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#65276 - 20 Nov 07 10:07 JP/Don't Mess with Miss Communication
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
From http://indonesianow.blogspot.com/

DON'T MESS WITH MISS COMMUNICATION

Feeling like one grain of small green pea © 2007 Duncan Graham

Like most foreigners Iíve made some awful errors. No point in compiling a list Ė thereís insufficient space. Best to confine my revelations to the recall of one ghastly event.

I should have known better. Iíd been in the country long enough to sense the sensitivities. My motives were pure. But Iíd forgotten the old saw: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And my feet rapidly hit that road outside the Surabaya tourism department not so long ago.

It happened like this: As a happy resident grateful to a country thatís offered friendship and overlooked my foibles and mispronunciations, I thought I owed something in return.

Word addicts suffer side effects. Like a disgust for those who abuse language. Scold your spouse or scald the cat, but whatever you do donít violate the vulgate.

And thatís happening in spades, particularly in tourist brochures. The most ghastly gaffes are a hoot. Getting a mention in Lonely Planet, is a coup Ė though not when the backpackersí bible gives a full paragraph to quote a guidebook:

ĎBromo should be the choice, for only there, on the crater rim with the sea of sand stretching below as far as the eyes can see on oneís left and the ghostly grumble mixed with dense lumps of smoke crumple up from the inner pitfall on oneís right, and on the height of 2,383 meters above sea level would one see how lustrous the aurora of the sun in mixing colors of white, pale yellow, yellowish red turning red appears from behind the hills quite in front, to brighten the atmosphere to daylight, does one feel oneself to be like one grain of small green pea amidst a vessel of sand Ė youíll be aware of the greatness of men!í

Itís not just the government that gets it wrong big time. A favorite is a hotel in Batu, East Java that invites guests to Ďlay down at the poolside (and) enjoy the sunburn.í

OK, have a giggle, move on. Who cares? Well I care because I live here and hate to see this archipelago of astonishments sneered at by supercilious Singaporeans-la or the Truly Asian Malaysians who produce the most meticulous International English prose in their PR.

The Europeans may be forgiving, but our near neighbors arenít.

So duly authorized by a folder of fully franked letters of introduction, smart in pressed batik and shoes like mirrors I respectfully presented my humble self at the office of the Big Man.

An ingratiating preamble; surely Sirís department had a Westminster reputation with outstanding staff producing credit-worthy material?

This was bending the truth into a hoop; the grimy office was overstaffed and underworked. Its pamphlets came in two grades - ink stencils or heavyweight gloss with smudged text, blurred color and glued pages.

But I confined myself to the language, kept my knees together and posture attentive. I just loved the brochures Ė the language was practically Shakespearian when compared to my Indonesian. Who else writes jemput (to be picked up) when he means jembut (pubic hair)? Or should that be the other way around? Ha, ha!

But little mistakes can creep in Ė you know how it is. Thatís why newspapers have so many copy-editors. If Sir would care to occasionally use a native speakerís services, absolutely free and no strings attached, maybe I could help polish the prose a little?

Get your competent colleagues to e-mail me the text. Just in case there are any teeny-weeny errors that might want correcting, so together we can help visitors really appreciate this most perfect of provinces Ö

In the West the unwelcome can be forcibly evicted. The Javanese solution is for the host to get up and stride out, trembling in fury, while the guest is in mid sentence, tea cup poised, and let the sidekicks show you the other door.

One was apologetic: He disclosed that the brochures had been written by the boss who had a masterís degree from a Mickey Mouse campus 30 years ago. Although the young graduate from Airlangga University (East Javaís finest) knew the departmentís handouts were gobbledygook he dared not gainsay a superior.

Maintaining protocol, he explained, was more important than improving performance. So home ways you go quick Ė and your business you mind yourself, ya. Like Frank Sinatra, we do it my way.

(First published in The Sunday Post 18 November 2007)
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#65283 - 20 Nov 07 12:20 Re: JP/Don't Mess with Miss Communication [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quoting: article
...He disclosed that the brochures had been written by the boss who had a masterís degree from a Mickey Mouse campus 30 years ago. Although the young graduate from Airlangga University (East Javaís finest) knew the departmentís handouts were gobbledygook he dared not gainsay a superior.

Maintaining protocol, he explained, was more important than improving performance. ...


EXACTLY!!! This is why 90% of my clients are Non-Indonesians/foreign-owned companies. Indonesians either don't see the value or don't want to -- and the Singaporeans, Malaysians, Filipinos and Thais laugh all the way to the bank.

Because it's more than just an embarrassment. It says so much more about their professionalism (and lack of it) and their attention to detail.

If the airline company doesn't care enough to get their communications correct, are they going to care enough to get their planes airworthy?

If a 5-star hotel doesn't care enough to get their communications correct, are they going to care enough to make sure cockroaches aren't laying eggs in your ear while you sleep?

It's about presentation and perception. If you order a nice meal at a seemingly nice restaurant and it comes out looking like a plate of prison slop thrown together by a retard on LSD, is that going to be appetizing? Is anybody going to care that the finest ingredients were used? Any good chef will tell you, the first thing that "tastes" the food is the eye.

Etc., etc... some people get it and prosper, others don't and lose out, get left behind in this globalized world where perception and presentation and professionalism will always win out.
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#65284 - 20 Nov 07 15:40 Re: JP/Don't Mess with Miss Communication [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
This is an official press release from a large Indonesian (SOE) airline, which was sent from it's main marketing/communications HQ to all "international" and/or English-speaking partners/media groups on its mailing list. Now ask yourselves -- would you trust this company with your life if they don't give a flying f**k about making sure that an important department in their company (in this case, the mar/comms) is run in a professional manner?

-----------------------------------------------------------

A appreciate for Top 5 Agent

The PT. [XYZ] INDONESIA had just already held spectacular event of year to running a appreciate for top 5 travel agent that have been doing great business partner to [xyz] Indonesia from last Agustus 2006 to this Augustus 2007. These top 5 has been giving their best contribution throughout year according to airplane company.

Speaking of event, it was held at PT. COMO HOTEL AND RESORT Como Sambhala Estate Begawan Giri which previously well known as Begawan Giri at Ubud, Bali, which CSEBG. The top 5ís are Vayatour, Smailing Tour, Bayubuana, Dwidaya and Panorama. All inviteeds were acted like a VVIP from November 2nd Ė 4th di the beautiful tropical resort in island of Gods of Repulik of Indonesia. PT. [XYZ] INDONESIA hope for a more increasing loyalty and big spirit to keep on promosi airplane in a future !
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#65285 - 20 Nov 07 15:55 Re: JP/Don't Mess with Miss Communication [Re: riccardo]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
it appears to have been machine translated. but couldn't they have at least spellchecked it, for crying out loud!

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#65286 - 20 Nov 07 16:05 Re: JP/Don't Mess with Miss Communication [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Indeed. Notice that "August" is spelled two different ways. At that point, it's not a matter of proper English skills but merely paying attention.

Bottom line is they don't give a crud about getting it right -- their position in the company is safe because their saudara happens to be TNI brass.

AND the bigger question is, did these agents "act" like arrogant VVIPs for a couple days OR were they given the VVIP treatment?
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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