Giek Lian’s Wordy World

by LEE Yi Ling

Special Guest: Ms Tan Giek Lian
Founder and Managing Director of The JADE, Advisor of Institute of Chinese Studies Internship Programme at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Kampar Campus), PhD student in Chinese Studies at University of Malaya, Creative Content Contributor of, Coach and Healer of Garden of Wisdom

The JADE started its operation since 2016. The company has been dedicated in providing professional services, from language solutions in the beginning (e.g. copywriting, translation, editing and proofreading) to new services they offer today, including publishing consultation, creative design, typesetting, printing and more. And now, the creation of “JadeMag”.

Aspiration Remains, Creativity Transcends

In 2016, Ms Tan Giek Lian decided to withdraw from a children’s education publishing company, which she had been serving since her completion of undergraduate studies, and founded The JADE. At that time, Tan was trying to discover how to exhibit the qualities of her passion and working experience in the publishing industry. She first looked for an ex-classmate who had ventured into his own start-up earlier than her, to share her concerns and expectations. “Have you thought about what can you do if you fail?” he asked.

“I can take freelance jobs and give tuition,” Tan answered. The classmate then asserted that if a backup plan has been contemplated, it would no longer be a problem. Thus, The JADE was founded. When her friends, classmates and even teachers from her school and university times found out about Tan’s newly formed company, they started recommending jobs to her. Mentioning them, Tan feels a great sense of blessings, which makes her more cautious and serious in handling each and every task she has in hand, because they comprise of the faith and support instilled by many caring individuals.

Through The JADE, Tan submerges in the joy of her dream career and the practice of her belief: Words-nourishing and enriching lives. People use texts to record the life experience of all things on the earth. When people read, they absorb the enriching knowledge that helps to widen their horizon, which in turn makes their life abundant. There are many aspects of life which require the nourishment of text, there are plenty industries that need the support of text and there are corporate images which demand the scaffolding of text. Today, The JADE has accumulated a client base which includes universities, law firms, film companies, advertising companies, and even political parties.

What is the role of an industry that is dominated by text in the era of the social media emergence? “The rise of online media opens up a new platform for the development and groundbreaking of various fields. The JADE will follow the development closely and overcome new challenges. ‘JadeMag’ is an online platform for communication between The JADE and its clients from different industries.” As per the slogan “Aspiration Remains, Creativity Transcends”, our initial aspiration towards professionalism remains unchanged; whereas on creativity, we emphasise on being creative in both print and new media.

A Diligent Wordsmith

In Tan’s opinion, a professional language solution provider should embody constant enthusiasm towards languages and words. It is with the presence of enthusiasm that one would remain diligent and high-spirited to constantly improve oneself. Apart from enthusiasm, it is also important to treat each assignment with utmost attentiveness. Coherent writing, precise translation, scrupulous editing and meticulous proofreading are the valuable professional skills in the field.

Each assignment entrusted to The JADE is a form of assurance and support from the client. “We usually accept every task offered to us. There are certainly times when we have to turn down a client’s job offer, for instance, limited turnaround time will make a job impossible. Each job requires certain duration for completion. The number of words that can be translated within an hour is rather consistent, not likely to increase by two or three times no matter how hard a translator works. I will refuse to believe it if the translator claims that it’s possible.”

Certainly, the challenges faced vary from company to company. Since the establishment of The JADE, various problems have occurred, e.g. partner’s inability to meet a deadline, reduction of previously negotiated charges and so on. “There was a mishap in the past which made me realised the unpredictability of work – a book which The JADE was in charge of typesetting and printing. The printing company promised to have the copies delivered the morning before the launch day of the book. However, the lorry broke down on its way to the venue and the driver had to wait for assistance on the roadside helplessly. The few-hour’s delay had made the staff members who were waiting to do packing waited aimlessly. Fortunately, the problem was eventually overcome. This experience now serves as an example to convince our clients to allocate ample of time for project delivery.”

Regarding The JADE’s existing situation or challenges, Tan constantly reminds herself, “Every challenge that has been overcome is a beautiful gift in life. They help me to be true to myself, and to stay persistent.”

Future Development

With The JADE’s current expansion pace, without a doubt, it will need to expand its talent base or even seek for new partners in the future. Based on its accumulated experience, the services that The JADE is able to offer will also diversify. “JadeMag”, for instance, is the result of The JADE’s effort to connect words, designs and business. “We believe that a quality product and service needs the embellishment of texts and design to highlight the intrinsic beauty in order to capture audience’s attention. We wish to work and grow together with our clients in discovering branding strategies that go with their products or services and portray their company images. This is the new culture in branding that we would like to establish.”