The first 12 days of 2017 have already passed, and we hope that they have all passed smoothly for everyone! Yours truly has already seen many changes. Looking around our office, I can see that several new desks and seats have sprouted about the place, as we now welcome our new colleagues. This fills us all with excitement! We hope that this year will be a great one for the Lan-bridge family and our clients in the world of translation, interpretation and Chinese social media!
Part 1: This week’s moments
Below are some highlights from events our professional interpreters have worked at during this week.
1. The WRE Retail & E-Commerce CIO Summit 2017 (Shanghai, 9th -10th January, 2017)
2. Opening Ceremony of the Teacher Training Program for Enhancement of Skills and Training in Bangladesh (Guangzhou, 6th January, 2017)
Part 2: Life
January 9: WeChat officially releases its “Mini programs”.
WeChat’s Mini programmes are a type of app that don’t need to be downloaded or installed to be used.
At the moment, mini programmes are a brand new hot topic on WeChat, and this is also my first encounter with them. Articles analysing them are so abundant as to appear overwhelming. However, professional knowledge is not required to understand them, so today I will give my take. Below are a few points that highlight my first impressions of this exciting new technology.
① Clean: Mini programs aren’t littered with ads; once you open one, it retains its original function. Yours Truly found that there is a clean interface for all listings of food, movies, entertainment, etc. Compared to normal apps, there are less recommended posts and advertising. Mini programmes also feature a ‘find friends’ function. I find the user experience comfortable and feel that any features that are currently lacking won’t necessarily still be so in a couple of weeks’ time.
② Fast: Downloading mini programmes is quick and effective – even when using 4G, I only had to wait for about a second before I could see a complete functional interface.
③ Space-saving: No mini programmes need to be downloaded, and so the user does not need to account for mobile phone memory space. I believe this may be the most important plus point about mini programmes, as my own phone usually only has about 10G of spare memory available, meaning that usually I often have to spend time monitoring and trying to save phone space because of conventional apps.
Also, don’t forget that you need to enter the full name of the mini programme you would like to find, such as “Mobike cycle sharing” rather than just “Mobike”. This aspect of searching will hopefully improve with time.
Part 3: Knowledge
Many countries regard New Year’s Day as the first day of the New Year. However, other countries regard the 25th of December as the starting point of the New Year. Today I will look at differences between the New Year date around the world.
In 46 BC, the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar declared January 1st the beginning of the Western New Year in order to bless Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings, time, gates and doors. Janus later evolved into the English January. It was originally thought the Pope chose this date for the New Year because he thought it was Jesus’ birth date. However, we now know this view to be wrong.
The origin of Egyptian New Year’s Day
About 5,000 years BC, the ancient Egyptians had changed from being nomadic hunters to farmers. Because they were settled on both sides of the Nile, their agricultural harvest and this famous rivers’ floods had a great influence on them. Using long-term observation, the ancient Egyptians discovered that the Nile’s floods were regular. They recorded the times of floods by putting a marker on bamboo poles. They saw that floods often took place about 365 days apart and that each time the first wave reached what is now modern-day Cairo the sun was at the same point in the sky. Thus, the ancient Egyptians took this day as the beginning of the year. This is the earliest known origin of the New Year.
Celebrating New Year’s day comes with different customs in different countries.
For the majority of countries January 1st is New Year’s Day. However, because of the different longitudes, countries have different times, so their New Year’s dates are different. The island of Tonga, for example, is located on the western most part of Oceania, so it is the world’s first place to start a new day and also the first to celebrate New Year’s Day. And west Samoa, located on the eastern side of the dateline, is the latest location in the world to start a new day and year.
In Afghanistan, the spring equinox as regarded as New Year’s Day; to the Jews, the autumnal equinox as New Year’s Day; and for the Inuit, New Year’s Day is not fixed – they consider the first rain as the New Year’s Day. In 46 BC, when Caesar established the Julian calendar, the beginning of the winter solstice was used to mark New Year’s Day. However, people insisted on taking the New Moon as the New Year’s Day, so New Year’s Day was pushed back to 10 days after the winter solstice.
By the Gregorian calendar, China is the world’s 12th country to start the New Year. However, we also have our own Chinese New Year, which takes place at the turn of the traditional lunisolar calendar. And just as we in China have our own New Year traditions, so do countless other cultures across the world, and the more we learn about them, the more we are reminded that variety brings beauty!
Follow us on WeChat:
Translated by Kain Jagger