Thursday , March 30 2023

Tokyo Olympics, medals and domains

Words in one language can mean something in other languages, too.

Picture of gold, silver and bronze medals

I’m not a sports fan but I find myself checking the Olympic results several times a day. The games are full of surprises, including my birthplace Hong Kong getting the first gold medal in 25 years. Go Hong Kong go!

I worked in Tokyo for many years and learned to appreciate the similarity between the Japanese and Chinese languages. This means that a domain with meaning in Japanese may also be meaningful in Chinese, or vice versa.

Olympic medals are good examples. Gold, silver, and bronze are pronounced as Kin (金), Gin (銀), and Dou (銅) in Japanese. In Chinese, they become Jin (金), Yin (银), and Tong (铜). Some of you may notice that the Chinese characters used in both languages are slightly different.

Suppose you owned the domain Dou .com in Japan. You thought it means “bronze” and promote it as such in Japan. Now, if you moved to China, you would open up new opportunities because Dou has Chinese meanings such as fight (斗), bean (豆), or tease (逗).

Conversely, suppose you owned the domain Jin .com in China. You thought it means “gold” and promote it as such in China. Then, if you moved to Japan, you would open up new opportunities because Jin has Japanese meanings such as team (陣), people (人), or virtue (仁).

Some domains may be meaningful in multiple cultures, which means more selling opportunities. Research is key to discovering such potential.

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