Translating Samsung’s New York Times story

The New York Times posted a story on Monday about Samsung and its mobile phone business. Some sections seemed odd, so I thought I’d translate them for you.

“We get most of our ideas from the market,” said Kim Hyun-suk, an executive vice president at Samsung, in a conversation about the future of mobile devices and television. “The market is a driver, so we don’t intend to drive the market in a certain direction,” he said.

We copy Apple.

It polls consumers and buys third-party research reports, but it also embeds employees in countries to study trends or merely to find inspiration for ideas.

We have spies in Apple’s factories.

“The research process is unimaginable,” said Donghoon Chang, an executive vice president of Samsung who leads the company’s design efforts. “We go through all avenues to make sure we read the trends correctly.”

We have supply chain spies too.

Samsung says studying the market helps it build confidence for the wireless carriers that its mobile devices will sell well. That, in turn, persuades the carriers to aggressively sell Samsung phones and tablets.

We pay carriers to sell our phones.

Daniel Hesse, Sprint’s chief executive, called Samsung a “terrific partner” because of its willingness to work with the carriers on the creation of phones.

Yes, we receive monster checks from Samsung.

There. That’s better.



  • http://twitter.com/hawkeyefultz Timothy Fultz

    Jim, the NYT should have printed your translation. Could have said they were “going green”. After all, it would have saved a page of print.

  • http://twitter.com/Macinthemiddle Thomas Böttiger

    Now that’s what I call simplified English.

  • Dylan Serain

    Way to copy Gruber’s style. Poorly.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      Have you ever seen “The Aristocrats”?

  • justin_horn

    Dylan, I don’t think it’s poorly at all, it was just a bit easier than some transations. You can only work with what’s presented.

  • Ken

    “The research process is unimaginable,” said Donghoon Chang

    Translation?: “We don’t know how to do research.”

    • http://twitter.com/dmkraig Donald Michael Kraig

      Perhaps a more accurate translation would be: “We can’t imagine how to actually do real research.”

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    Exactly what I was thinking when I read it. Great translation.

  • http://www.guidingtech.com/ Alvaro Bernedo

    The last one could be better:

    “Yes, we receive monster checks from Samsung. And they even allow us to put our logos and crapware on their phones too!”

  • Jon

    Actaully the last one should be We do whatever the carriers tell us to do because we’re their bitch.

  • http://denantes.com Eric Sausse

    Couldn’t agree more. You’re really talented at reading it.

  • http://twitter.com/StelradPDoulton Stelrad P. Doulton

    Or, more fairly, we do it how Apple and others have been doing it for years. Copy, steal, litigate and buy market share – it’s the way of the world.

  • lukematthewsutton

    Thus far, all of this has served them brilliantly. But… they’ve got to come a cropper sooner rather than later. Studying markets strikes me as being purely reactive; they’re not shaping or making markets.

  • stevesup

    Spot on.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

    Funny. I’m almost afraid to look at the original piece to confirm whether that entire article is as puffy as these quotes.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    LMBO! They kind of stepped into that one. :-D

  • http://twitter.com/gorskiegangsta Agarun Ilyaguyev

    The last one is better translated as: “Samsung is great to work with because they’re willing to do anything we (carriers) tell them, even if it seriously jeopardizes user experience or their privacy.”

    or more simply: “Samsung is great to work with because they’re willing to be our b*tch.”

    As a consumer, it is sad to see carriers getting closer and closer to exercising total control over handsets – as was before iPhone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jnuts5423 Josh Billingsley

    I think you’re pissed Samsung makes a far superior product than Apple. .. Your clearly an apple nut rider

  • Guest

    I think you’re pissed Samsung makes a far superior product than Apple. You’re clearly an apple nut rider

  • http://www.thediceguys.com Dean Lewis

    There’s an echo in here. Or some keyboard flailer doesn’t know how to post properly.