New Office in Noosa, Sunshine Coast

I love my new office in Noosa, so far. It’s located 10 minutes away from the Beach, looking down to a reserve bush land. Sitting at the desk with some fragrant flowers picked from my yard, life and work has become in one.

Perfect for doing translation, too. Your words are no longer dry because the surrounding always gives you the creativity. Getting bored at translating medical reports? Just look down to the garden and bushland, life is back again.
Hope you have a relaxing day 🙂

Understand Chinese Tourists

I recently read an article warning that the bad behavior of overseas Chinese travelers may wreck the nation’s soft power efforts.  The increasing overseas Chinese tourists were compared to ‘ugly Americans’ of the last century.

Facts listed in the article are all true:  talking loudly into a mobile phone in a public area, spitting and jumping queues. As a Chinese national having lived in Australia for the last four and half years, I have seen these behaviours of Chinese tourists myself. Australians, unable to understand them, find it hard to tolerant the strangeness. Meanwhile, Australia is trying to attract more Chinese to come and spend money here, it might be the time to consider a solution rather than complaining about it. From the perspective of tourist industry, I think it’s justifiable to understand the behavior first. Following is just my personal thoughts.

The huge density of Chinese population means that Chinese survives in a different way that we do here in Australia. I jog along on the street and smile at a few people passed me during the exercise. If I did this in China, I have to keep the smile on my face all the time because people are everywhere. Therefore sadly, you have to be competitive and loud enough to make yourself noticed or served, otherwise, you would not be able to get onto the bus or stop a taxi. In another word, life in China is not as relaxing as in Australia. In a society full of competition and driven by success, people seem to be too anxious to put others first. There is not much reward for thinking about others either.

For a lot of Chinese tourists now, visiting overseas is probably their first time in life experience and coming to Australia is possibly once-off choice. So why bother to behave in the same manner as a local? Why not grab the chance to get the most out of the trip, such as some photos of wild animals when photography is prohibited? Not all the rules are followed in China unless there are immediate consequences.

English speakers think Chinese are abrupt and impolite even when they speak English. This is because Chinese doesn’t have as many polite ways to make a request as in English. To put it in words, it only has ‘can you…’ and add ‘please’ in it’s extremely formal. It doesn’t have words like ‘would you mind’, ‘I wonder if…’ and using ‘thank you’ is not very often. In China, the Body language sometimes is more important than words. It depends on how you say it rather than what you say.

Solution:

  • Make an effort to get in contact with Chinese tourists.

I know this is hard because you don’t speak Chinese and there is this intangible barrier straight away. However it can be so easy to break it by just say ‘hello’ in Chinese. Chinese visitors are often very impressed that a foreigner can ‘speak’ Chinese and a word of greeting is enough. From my experience, most Australians know ‘Ni Hao’. So say it, the effect is magic even though most of us won’t be impressed by a Chinese saying ‘how are you’ to us. And try to make it personal. For example, during the penguin parade, there is announcement in Chinese about all the rules about but many Chinese tourists still went to the front or try to take photos. It was very embarrassing to see that they even ignore the requests from the guards. Well if there is a guard speaking Chinese, it would make a lot of difference.

When the barrier is down the trust is built, it’s easy to talk about anything. Then we can go on with all the Do’s and Don’t’s  to tourists traveling in Australia. I’m sure most locals will find Chinese tourists are actually very polite and amiable.

  • See next article for efforts needed from Chinese tourist industry.

Celebrating the International Translation Day

Starting a blog to celebrate thoughts on translation has been in my mind for a while. When celebrating the International Translation Day today I have finally decided to start my first blog.

There are quite a few Chinese translation agencies and bloggers have published the Chinese translation of the theme for the day translated by Translators Association of China. I really like the translation because it converted English into Chinese beautifully. Accurate and stylish, when typical and traditional Chinese expressions and sentence structures were used naturally. The translation itself is a perfect example of the theme. I will save the article for my future research.

Others are celebrating the day with lots of activities. Virtual Conference by Proz.com, for example, will be an exiting event to attend. Or send out hand made cards by jmmcards to over-worked translator friends.

Whatever you are doing, enjoy the day and I will. 🙂

 

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