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Business in Asia - The Online Language

Business in Asia - The Online Language

Business of Language

In an era where modern society spends every waking hour staying connected to internet/ mobile, we humans do what we do best: Adapt. Getting our message across in the shortest time (least letters) possible saves time, and we all know time is money. Increasingly, we also see this online language translate to the business world; in our emails to bosses, text messages to clients and even advertisements to potential customers!

Online Learning

Like most languages, you subconsciously pick up this digital language as you communicate with your peers. The online language in Asia takes an interesting twist, as we see a mixture of languages, numerals and even phonics all coming together to speed up communication. Some examples below.

Thailand Online

Thais use "555" to represent "ha ha ha" as the number 5 is pronounced "ha", or somewhat close to that, where it makes a similar sound to laughing.

Japan Online

When you tell someone a joke, you may see him type "w w w", which means "lol" in English. "w" is from "warau" which means "lough".

Taiwan Online

881 in Mandarin is pronounced "ba ba yi", when said quickly, sounds just like "Bye Byee", and this is frequently used in informal communication in email or text messages.

Singapore Online

With a multi racial society that speaks predominantly mandarin or dialect, Singaporeans tend to have weaker diction and articulation compared to Western Counterparts. So it is not surprising if you see them end off an online conversation with "Good 9", meaning "Goodnight".

China Online

When someone in China is angry online, you may see him type "74"which reads "qi si" in Mandarin. This sound is use to represent the phrase "qu si", which means, "go and die".

Good for Business?

On one hand, online slang saves time. In many cases such as online advertising, getting "ur msg" across in the shortest words can save you money. From the marketing perspective, you can connect better with the online generation. China has banned the use of internet slang in mainstream media. "Our nation's language needs to develop, but it also needs to be regulated," said Xia Xiurang, the chair of the culture committee of the Shanghai People's Congress.

Good or bad? Let the online generation decide.

Business in Asia - The Online Language

By: Glenn Ho
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Business in Asia - The Online Language