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Re: Two different sets of experiences about non-English identifiers
- From: Joel Rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Don Park <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 18:38:04 +0900
Thanks for your responses. It helps me understand your context. I have a few
quick responses of my own, buried in your text, below.
Don Park responded:
> > You talk about the human factors. It seems to me that you are suggesting
> > that the solution is to proselytize American standards all over the
> > I am an American. I look around me at (for example) the Japanese trying
> > run a stable government under a rough transliteration of a mid-twentieth
> > century idealistic interpretation of the US constitution and I am
> > amazed at
> > their resourcefulness. There is a lot of stuff in that constitution that
> > simply works backwards, due to things we quite casually blanket over
> > the short phrase "cultural issues", wave our hands at, and try to
> > forget. It
> > was probably the best that could have been done, but it still creates
> > problems.
> I am Korean American. When I see Asian markets for technological goods,
> software in particular, I see markets too small or too unbalanced to
> growth for native software market.
Even Microsoft has to create the markets they sell into. Their advertising
tries to gloss over this fact, but software has never been an easy sell.
Of course, saying this here does not help with selling sofware in Korea.
> So foreign market is crutial to their
> long term growth strategy, but most Asian countries do not have large
> internal markets like Japan's electronic gadget market that can sustain a
> small software startup while it gains the means to reach over into oversea
> market. Yes, there are OEM level software technologies from Asian
> being sold/licensed in US and Europe, but amounts involved are too little
> fuel meteoric rise to higher lifeform.
This meteoric rise is a dangerous thing to pursue. I can mention the current
problems in the USA, as well as the Japanese bubble economy that fell apart
around 1991. Japan still hasn't recovered. My home town Odessa, Texas, has
had a history of repeatedly going through the "boom-bust" cycle, tracking
the petroleum industry. It became briefly famous in 1980 as the murder
capital of the world, at the height the last big boom.
Big is not necessarily good.
> However, there is too wide a cultural gap and language gap for most of
> to reach foreign markets. If you go to a large bookstore in Korea, you
> see mountains of books on latest fad technologies such as Flash. Just
> couple of weeks ago, I saw about 20 different books on Flash, some Korean
> translation of American books, but most were Korean original versions.
> Anyone who educated themselves on those books will definitely have
> communicating with American Flash developers even if they are fluent in
I've experienced this. I have tried to help move new technology in at my
previous companies, but they tended not to understand the new stuff because
it hasn't been translated yet. So when I try to help them solve problems,
they tend to think I'm pushing in the wrong direction, or that I just plain
don't know what I'm talking about.
They may be right about my pushing in a wrong direction, at least for their
current needs. We can't all be working at the bleeding edge at the same
> Each Asian countries, practiced your 'locality of control' with vengence
> without realizing that each word translated semantically or verbally
> to another brick on the wall that protects key foreign markets. Your joke
> about me being an imperialist pig is pretty ironic because I see 'locality
> of control' helping to keep third countries away from US and European
Thanks for forgiving me the joke.
> Sure, Japanese market is big enough to afford the side-effects of
> 'locality of control'.
When Japanese companiese practice locality of control, I'm not sure they
> Heck, its big enough to hire Gaijin engineers and
> marketeers who can help Japanese software companies to effectively
> the language and culture barriers. I don't think other countries have it
I, personally, am not making very much money. (I have other motivations for
being here.) But being in smaller companies has given me a perspective that
I think I would not have got in a cushy job.
This is a valid point about money, and it even relates to locality of
control. Large companies with deep pockets often spend a lot of money to use
software to centralize control and broaden the range of controls, ergo, to
defeat the locality of control. This does generate a lot of software
development, although the expected results are not always attained. ;-)
> BTW, your comments and replies have been very informative. Thanks.
> Don Park
Likewise, and keep up the good fight.