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
The two largest visible minorities in Canada are Chinese and South-Asians*. In fact, the population of each group should rise to between 1.6 and 2.2 million by 2017. Immigrants compose the majority of these two groups: 68% are South-Asian Canadians and 72% are Chinese Canadians.
According to the latest Statistics Canada data available on the subject, almost 45% of Chinese immigrants came from the People’s Republic of China, 30% from Hong Kong and almost 10% from Taiwan.
The Canadian South-Asian population, for its part, is characterized by its diversity of ethnic origin and country of birth. Indians make up the highest proportion of South-Asian immigrants (47%), followed by Sri Lanka (13%) and Pakistan (12%).
Although these communities have a keen desire to integrate into Canadian culture and that the sense of belonging in Canada is strong, they attach great importance to maintaining their own traditions and customs as well as teaching their mother tongue to their children.
* Includes people of Bangladeshi, Bengalese, Indian, Goanese, Gujarati, Hindu, Ismaili, Kashmiri Nepalese, Pakistani, Punjabi, Sikh, Sinhalese, South-Asian, Sri-Lankan and Tamil descent.Read More
The transformation of the cultural mosaic
Nowadays, the Canadian population is comprised of more than 200 different ethnic groups. The proportion of visible minorities is getting bigger and bigger: between 2001 and 2006 it increased rapidly, its growth rate even reaching 27.2%, which is five times more than that of the whole population. This rise is explained by a high birth rate and above all by the growing proportion of new arrivals from visible minorities.Read More
Remarkably homogenous in terms of ethnicity and language, Koreans are becoming more and more diverse and are eager for new things. Collectivist values from the Confucian heritage coexist with traits of individualism. This is what professor Dae Ryun Chung describes as the “we/me” paradigm. These seemingly unsympathetic values are reflected in the market and mutually influence the purchase decisions of consumers, hence creating a particular dynamic. According to Chung, certain decisions like choosing a specific house or car over another are often motivated by a desire to conform to a group. This is why, for example, the majority of luxury cars sold there are black and apartments tend to look fairly similar. Yet, the choice of beer, coffee or hair colour is dictated more by the desire to express one’s individuality. These particularities have strong implications on a product’s lifecycle, making it difficult to predict what brands and colours will be adopted by the group. It is important to take this paradigm into consideration when developing branding and marketing strategies targeted at this country.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
By Jean-François Ridel
We know Japan as being THE country at the cutting edge of technology, but the reality does not seem to be so eloquent to me. In fact, America, Europe and the rest of Asia all have technology that is comparable to what can be found in Japan. Japan is without contest a great creator of technology, but above all it is, according to me, the great master integrator of technology. Take the case of televisions. The concept is evidently Japanese, but the more complicated and crucial pieces are of American or European design and made in China before being assembled in Japan or in a Japanese factory in China. Now that China, India and even Turkey are capable of designing appliances that are just as sophisticated as Japan’s, with access to the same technology, what is left for Japan? I think it is the Japanese consumer market that is the distinguishing factor. The Japanese are very fond of products that typify novelties, fashion, quality, harmony and effectiveness. Image being crucial, a Japanese person would not get his cell phone out to read or write emails in the metro unless it were the most up-to-date model, which explains the infatuation with brand names. Thanks to this market that is not too big or too small but so demanding, Japanese companies are capable of manufacturing products that can meet very high expectations. This market also offers good opportunities for Quebec products and technology, assuming that they will be marketed by competent local partners.Read More