Lost in Translation?

Just found a new blog on Corante that I really like, called “Idea Flow.” It was perfect because I was on my way to work today and thinking that I needed to find some blogs (or other published “intelligence”) about ideation techniques. I’m not exactly sure that Idea Flow is an “ideation” blog, but it’s a start.

The first post I read was a January 12 post called “An unlikely example of creativity at work.” where Renee Hopkins Callahan told a story involving getting a piercing for her daughter. At one of the tattoo/piercing parlors, she saw photographs of work completed on other customers, including Chinese characters – which lead to a subsequent thought about how people get tattoos they can’t read themselves.

Ultimately, Renee moves on to discuss a blog site called Hanzi Smatter, “a blog which tracks the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture.”

I thought, as someone responsible for developing content on the Web that is ultimately viewed by the Global audience, and in many cases in developing specific Global marketing strategies for my clients that are looking to get their messages into Asia – that it would be good to have some insights on just how silly “we Westerners” must look when we misuse and/or misinterpret other cultures and their languages.

All of these companies that are outsourcing to China and India need to be conscious of how easy it is to make a mistake when attempting to market yourself in different places.

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