Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lack of Variety in Vocabulary as Lack of Language Proficiency

For those who know, I am a freelance translator who translates all sorts of different things in Japanese and Chinese into English.  However, I rarely translate in reverse, from English to the two Asian languages.  As someone educated almost entirely in English, I have much more confidence in writing in English than I am of Chinese or Japanese.  And in the past week, I again had to put that confidence up to the test, by first working on an assignment translating a research report in English into Chinese, followed by a school guide in Chinese into English.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Major Investments as a Company's Way of Ensuring Policy Stability

From his candidate days, Donald Trump promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US and save the Midwest Rust Belt.  For that Trump, the past few days finally brought a major victory that he can publicize.  Foxconn, the manufacturing contractor for Apple (and main other electronics brands) announced the biggest single investment by a foreign company ever in the US, launching a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin that will bring tens of thousands of jobs to the middle of that Rust Belt.  Major news outlets did not shy away from putting on their front pages pictures of smiling Trump next to Foxconn boss Terry Gou.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Does China's Latest Blocking of VPNs Spell Another Defeat for Internet Freedom?

For anyone who spends significant time in China, getting a working VPN is almost part of the common routine.  With the authorities blocking many foreign websites that foreigners love and have came to rely on, VPN is a necessity for many to go about their daily business on the Chinese Internet.  For these people, the recent news that Apple China has decided to pull all VPNs from its China App Store, no doubt due to government pressures, should be a sign of worry.  Making VPNs less accessible to the general public should foretell a further tightening of Internet censorship in a country that is already known for it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

If Language is Not an Obstacle to Universalizing a Song, Then What is?

In my nearly one month of travels across South America, there was one thing that was commonly done in every country and city that I set foot in.  That is, the bars and restaurants repeatedly played this summer's (or in South America, this winter's) smash hit, Despacito.  While the Spanish-language reggaeton dance number is just as popular in the US and many other countries around the world, in South America, the craze is at a whole new level, with the song played as part of the pop music hit list so frequently that it is impossible to not go anywhere that plays music without hearing it at least once (if not more).

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Risks and Possibilities of Rap Music Gaining More Recognition in Asia

In the past years, reality shows have become a staple of Chinese television.  In particular, owing to the popularity of karaoke and pop music, American Idol-style programs that seek to discover untapped musical talents in the general populace have become extremely popular and widespread.  Different TV stations and independent media websites have invested and competed to host the biggest, most professional, and most lavishly set "talent search," drawing some of the biggest popstars of Chinese musical industry today to help discover some of the best raw talent hidden in plain sight.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Need for More Accommodating American Policymaking in North Korean Nuclear Nonproliferation

Not a month goes by now without news about the latest progress in North Korean development of weaponry that can pose realistic threats on the US and other countries.  Whether it be missile testing, nuclear weapons testing, or a combination of both, Kim Jong-un has made sure that the world has not forgotten about him and his growing ability to strike the mortal American enemies with weapons of mass destruction.  All previous efforts to reverse the developments, whether they are economic sanctions or diplomatic talks, have largely come to nothing.