Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ubiquitous Watch plus Fun With Statistics

"We are also discussing how to translate the widely-used English tech-terms into Korean, such as `ubiquitous’ and `e-mail,’’’ said Kwon Chan, the [Microsoft Korea's] executive of public relations.

Since when was "ubiquitous" a "widely-used English tech-term"?

Consider the following, according to Wikipedia there are a total of 1,380-530 million English speakers of various quality around the world (I will average those two numbers, 955 million, for future calculations) . According to the same source there are 71 million Korean speakers of various quality.

If you do a search for "Ubiquitous" and either "computer" or "internet" in Google you get 32.3 million pages. If you do the same in Korea for "유비쿼터스"  with either "컴퓨터" or " 인터넷" you get 1.53 million pages.

Now if you put those figures together, there are .034 uses of ubiquitous in a technology setting by English speakers world wide, meanwhile there are .022 uses of the word in a technology setting by Korean speaker. In other words, English speakers use it 35% more than Korean speakers, yet there are 93% more English speakers than Korean speakers. This tends to support that the word is more by Koreans in such terms than English speakers.

Add to this is the simple fact that 23 million of those 71 million are in North Korea where not only is technology strictly regulated but also the use of english terms like "유비쿼터스" AND the fact that this page survey does not count English usage of the word on Korean sites (I doubt there are many English produced sites using "유비쿼터스"). This could possibly mean that Korean usage on a per person basis could actually EXCEED english use of the word in a technology setting (indeed, after lopping off the North, usage raises to .032 per speaker almost a tie).

Perhaps Microsoft Korea needs to hire a new PR consultants rather than translators.


Post a Comment

<< Home