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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Japanese 日本語

Here in Taiwan, if you want to make your product or service look more attractive, you might try using Japanese in your advertising. For many Taiwanese, Japan is the standard by which things are measured, and the source of all that is cool. I'll be keeping my eyes open to record examples of just what I mean. 

Like this billboard for Seiko watches in downtown Fengyuan

In the upper left is written "誘う ダイヤモンド", "Sasou" 誘う meaning "to tempt, lure, entice or invite", while "Daiyamondo" ダイヤモンド is the Japanese word for "diamond". At the bottom it says (in roman letters) "Kirameki", which means "a glitter, a sparkle, a flash or twinkling". Which all makes sense when selling a Lukia watch. It also makes sense if you can read and understand Japanese. But the only thing in Chinese on the sign is in the upper center: "Paotao Chungpiao (Baodao Jhongbiao)" or "Paotao Clocks and Watches", the name of the shop.

I didn't notice until after posting this picture that directly below the billboard is an advertisement for a pachinko parlor, with the Japanese word パチンコ partially visible. So much for keeping my eyes open. There's a good reason why I never joined the police force.

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