Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts

May 6, 2009

Chinese Actuary - Computer - Crisis

One of the interesting aspects of the Chinese language is that words are like little pictures, pictograms or logographs, the so called 'characters'. Moreover, some words are a combination, or (better) a superposition, of several of those characters.

So the meaning of a Chinese word can be deducted by interpretation of the pictograms and relating them. And, as the saying is "A picture is worth a thousand words", you don't need to be an actuary to calculate the enormous expression-power of the Chinese language. Every word is like a book of words and expresses not only the rational meaning but also the embodied feeling (mood) that goes along with the the formal meaning.

The power of the Chinese language can be illustrated by three simple examples, the Chinese words for Actuary, Computer and Crisis:

1. Actuary
The Chinese word for Actuary is :精算师

Pronunciation: jing suan shyr

The Chinese word Actuary consists of three characters:
  1. Jing, 精, means Skilled or Elite
  2. Suàn, 算, means 'to calculate' or 'to count'
  3. Shyr, 师, a suffix meaning 'a profession of' or a skilled or 'qualified practitioner of certain professions'

So, as a consequence, a stripped and therefore 'shortcoming' translation of the Chinese word for actuary would be: 'a skilled and qualified calculator'

Sources: Masteringmandarin, Translation, Wei Liu Dictionary,
Actuary Translated: A statistician who computes insurance risks and premiums.

2. Computer
The pictogram on the right means "computer" in Chinese. Actually, it consists of two characters that literally mean "Electric Brain", which the Chinese read as "computer".

However, as you may notice, the two main characters each exist of several sub-characters that also contribute and add meaning to the word 'Computer'.

Source, and more info at: Ebrain

3. Crisis
With the current credit crisis ( 信贷危机 xìndài wēijī) in mind, let's look at the Chinese word for 'crisis'. It consists of two characters

So in Chinese crisis means something like

Crisis = Danger + Opportunity

Let's apply this to daily business life.

No matter how great the danger in a crisis is, it also means a change of circumstances that creates space for new opportunities. It's an art to spot those opportunities when you're in the middle of a crisis.

But what if you're caught in a storm crisis:

Golden Rules Crisis Risk Management
In terms of risk management: If you're caught in the storm (trouble) and can't get out, don't try to. Try to get to the eye of the storm, where it's calm.

So when you're in the middle of a (credit) crisis :
  • Don't run
  • Set time still (Let time do the work)
  • Keep your head together
  • Wait for the opportunity, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes

Some more tips on how to behave in crisis situations you'll find on