By Bayle Emlein
It is clear that CES and the nature of trade shows is changing. While CES may have claim to being the largest in the US, there are several that claim to be the largest in the world, depending on how you define “large” and the kind of “show” specified–industry, general public, combination. Nothing new about this kind of finessing with words. Through Steve Leon and the ShowStoppers presentations, international affiliations have been forged with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and IFA in Berlin. Maybe I was just more sensitive this year, but I seemed to notice a preferential placement for German on CES informational signs. In the desert Southwest, a bit of Spanish seemed appropriate–as a matter of fact, the general lack of Spanish is a bit astounding considering that there’s a Latin continent and a half just to the south of us. (Did you know that Silicon Valley once belonged to Spain?) What >is< going on in Argentina? Is Brazilian Portuguese close enough to mutually comprehensible that we would not need a whole new interface? Since the demise of Comdex in Mexico City, no news on this front, so maybe I need to go investigate in person.
Looks like the entire Indian subcontinent is relegated to English. French, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese round out the official CES languages. French? French companies participated of course, but so did Finnish ones. Possibly a nod to our neighbors to the north? The Asian languages are obvious, and the SinoCES show in Qingdao looks really tempting. I wonder how much of it is in a language I understand. Could one of our readers illuminate me?