Interesting Facts about International Media

If you’re a westerner, you can be forgiven for being ignorant of these fascinating differences in media. This is helpful if you have international aspirations.

  • Chinese language consists of ideographs or pictures.
  • It is perhaps due to the ideographic written language that Chinese are purported to be better at understanding ‘the big picture’ than westerners. Sell the vision first, details later.
  • The Japanese equivalent (the same characters) are called ‘kanji’.
  • Japanese written language consists of three types of written language: hiragana, katakana and kanji.
  • Hiragana is the basic syllables (as per the image).
  • Katakana consists of English-originating words that have become part of Japanese, such as intaanetto (internet), baorin (violin) and are denoted with a different script for the same syllables as hiragana.
  • Kanji consists of Chinese characters, although the meanings are the same across Japan, China and both Cantonese and Mandarin, the words to describe the characters differ across each language and dialect.
  • Context is important. Make sure you assess where a message will be displayed as well as the tone, speed and voice.
  • Thai requires 35 – 50% more space than English so be mindful of this in translation. You may require a reword or a larger print advertising space.
  • Translate the concept, not necessarily the words.
  • TV advertising in Indonesia was banned until just 10 years ago.
  • Censorship remains important in many cuntries in relation to children.
  • XXXX is a big selling beer in the USA and wryly humorous as it is also the name of a condom brand.
  • Vietnam allows only 10% of newspaper space to advertising and only 5% for radio.
  • Japanese newspaper consist of 15 horizontal columns whereas American newspapers consist of 6 verticals.
  • Global media channels include CNN Satellite TV.
  • ABC via satellite covers much of the Pacific including Indonesia, eastern India, southern China and South East Asia.
  • Star TV in Hong Kong and China reaches 4.8 million households.
  • Do you have any more media facts to add?