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The Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is a scale that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is distributed around the world. It shows that high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being: the nations that score well show that achieving long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.

The resulting global index of the 143 nations for which new, improved data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go. Some countries are more efficient than others, but every country has its problems and no country performs as well as it could.

Nine of the top ten nations in the HPI are in Latin America. The index also shows that middle-income countries and South East Asian countries tend to be the closest to achieving a sustainable well-being. It is interesting to note that half of the ten small island nations are in the top 20 per cent of the HPI rankings: this suggests that a more immediate contact with physical limits can successfully encourage ecological efficiency.

The happy planet charter, launched alongside the latest HPI report in July 2009, provides some key goals to help the planet attain good lives that do not cost the earth. You can also calculate your own HPI score by taking the online survey to measure your life expectancy, life satisfaction and ecological footprint.

By | September 2nd, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Kimono


Kimono is a Japanese traditional outfit for ladies and it literally means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”). Japanese experts have to undertake training through 3 separate levels in order to qualify to be able to dress others in a Kimono. It takes around 20 minutes to don a normal kimono and 30-40 minutes for a more complicated one!

Kimonos are T-shaped, straight-lined gowns with a hem that falls to the ankle and collars that are attached with long, wide sleeves. They are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial), and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimonos are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toed socks (tabi).

These garments are a highly respectable outfit for Japanese females to wear and today they are most often worn on special occasions. The level of formality of a woman’s kimono is mostly determined by the pattern of the fabric and its color. Young female’s kimonos have longer sleeves to signify that they are not married and tend to be more elaborate than those worn by more mature women. The Japanese ladies can adjust the long sleeves when acquainted with a man, to illustrate their acceptance. The woman waves her sleeves back and forth when saying “yes”, but for “no” it is a left to right motion.

In the past, a kimono would often be entirely taken apart for washing and then re-sewn for wearing. This traditional washing method is called arai hari. Because the stitches must be taken out for washing, traditional kimonos need to be hand sewn.

Central to Japanese culture is a deep seeded respect for tradition, Japanese people believe that being respectable as an individual allows for the creation of a much better nation as a whole.

By | September 1st, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Chinese translation theory

Professor of translation at Hong Kong Baptist University, Tan Zaixi claims that "the Chinese tradition of translation is an ‘externally-oriented’ tradition, whereas in the West there is a more ‘internally-oriented’ one". Traditionally, Chinese translation theories were in fact for works from foreign languages to Chinese.

The Modern Standard Chinese word fanyi 翻譯 "translate; translation" compounds fan "turn over; cross over; translate" and yi "translate; interpret". The Chinese classics contain various words meaning "interpreter; translator", for example, sheren 舌人 (lit. "tongue person") .

Chinese translation theory was born out of contact with vassal states during the Zhou Dynasty and developed through translations of Buddhist scripture into Chinese. A Western Han work attributes a dialogue about translation to Confucius, who advises a ruler who wishes to learn foreign languages not to bother and focus on governance, letting the translators handle translation.

It is true that in this multicultural and increasingly globalised world, civilisational dialogues and cultural exchanges require many untiring, meticulous and out-of-the-limelight efforts of professional linguists who have to be highly specialised to guarantee top quality service. Chinese is SanTranslate‘s strong point, and we also provide translations for many other languages. To know more, visit our language pages.

By | August 26th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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