Sunday, 30 December 2007

Sharing and Understanding

I make it a point to pay close attention to my surroundings everyday. Most of the times it pays off and I get to learn or see something new and interesting. Today was no exception. Living in Hong Kong and deal with multiple languages as a matter of course. Being only English speaking I understand only a fraction of what is around me. Like most of my English speaking counterparts I get occasionally amusement from the odd translations that occur in the most unlikely places. Today while out for a burger and a movie with a friend I ran into two extreme cases -- they weren't amusing as they were surprising. Large corporations with capability and control to avoid silly mistakes like translation errors. One of the Fancl, a large beauty care company, translated a statement that was suppose to reassure and give confidence for a drink supplement as something like "a considerable patent for ease of drinking". Well I don't feel too at ease for that. But what I choose to point out it not that other language to English is often brutalised, but the other way around. My company Prosperity Research has a publishing arm www.SO-U.TV. This is a multi language portal and I, being English only speaking, never get to see the translations into Chinese. It is a constant worry to me that 1.2 billion Chinese persons are getting a giggle from my site because some beautiful English phrase came out all wonky when translated. Arrogance is a luxury none of us can afford when working in the global economy. In Asia there is said to be 16 key countries with 17 languages. There is bound to be a slip up occasionally -- be kind.


Running a Social Network Marketing and video production company has taught me many things. Mostly to share and make the mos of the generosity of others when available. The margins are slim and the days are long -- take a break when you can. I have formed a number of alliances with others in the field and we routinely share content and footage with each other. After all why send two crews to shoot the same shots??? If you have more than one camera GET A DIFFERENT SHOT AND SHARE!! The personality of most shots come out in post production so why waste the budget lining up with so many other cameras taking the same pictures? Today I saw the perfect example of this silliness. At a very very small coffee shop 5 identical HD cameras were lined up to take the same shot of the same event. 10 people, 5 cameras, 1 shot -- you do the math. I got more than a chuckle out of this, the true pleasure was that it dripped with irony. You see the reason the cameras were there was because a semi famous performer was to draw a crowd and attract customers. But by the time 10 people and 5 cameras spread out there was no room or view for any guests -- truly outrageous. I believe in the digital world everything is public and that the only thing we really can call our own is the creativity we contribute. So step down and let the people see the show.

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