Taiwanese Culture: What is it? How is it different from China?

Taiwanese Culture: What is it? How is it different from China?

Taiwan & China Taiwan and China’s relationship is quite politically charged and controversial. However, regardless of whether one views Taiwan as part of China or not, there is a common misconception that life in Taiwan and China is exactly the same. However, Taiwanese culture and linguistic differences from Mainland China are quite interesting to learn about. Let’s go over a few of them! Taiwanese Culture: Convenience Stores Similarly to convenience store culture in Japan, Taiwan’s convenience stores are nothing to scoff at. Practically every street has at least one store, the most common being Family Mart and 7-Eleven, which are open 24/7. In fact, Taiwan has the second highest convenience store density in the world! True to their name, you can conveniently buy surprisingly high quality meals, snacks, baked goods, and you can even pay with the local public transit pass. Not only that, but you can also: Buy hot food Pay parking tickets and other fines Pay your taxes Send money And more! How did Taiwan’s convenience stores become so widespread? The first 7-Eleven opened in 1979, but only became a profitable business in 1986. Coincidentally, the Japanese Family Mart opened up in Taiwan in 1988 – around the same time when 7-Eleven became profitable in Taiwan. Other smaller convenience store chains followed soon after. Convenience stores became so prominent because they were firmly able to integrate into Taiwanese culture and daily life, and their services have only been expanding since. Taiwanese Culture: Night Markets Taiwan has a bustling night market culture. These markets are either permanent or temporary night-time popups, and attract large crowds of people who...
Japanese Influence: How Hawaii Made Japanese Culture Its Own

Japanese Influence: How Hawaii Made Japanese Culture Its Own

Japanese Culture in Hawaii Hawaii often brings to mind images of coconut trees, beaches, and tropical fruit. However, modern day Hawaii has a rich culture built upon the lives and traditions of the indigenous Hawaiian people, as well as the many immigrants who came to the islands as plantation workers during the early colonial period. One influential culture is Japanese culture. It is so ingrained in some parts of life that one might not even notice their Japanese origins unless explicitly pointed out. However, not only has Japanese culture influenced Hawaii, but Hawaii has made Japanese culture its own in a way. For instance, many Japanese-origin aspects of culture or life in Hawaii have evolved from their original Japanese counterparts. In addition, the general non-Japanese population also enjoys aspects of Japanese culture that have moved past ethnic lines and into the general lifestyle in Hawaii. The strength of Japanese influence depends on the island and even parts of island. Japanese Influence on Language and Culture Children often say jan ken pon when playing rock paper scissors – the Japanese version of the game. However, they often don’t know its Japanese origins and think of it as a string of syllables. Japanese popular culture like anime and manga are quite popular and widespread. Obon is a traditional Buddhist summer festival where people gather to dance and honour their ancestors. However, unlike in Japan, where the festival is held over a three-day period, Hawaii’s obon festivals run throughout the summer. Hawaii’s festivals are also less strictly religious. Many non-Japanese and non-Buddhist people go simply to browse the food stalls and enjoy the festival atmosphere. Japanese Influence on Food and Shopping There...
French language (France and worldwide): Clichés, Facts and More!

French language (France and worldwide): Clichés, Facts and More!

How many people speak the French language around the world? France has an estimated population of 67 million people and the official language is French. Over 80 million people speak French as a native language worldwide. If we include non-native speakers, this increases to about 220 million worldwide. French is an official language in 29 countries. This includes its DOM-TOMs (remaining overseas territories from the colonial era), which still have French as their mother tongue because they are still an official part of France. What are the most common clichés about the French? Talking about the French language often leads to stereotypes about the French. Here’s a small selection: “The French say “ooh là là” a lot” – well, it’s true, they do say it a fair bit but not as we use it in the English-speaking world. There’s the good “oh là là”, used to express admiration, there’s the bad “oh là là”, used to express annoyance, and there’s the really bad “Oh là là là là (là là)” – yes, it’s got to be at least four là’s! – for when you’re in a real pickle. It’s all in the intonation! Three little but powerful words! “French people are unruly and impolite” – this is a famous stereotype but this comes down to understanding cultural differences. The French are very “matter-of-fact” and “straight-to-the-point”. They don’t beat around the bush, and sometimes, this can come across as abrupt or brash but in actual fact, most of them are very well behaved and will treat you with respect. “French workers complain a lot and are always on strike” – trade...
Argentine Spanish and More: How Many Speakers?

Argentine Spanish and More: How Many Speakers?

How Many People Speak Argentine Spanish & the Spanish Language Around the World? Argentina has an estimated population of 45.2 million people and the official language is Spanish (Argentine). According to Instituto Cervantes, in 2019, over 483 million people speak Spanish as a native language worldwide. In addition, about 22 million people study Spanish worldwide as non-native speakers. What is Argentine Spanish related to? Here’s an interesting list of facts and myth busters about stereotypes related to Argentina’s culture: “Argentine people use the second personal, singular “you” form (“vos”) to address everybody.” Well, Argentine people use “vos” mainly in informal contexts, let’s say, with family and friends. However, when addressing a manager or a doctor, they would use the formal “you” form (“usted”) as it is more polite. “Argentine people say “che” all the time.” TRUE. They use the word “che” as an interjection, often to: emphasize something, get someone’s attention or address someone whose name they don’t know. As a matter of fact, the revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara earned the nickname “el Che” because he frequently used this word.  “Argentine people are always eating asado.” No matter how much Argentine people would like this to be true, they don’t eat asado (traditional Argentine barbecue) every day. However, it’s true that people eat asado regularly. An asado on a sunny Sunday is always a classic. “Argentine people drink mate all day long.” TRUE. “El mate” is widely drunk in Argentina. More importantly, apart from the drink itself, it’s about bonding and sharing with your loved ones. “All Argentine people know how to dance tango.” FALSE. Although tango is a...
The French Community in British Columbia Continues To Grow

The French Community in British Columbia Continues To Grow

The French Community in British Columbia The French community in British Columbia continues to grow and diversify every year. British Columbia has the fourth largest Francophone community in Canada. According to Statistics Canada in 2016, French is the mother tongue of over 70,000 British Columbians. There are more than 300,000 residents of the province who speak French in addition to English or another language. Francophones have contributed to the economic growth, intellectual pursuits, and political and cultural development of British Columbia. Structures are in place to provide several services to Francophones living in the province or thinking of moving there. It is possible to study, work and stay informed in French, as well as to access social services and health care. Many organizations are working hard to expand the Francophone and Francophile presence in B.C. One is the British Columbia Francophone Federation, the official voice of the province’s Francophone community. Their mission is to represent the Francophone community in British Columbia while preserving their linguistic and cultural heritage. Infographic: The strong French presence in British Columbia The Francophone community in B.C. is not only growing but also changing the overall Canadian population. This infographic will show you some interesting facts about the Francophonie in British Columbia: PDF Download The need for French translation services French is not only the mother tongue of many Canadians, but an integral part of the Canadian identity. If you want to successfully expand your business into the Canadian market, you need to understand the country’s linguistic variations and adapt your business to the local look and feel. By working with a trusted translation agency that is familiar...
Accurate Translation: Why is it Crucial Every Time?

Accurate Translation: Why is it Crucial Every Time?

The significance of accurate translation English is the most prominent language in the world. Many people ask why doesn’t everybody just speak English? Or how important is translation? The fact, however, is that not everyone can speak English. More importantly, language is much more than the communication of words. It is also an expression of a country’s culture, belief, and society. Translation facilitates effective communication among people who speak different languages through spreading information, knowledge, ideas, or messages. Therefore, it is crucial to produce a proper and accurate translation that correctly reflects a mirror image of the original text. When it comes to translation services, the quality and accuracy of the translation are always very important. Quality language translation narrows the gap in communication. A good translation enables companies to reach a global audience by talking in a language that their clients can understand. Accurate translation is critical to all aspects of any industry field. It requires double effort when it comes to medical translations, legal translations, or technical translations. If the official document is not translated accurately, it can cause catastrophic consequences such as loss of income and an organization’s reputation. Medical translations require high accuracy of all the medical terms, findings, recommendations, and instructions in the target document. Like medical translations, legal translations must also be completely error-free. Any small mistake in the translated copy can result in serious legal issues affecting the lives and freedom of people who use the document. How to produce a proper and accurate translation Accurate translation is an art and the translator is an artist. Besides following the rules of translation...