State Street Research & Management Co., Boston, has taken multilanguage financial communication to the next level by incorporating more of a distinct ethnic perspective into its Chinese and Spanish language educational materials.
The company that introduced the first Chinese-English mutual fund prospectus a year ago now has developed a full line of Chinese communication materials that go beyond mere translation. State Street's new version of its bilingual prospectus, brochures, customer service and Web site (www.ssrfunds.com/chinese) all make liberal use of the colors red and gold, for example. Red is usually associated by Chinese speakers with festivities, happiness and good fortune. Gold represents fortune and prosperity. The use of a fish graphic reminds Chinese people of the state of "overflow," as the word "fish" in Chinese is phonetically similar to the words for "surplus" or "abundance."
The company even renamed itself in its Chinese communication materials -- State Street Research Great Wisdom Investment Services -- because the name State Street Research "meant nothing to Chinese investors," said press spokeswoman, Robyn Tice. The new name is meant to reflect the mutual fund company's long tradition and experience in managing assets.
The Spanish language materials, which are equally comprehensive as those for Chinese speakers, feature a ribbon of colorful money (coins and paper) from Central and South American countries.