This small island covered in enchanting scenery, which has earned the name “Ilha Formosa” (the beautiful island), has about 23.1 million inhabitants. Two-thirds of the surface area is mountainous – the largely urban population is spread out over the habitable surface area, thus making it one of the world most densely populated countries. Mandarin is the official language, but unlike mainland China, it is still the traditional writing system that prevails. Well educated, Taiwanese people have a predilection for engineering. Incidentally, the Republic of China is one of the top five countries producing PhD’s engineers (Engineering Trends). Taiwanese people are very fond of high-technology: the capital Taipei has been well-known to possess the largest Wi-Fi network in the world (Taipei Times), and their prime minister is working hard so that the entire island will be recognized for it in the near future.
“Taipei 101″, was the tallest building in the world until it was surpassed in height by the Burj Khalifa in 2007.
Composed of more than 54 official ethnic groups, the country takes its name from the majority group, the Viet. The official language, Vietnamese, is their mother tongue. Until the 18th Century, the writing system used Chinese characters. The system was romanised following the arrival of Western missionaries and is still used today. Although Vietnam is part of the French-speaking world, French is only spoken as a second language by about 100,000 people and one very small French community. English dominates over French in terms of languages learnt.Read More
The world’s largest democracy
With its 1.15 billion inhabitants, the Republic of India is the second most populated country in the world after China. Hindi, the official language, is spoken by approximately 40% of the population*. In addition, the Constitution officially recognises 22 other languages, and it has been estimated that 844 dialects are used all over the country. English is the business language and is used in varying degrees by 40% of the population, which is composed of around 2,000 different ethnic groups. India established a democratic system of government following its declaration of independence in 1947, which survives paradoxically with the economic and social disparities. The federalist system consolidates this cultural plurality and makes India “unified in its diversity”.
* The various dialects are included.Read More
No matter which one you chose, you guessed well!!! In fact, both words mean “medicine”. The one on the left is simplified Chinese whereas the one on the right is traditional Chinese. The simplified script is used by Chinese from mainland China, whereas the traditional style is used by people from Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the first Chinese immigrants. Today, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and other dialects) is the third most spoken mother tongue in Canada, after the two official languages.
There is a larger linguistic diversity among South-Asians. In the last census, over 75 maternal languages were counted. Nevertheless, among the people who only have one mother tongue, the languages most currently used are Punjabi (29% of the community), English (27%), Tamil (10%), Urdu (8%), Gujarati (6%) and Hindi.Read More
A country to discover…
Considered to be one of the poorest countries 50 years ago, this “dragon” has hauled itself up in record time to become the world’s 13th largest economy (2007). South Korea is indeed considered as a leader in many sectors such as automobiles, electronics, ICT and biotechnology. Yet, this relatively small country remains fairly unknown compared to its neighbours, but could be an interesting foot-in for companies wishing to penetrate Asia. In fact, it is very open to foreigners: per capita, the value of Korea’s is 30% higher than Japan and 11 times more than China. In addition, it offers an advantageous legal and fiscal framework for foreign companies wishing to set up shop there.
*The four newly industrialised countries that have experienced strong industrial growth in the second half of the 20th century, namely South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, are dubbed “Asian dragons”.Read More
One country, 56 ethnic groups, 73 languages spoken
China is a multiethnic state. Han Chinese, the predominant ethnicity, has a population of more than a billion people (more than 90% of the total population). Yet, there are considerable cultural differences within this group, which can be divided into different “mingsi” communities. Spoken languages also differ within this majority: seven dialects can be distinguished, including Mandarin the official language of China and Taiwan, and Cantonese, which is mostly spoken in Hong Kong. In 1956, the Chinese authorities simplified the writing system, thus ending the unique writing system which had prevailed until then. The traditional method however, is still used outside mainland China. The different ethnic groups do not only differ through their cultural and linguistic characteristics but also by huge social and economic discrepancies in terms of location and generations. The Chinese population is thus multifaceted and it would be a mistake to look at it as one homogenous block when deciding to penetrate the market.Read More