnic groupings;
  • different types of modern and ancient structures such as old penal settlements, castles, pyramids, bridges, and tall structures like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty;
  • global sporting and cultural events;
  • museums and art galleries;
  • zoos and botanical gardens;
  • monuments, ancient and new;
  • theme parks like Seaworld, Dreamworld, and Movieworld;
  • maritime museums;
  • vintage car museums;
  • key stunning viewpoints.

In translations of promotional tourist literature, each type of attraction has its own uniqueness, and when the material is translated it should reflect those sorts of people who are interested in those types of tourist attractions. If it is young people, the translation should reflect that with the use of appropriate language. Older people will be most attracted to a tourist feature if it is marketed in their language.

Numbers are Interpreted Differently in Different Cultures

But what are numbers?

In the later part of the 14th century, the Arabic-Hindu numeral system was the commonest system used throughout the globe to represent numbers in different cultures. It starts with”0” and it can be written in numerals like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or in words such as five, six, seven and eight, etc.

Numbers in different cultures

Business owners globally need to understand what numbers in different cultures mean so they are able to create the best marketing strategies. Sometimes, there is a number of associations that date back to past beliefs and traditions. Translating and localizing a website is one marketing strategy but understanding how numbers in different cultures are viewed needs to be considered as well. Numbers are used for everyday things like time, dates, phone numbers, and addresses. However, in some cultures, certain numbers are steeped in religion, superstitions, and religion.

Some unlucky and lucky numbers in different cultures

Number 4 is unlucky in Chinese cultures because when it is pronounced it sounds like death. Often the number 4 is not used for the 4th floor of a building but the letter F is used instead. This is much the same in South Korea and Japan. In Germany, however, the number 4 is a lucky number and is linked to the 4 leaf clover which is a symbol representing good luck.

The number 9, when spoken in Japanese, sounds like the word for torture, so its use is avoided in hospitals and airlines. In China, it is considered to be one of the lucky numbers in different cultures, and in Norway, it is sacred due to many stories in ancient folklore which use the number.

Number 13 is unlucky in most developed countries, including Britain, Norway, and Sweden.  Tall buildings often use a different number when 13 is the next. People believe something bad will happen on Friday the 13th, so they worry when the day becomes closer.

The number is treated the opposite by Hamilton’s Colgate University, New York, where the university was founded with just $13 and 13 men. The university has 13 prayers and articles. In the U.S., the country was originally made up of 13 British colonies on the mainland. The U.S. flag contains 13 stripes, 7 red, and 6 white. The United States Great Seal has 13 stars. The chest shield placed at the eagle’s front contains 13 stripes. The left talon of the eagle contains 13 arrows. The right talon has 13 olive leaves and 13 olives. The scroll showing the national motto, which is “E Pluribus Unum,” held in the eagle’s beak, contains 13 letters.

Indians don’t like the number 26 and view it as an unlucky number. The date, the 26th, is connected with tsunamis, terrorist attacks, and earthquakes.

In Afghanistan, the number 39 is unlucky because the sound is like ”morda-gow,” which when translated means ”dead cow.”

Lucky numbers in different cultures

Number 3 is lucky in some cultures because they believe good things happen in threes. This applies to Sweden and Korea. Italians believe number 3 means strength and balance which is shown by the use of a triangle.

In Korea, the number 7 is considered lucky and is used in gambling terminology. Also, it is lucky in Britain, Netherlands, United States, and France. But in Thailand and Vietnam, number 7 is unlucky.

The Chinese like number 8 because when it is translated to bā, this sounds similar to the Chinese word fā. The meaning of this is to generate wealth. An example of this can be found in Beijing where the August 2008 Summer Olympics were held. It officially began at 08:08:08 in local time.

These are only some of the many meanings for numbers in different cultures, which any marketer should know about. Superstitions and beliefs play a large part in the way a global consumer may react.