June 11th, 2009 by China Business Success Stories
By Terri Morgan
A majority of western business people who have business in China or with Chinese companies have worked with an interpreter. Most often, the interpreter will be a native of China. This can be helpful or problematic depending on how you handle your communications. There are a few things you can do to avoid problems and help your interpreter.
Choose a Local Person Whenever Possible
Regional usage, grammar, and pronunciation vary widely. A group of Chinese students I taught some years ago used English as their common language because they were from different regions of the country and had great trouble understanding each other’s spoken Chinese.
Regional difference in American English exist, but we can usually understand each other. The variations between British and American English are another matter entirely. Read the rest of “Tips for Working with a Chinese Interpreter” or post a comment
May 28th, 2009 by China Business Success Stories
Problems that may result from cultural differences in business are compounded by the fact that even though a native speaker of one language has learned the other person’s language, he or she may not have been sufficiently exposed to actual usage of the target language. Mistakes in usage can occur even when grammar and pronunciation are correct.
Until recently, few Americans had been directly…
Read the rest of “Language and Communication in China” or post a comment >>
May 12th, 2009 by China Business Success Stories
- Exhibitor analysis
Based on market research, you may already be able to get a list of remarkable Chinese suppliers. Then you cross-reference with the exhibitor list to see which remarkable Chinese suppliers will attend the show in China and which will not. It is likely that there will be some exhibitors which are not covered in your market research. You need to do some web research on…
Read the rest of “Achieve Good Results From Sourcing Exhibitions in China – Part 4” or post a comment >>
May 7th, 2009 by China Business Success Stories
By Greg Bissky
Has China changed? Companies bet millions on the answer, but it’s the wrong question. You should ask if Chinese have changed. China has changed; the Chinese haven’t.
Amazing changes! New politico/economic system. New laws, social structures, buildings and consumption patterns, different clothes. Sound familiar? It should—it’s happened twice in 100 years! (Three times actually.)
Go back 50 years. China’s 1959 changes (described above) were as amazing as changes today. But Mao and communism didn’t change the Chinese, and it’s naive to think MacDonald’s and capitalism will. China changes but the Chinese don’t.
Or don’t change in areas important for business. China’s changes are outside-in, important for what types of business can be done but not for actually doing business. That requires inside-out change, a harder thing. Read the rest of “China Has Changed; The Chinese Haven’t” or post a comment
April 29th, 2009 by China Business Success Stories
By Greg Bissky
The meeting was over. Mr. Smith walked away happy, thinking they had decided to do X. Mr. Chen walked away happy, thinking they had decided not to do X. Both remained happy, or did until Smith phoned Chen asking why he wasn’t doing what they decided upon. Hearing this, Chen asked Smith, “What do you mean?
I am doing what we decided upon!” Happiness (on both sides) was now replaced by an uglier feeling: mistrust. Not a good foundation to build a business relationship upon.
It happens far too often: both sides, Western and Chinese, listen to the same words but hear different meanings. Why? Culture, or, more precise, the way each culture trains its people to use language to communicate.
No matter the culture, communication always has the same goal: to transmit messages from the sender (writer, speaker) to the audience (listener, reader). But just because goals are the same doesn’t mean each side must use the same method to achieve the goal. Think of two football teams. Read the rest of “Doing Business Deaf and Blind in China” or post a comment