Culture or Language?

Yesterday, I referred to a guest post on the Foreign Entrepreneur in China Blog.  Today, I want to comment on it again.

You can find it here, and I felt Vincent Yip’s comments at the end were the most insightful of the whole.

He mentions that you do better to learn Chinese culture than to learn Chinese language.  Well said.  I would further like to add that getting language translation is not what you need.  You actually need culture translation.   The translator you use is very important and should not be chosen for simple language ability. You need trust and understanding.  You need someone who can implement your vision through his/her words and help you know what was really said and not just the words.

Finally, I would be remiss if I do not say that a great leader will gain the trust of his/her direct reports.  They can be the leader’s cultural translators and teachers.

I have written on culture and language before  in other ways that you can find below

China – The Culture I

China – The Language Barrier

Other ideas?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Leadership

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