13 Jun Interesting Facts about International Media Posted at 08:54h in International Marketing by Danielle Spinks-Earl Share 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. In Asia, the text is written from the top to the bottom. The reason is that the earliest form of paper was made from bamboo. Bamboo is a long tall plant that grows fast and prolifically, The strips of bamboo that were dried were long and narrow, therefore it was impractical to write any other way other than lengthwise. The Chinese language consists of ideographs or pictures. Often the symbol represents the word itself. If you look closely, you might see the hidden image. It is perhaps due to the ideographic written language that Chinese are purported to be better at understanding ‘the big picture’ than westerners. That means when you are communicating, sell the vision first, and the details later. The Japanese equivalent (the same Chinese 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 above). 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 to 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 countries 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 newspapers consist of 15 horizontal columns whereas American newspapers consist of 6 verticals. Global media channels include CNN Satellite TV. China currently has about 62 channels available to watch on televisions. Much of the content includes international news networks and business news, sports news and dramas. There are many popular turn-of-the-century era period dramas. 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? Danielle Spinks-Earl BA Comm. M Mktg. Freelance writer, designer, marketing communications manager.