New Canadian Media

British Columbia posted a 5.3% increase in international overnight visitors for 2014, surpassing the 3.2% increase in arrivals to Canada as a whole. This was the third straight year of increased visitation to B.C.

Figures released by Statistics Canada show an increase in international overnight visitors across all key markets, including those identified by Destination British Columbia as potential growth markets in its new three-year strategy.

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Economy
Friday, 13 February 2015 09:16

NCM NewsFeed: Weekly Newsletter Feb. 13

Our headlines: Introducing ‘colourism’ + MP Mourani on Quebec’s diversity + having a Chinese name in politics + immigrants heading hinterland + open letter to Merkel on Ukraine


 

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Here and Now

Canada’s diversity is at play in the range of articles we headlined this week. From ‘colourism’, to how an MPP convinced his colleagues to desegregate Ontario’s schools, to an open letter on the Ukraine crisis, to politicians getting Chinese names to better their chances at the polls, we got in many shades of news and views.

Tana Turner, an equity, diversity and inclusion expert, got the ball rolling by analysing how skin colour matters in news and entertainment. She pointed out telling examples of ‘colourism’, where “human beings are treated differently based on social meanings attached to skin colour.” The result of colourism, Turner says, is that those with lighter skin tones are seen more positively and treated more favourably than those who are darker.

While racism may be more nuanced today, it wasn’t so five decades ago in Canada. As Yamina Tsalamlal of iPolitics.ca writes, one member of Ontario’s provincial parliament had to convince his colleagues that black and white students could learn in the same classroom. The Common Schools Act of 1850 segregated Ontario’s schools; the black school system was underfunded and understaffed. Tsalamlal tells us that on February 4, 1964, Canada’s first black MPP, Leonard Braithwaite, used his first speech in the Ontario legislature to criticize the law that allowed for segregated schools. One month later the education minister introduced a bill that repealed this provision.

Cut to the present. Another parliamentarian using her position to highlight issues of equality and social justice is Maria Mourani. Monika Spolia, a Montreal-based journalist, sat down for an interview with her and found that the MP, born in Ivory Coast, has plenty to say about diversity in Canadian politics. Mourani made national headlines in 2013 when her outspoken criticism of Quebec’s proposed Charter of Values led her to quit the Bloc Quebecois. Recently, she announced she would run in this year’s federal election for the NDP in Quebec’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding.

Speaking of the federal election, Tung Chan has expert advice for politicians keen on courting voters of Chinese heritage: get a Chinese name. Chan explains in detail why this is necessary —  particularly in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Canada’s influential Chinese-language media, for the benefit of their consumers, translate English proper names into Chinese. If a Chinese name is not provided, each news outlet will invent a phonetically translated name. Can you imagine the nightmare this can create for politicians trying to promote themselves to Chinese-Canadian voters? But help is at hand, as Chan explains four ways you can generate a Chinese name from English. This article is a must-read not only for politicians, but also for businesses trying to reach multicultural markets.

Speaking of multicultural markets, Don Curry of North Bay reports that for more and more immigrants to Ontario, Toronto and Ottawa are no longer the preferred destinations. Newcomers seem to be moving further north. As such, an innovative project is underway to assist them in the settlement process and create welcoming communities. Curry says that in North Bay, three hours north of Toronto and four hours northwest of Ottawa, staff at the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre counted 66 businesses owned by newcomers, and reported enough immigrant cricket enthusiasts for two teams to compete with

Published in Top Stories

by Tung Chan (@28WPender) in Vancouver

The federal election season is fast approaching. The BC civic election was a mere three months ago. Every aspiring federal politician will try to vie for the attention of every eligible voter. With so many residents speaking Chinese in the lower mainland and Greater Toronto, getting their attention in their own language seems to be a good thing for politicians to do.

The Chinese language media is a force of its own. If you have attended any political media conferences lately, you will notice the number of reporters representing Chinese language media organizations out-number the English language media outlets. They are diligent and report news almost verbatim from what was said and what was in the press kit.

A case in point is how NPA’s Vancouver mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe’s name appeared in various Chinese newspapers when he first announced his candidacy. You don't need to know how to read Chinese to see that they all look different.


They will, for the benefit of their consumers, translate the English proper names into Chinese. If a Chinese name was not provided, each news outlet will make up a phonetically translated name base on the mother tongue of the translator.

A case in point is how NPA’s Vancouver mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe’s name appeared in various Chinese newspapers when he first announced his candidacy. You don't need to know how to read Chinese to see that they all look different: Ming Pao Daily (明報): “拉波特", Sing Tao Daily (星島日報): “拉波因特”, World Journal (世界日報): “拉龐特”, Dawa Business Press (大華商報): “凱克.拉波特". Together, these four dailies have a daily circulation in the low six figures and reach about one in five Chinese-Canadians in the lower mainland.

Can you imagine what kind of a nightmare it would be if you try to promote yourself as a politician to the Chinese-Canadian readers of these four newspapers? LaPointe’s team soon caught on and issued an official Chinese name for him: 賴普德. 

Creating a Chinese Name

There are generally four ways to generate a Chinese name from English. They are i) literal translation, ii) pure phonetic translation, iii) beautified phonetic translation and iv) trans-creation.

The first method, literal translation, is the most simple. This method of name creation is more applicable for organizations where their name has a meaning and less useful for individuals whose names usually carry no meaning. This method is particularly appropriate when the name has a positive connotation in Chinese. For example, the Royal Bank’s name in Chinese is 皇家銀行, which literally means Royal Bank. This method may not be as appropriate if the translated name is not so positive in the target market. For example, Volkswagen could be translated into 大眾汽車. The name was not used because “common people’s automobile” may not be the image it wants to project to the Hong Kong Chinese consumers. So it calls itself in Hong Kong 福士, a name translated using the pure phonetic translation method that means “good fortune person”. (Volkswagen uses 大眾汽車 in Mainland China, as the name is more acceptable in that market.)

The second method, pure phonetic translation, is a standard translation method used by official news outlets in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The aforementioned Chinese names for LaPointe used by the four local Chinese language outlets are generated based on this method. However, because the same Chinese character is pronounced differently in Cantonese (used mainly in Hong Kong) and Mandarin (used in China and Taiwan), the same English name is assigned different Chinese characters depending on the language spoken by the translator. To understand how this works, imagine how the numeric symbols 1, 2, 3, etc. are pronounced differently by English, French and German speakers even though the symbols are the same.

Our mind is set up to learn by association. It is difficult for Chinese speakers to associate a pure phonetically translated name to something in their memory bank.


I still remember when I was a youngster living in Hong Kong, I was confused when reading news about the US. I was confused because U.S. President Kennedy was known as 甘迺迪 in the Hong Kong based newspapers and 肯尼迪 in the Mainland China based newspapers. For a while, I mistakenly thought the U.S. had two presidents.

This method of translation is not very helpful if your aim is to create a memorable name in the minds of Chinese speaking consumers. Our mind is set up to learn by association. It is difficult for Chinese speakers to associate a pure phonetically translated name to something in their memory bank. To understand this point, see if you can register the name “Tung Yun Tong” in your mind. The name is just three meaningless sounds that you would have a hard time to visualize. However, to most Canadians who speak Chinese, 同仁堂 is a well-known, respected and established traditional Chinese herbal store. It is with this understanding in mind that the Bank of Nova Scotia stopped some years ago from using 士高沙 (a pure phonetic translation of the word Scotia) as their official Chinese name.

The third method, beautified phonetic translation, is the most commonly used method. This is a modified approach of the pure phonetic translation method. The starting point of this method is the phonetic pronunciation of the name followed by choosing culturally meaningful homonyms. The official Chinese name for the aforementioned LaPointe, 賴普德, was arrived at by such a method. The three Chinese characters are pronounced in Cantonese as Lai Po Dug and approximate LaPointe.  

The word 賴 is a common Chinese surname; 普 means general, universal or popular, while 德 means virtue or moral. Thus, 賴普德 is far better than the pure phonetic name 拉波特 used by one of the local Chinese language newspapers. Another such example is the Chinese name for the Toronto Dominion Bank. It dropped the pure phonetic name of 道美寅 in favour of the beautified phonetic name of 道明. Both of the Chinese names were based on the word “dominion”. 道美寅 has no consequential meaning while 道明 means a “bright pathway”.  

The Chinese name for Coca-Cola, 可口可樂, is another wonderful example. The four Chinese characters are pronounced in Mandarin as Kē Kou Kē Lè and can roughly be translated as, “pleases your mouth, makes you happy.” 

The fourth method, trans-creation, is by far the most powerful, but less used one. This method is used almost exclusively for commercial entities and rarely used by individuals. The starting point of this method of name generation is to crystallize the essence of the resulting image one wants to project onto the consumer. The second step is to pick a name that best reflects that essence, but doesn’t necessarily bear any relationship to the actual English name. Thus the HK and Shanghai Bank becomes 匯豐銀行 (plentiful remittance bank), the Bank of Nova Scotia becomes 豐業銀行 (plentiful business bank) and Manulife Financial becomes 宏利財務 (grand profit financial). The Chinese names of all three examples cited above resonate with people who understand Chinese and is by far the most effective way to brand a product unless you are working with a pan cultural name like “Apple” 萍果.

Good luck in picking a powerful Chinese name this election.

This article first appeared here on Choice Communications' blog. 


Tung Chan is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy. Tung is also a member of the Board of the Vancouver Foundation, the Rick Hansen Institute and the Canadian Foundation Of Economic Education. From 2006 to 2010, Tung was the CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a social service agency in British Columbia. He is among this year's recipients of the Order of British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Commentary

 When terrorists attacked the Paris satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people earlier this month, it played out on the world’s stage. The extremists claimed their murders were to protest irreverent cartoons about the prophet Muhammad.  Like mainstream media, local Chinese news outlets took the opportunity to engage their audiences with editorials to…

The Source

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Published in Top Stories
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 08:03

Defending Ethnic Enclaves

by Victoria Chan in Toronto

Would Chinatown still be Chinatown if there were no Chinese people? Today, only one-fourth of Toronto’s Chinese community resides in downtown Chinatown. The majority has migrated into the suburbs and beyond. While Toronto is known for housing historical ethnic neighbourhoods (Little Italy, Chinatown and Little Portugal to name a few), suburban enclaves have become the primary hosts to large concentrations of ethnic groups.

With the suburbs becoming the new place for ethnic communities to thrive, what becomes of the urban ethnic enclave? There are concerns that what is left are mere remnants of the past displayed for the purpose of tourism. Some say that through gentrification, these neighbourhoods are becoming more and more culturally obsolete each time a young hipster or yuppie couple takes residence. I say that Chinatown is an even better Chinatown than it was before and here is why:

Lewis Mumford, an American urban planner and historian, compared a city to a theater, designed to facilitate the performance of its actors to the greatest degree. If cities are designed to serve human function, then urban experience is the “integral component in the development of human culture and human personality.” The modern urban enclave promotes the multiculturalism our city prides itself in.

Multiculturalism is gained in the urban ethnic enclave, but not lost in the suburban ethnic enclave.

Toronto’s urban ethnic enclaves are increasingly de-concentrated of a predominant ethnic group, allowing smaller ethnic groups to become more visible. A 2011 Census by the City of Toronto shows that 1.8 to 2 per cent of Vietnamese, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking residents have formed visible pockets in the downtown Chinatown neighbourhood. While these numbers may seem small, their significance is rooted in the broader processes of social and cultural integration.

Among immigrants and native-born citizens, these small, unexpected combinations of cultures provide a locus for mutual identification in an urban landscape. In no other place in the city can bright Portuguese-inspired storefronts, bickering old Chinese ladies and jerk chicken fit so seamlessly together. And perhaps that is the charm of the modern urban enclave – it resembles the dynamic and diverse city we live in.

While becoming increasingly diversified, urban ethnic enclaves are a significant way of making culture visible and accessible to the passing tourist, and also the every day Torontonian. They are no longer the hot spot for ethnic immigrants looking to settle, but they are a streetcar ride away from those who want immediate access to cultures that have moved away from the city.

Perhaps living up to our multicultural reputation is not about compartmentalizing ethnic groups, but rather, about embracing the dynamic process of cultural pluralism.

As immigrants flock to the suburbs where neighbourhoods, housing and services are more culturally suitable, is segregation of suburban ethnic enclaves a big concern? Not necessarily. According to professors Mohammad Qadeer (from Queen’s University) and Sandeep Kumar (from Ryerson University), the “activity system of a typical urbanite brings her/him in contact with persons of diverse backgrounds in areas far and away.”

A 2006 study conducted by Qadeer and Kumar shows that Toronto’s suburban ethnic enclaves are themselves internally diverse. While Chinese, Italians or Indians may be the largest single group in an enclave, findings show that 51 to 75 per cent of each enclave’s inhabitants belong to a different ethnic group.

Qadeer and Kumar also argue that equal economic opportunities for immigrants and native-born Canadians alike help foster social cohesion. We should consider the economic impacts of diversity in these suburban areas, which have spawned a “wide range of ethnic commercial and service establishments.” These may take the form of Markham’s Pacific Mall, the largest Chinese shopping mall in Canada, or the array of South Asian strip plazas in Brampton and Mississauga.

Multiculturalism is gained in the urban ethnic enclave, but not lost in the suburban ethnic enclave. Perhaps living up to our multicultural reputation is not about compartmentalizing ethnic groups, but rather, about embracing the dynamic process of cultural pluralism.


Victoria is a graduate student at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Sociology and Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She has lived in Hong Kong, Toronto and Vancouver. 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary
Monday, 22 December 2014 09:41

Miss Chinese Vancouver Pageant 2014

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Miss Chinese Vancouver Pageant 2014, organized by Fairchild TV, concluded on December 10 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

Asian Pacific Post

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Published in Arts & Culture

 


Just a few days after Chinese officials issued a letter seeking to end an agreement with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to establish a...

Epoch Times

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Published in Education
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 01:01

Chinese judges learn Canadian laws

 Université de Montréal’s is training Chinese judges for an introduction to the main principles of Canadian law

Asian Pacific Post

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Published in National

  A new poll says that from stereotyping to slurs to outright violence, a shocking number of ethnic British Columbians say they have faced discrimination.
The Insights West poll suggests four out of [...]

The Link

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Published in National
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 01:01

Canada tops preferred new home for Chinese

Nearly half of China's super-wealthy individuals are considering leaving the country, a new survey said with most looking to Canada citing better overseas educational and employment opportunities for their children.

The global survey of 2,000 high net worth individuals by Barclays Wealth found that 47 percent of the wealthy Chinese who were questioned plan to move overseas within the next five years.

Asian Pacific Post

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Published in Economy

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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