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Posted By P & L Blog



Global urban rail map


Internet World Stats has released new information on internet usage through the end of 2008.   The number of users in South America grew more than anywhere else, 65%, and has reached almost 129 million.   The number of Asians online increased by almost 140 million last year to 650+ million, but 83% of the population is still not online


The U.S. Census Bureau calculates the global population to be slightly above 6.7 billion, which means that 23.5% of the world's population is online.  Future growth will come from Asia,  South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Africa.  Will your website be ready?



More information is avalable at

Posted By P & L Blog

Bad translation


A article posted online yesterday about marketing to Hispanics is called "Como Se Dice 'Brand Loyalty'?".  Although the subject interested me, what really caught my eye were the two errors in the title. 


It should have read "¿Cómo se dice 'brand loyalty'?".


  • All questions in Spanish begin with an inverted question mark.
  • The first "o" in "como" needs to have an accent; omitting it changes the meaning of the word.


Why is this important?  Because mistakes like this communicate that you don't value your Latino customers enough to produce good work.  The translators pooh-poohed in the article would have caught the errors and corrected them before the article was posted. 


The authors explain that targeting the growing Hispanic market goes beyond simply translating your ads.  True, understanding the cultural aspects that drive behavior is vital to developing an effective marketing strategy.  But what message are you sending to consumers when you ignore grammar and punctuation?  What will they think of your brand when what you write is wrong?


That you really don't care.


Posted By P & L Blog
Herbert Hoover


A few months ago we wrote about multilingual occupants of the White House.  In honor of Presidents' Day, we're updating that post with new information.  Do you know who was the first candidate to campaign in Spanish?  


  • Dutch-speaker Martin van Buren was the first president to be born as a U. S. citizen (all previous presidents had been born British citizens).  He is the only president to speak English as a second language, and he and his wife spoke Dutch at home.


  • FDR was the first president to give a radio address in a foreign language. In a broadcast in French, he appealed to the citizens of France to oppose the Nazi occupation.  He also spoke German and wrote letters to his mother in German when he was a boy.


  • First lady Elizabeth Monroe spoke only French at home.


  • James Garfield was not only multilingual, he was also ambidextrous.  He could write in Greek with one hand while writing in Latin with the other.  He was the first presidential candidate to campaign in Spanish.


  • Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou, spoke Mandarin in the White House when they didn't want their conversations to be overheard.


  • Jackie Kennedy gave campaign speeches in French, Italian, and Spanish during her husband's bid for re-election in 1958.  When he ran for president, she recorded a campaign spot in Spanish:

Posted By P & L Blog

 Cyber Tienda


A recent AOL/RoperASW study found that over half of Hispanics who aren't online say that there isn't enough content in Spanish, and another 49% notes the lack of sites that interest them.


Communispace, a research firm, offers suggestions on how marketers can create interesting content in Spanish to reach these consumers online.  They suggest creating an environment where people's opinions are valued and where they feel comfortable sharing information.  Communispace says that "relevance is insured because members are generating much of the content".


The entire article can be read here:




Image by Daquella Manera under Creative Commons license

Posted By P & L Blog

There are two forms of written Chinese: simplified and traditional.  Simplified is used in mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Nations.  Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong use traditional Chinese characters.   The differences between the two have nothing to do with how words are pronounced or what they mean, only the way they are written.


Simplified Chinese is easier to write because the characters require fewer strokes. It was developed in the 1950s as a way to promote literacy in the People's Republic of China, and the reform reduced the number of strokes needed to write a character by an average of one-half.  Traditional characters are more complicated and take longer to write; some characters require as many as thirty-three different strokes.  To give you an idea of the difference between the two, below are the simplified and traditional characters for "Hua" (China).



So, which form do you need? Whenever you begin a translations project, make sure you specify where the translation will be used.  If you are launching in China and Hong Kong, you will need two versions:


  • Mainland China: simplified Chinese text
  • Hong Kong: traditional Chinese text



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