Facebook Adds Kansai-ben(dialect)

Facebook Japan added today a new language selection “Japanese (Kansai)” for its web versions (PC and mobile), Weekly Ascii Plus reported.

facebook-kansaiben

In Kansai-ben, “Iine!”(Like!) is displayed as “Eeyan!”, “Comment” is replaced with “Tsukkomu”.

via Weekly Ascii Plus

Facebook Adds Kansai-ben(dialect)

Google+ iPhone App Bug (unable to write Japanese/Chinese/Korean) Fixed

The Google+ iPhone App‘s huge but only affected for some countries has been fixed after about 10 days.

As we reported on September 26, Japanese (Chinese and Korean as well) Google+ user who updated the app found that they were unable to put in their native language letters.

The new version 1.0.5.2346 has come on October 4 with changes;

  • Fixed bug with Chinese, Japanese and Korean
  • Re-enable autocomplete when composing a post

It was quite a show-stopper for East Asians. I hope they will have test item with Asian languages before shipment.

Twitter Finally Adds Japanese Trending Topics

Twitter has just announced on its Japanese official blog that their trending topics is now featuring Japanese language trends. You may choose “Japan” or “Tokyo” from worldwide trends on its sidebar.

Although Japan is one of the most Twitter loving nation, Twitter’s Japanese language support has been always poorer. Twitter became popular even before menu localization, which was very rare for imported web services in Japan. Twitter search is still not working well with Japanese, if you try to search by few Japanese words, it just gives up and shows nothing. Hashtag, though this might be same for all non-latin language users, is only available in roman alphabets.

Twitter trends ranking, which I often saw that many English blog media talked on it a lot, had been displaying English rankings for over years for Japanese users, which was almost useless.

In other words, Twitter’s popularity is established in Japan even without Trends part. So Japanese blogosphere can expect adding more buzz based on this trending topics from now on.

Here is the “Japan” trends I am seeing today,

Promoted ad slot does not show Japanese ad, which probably Twitter is still working on. The topics are;

  • Earthquake now
  • in-train announce on metro Ginze line (probably earthquake)
  • evaluation of accident
  • 10,000 Tera becquerel (unit for nuclear thing)
  • enhanced internet censorship
  • if you really stick to…
  • how stress points on
  • the world if you google
  • be cautious on M8 level (earthquake)

The Tokyo ranking was almost same. It is no wonder because 25% of population are in greater Tokyo, and web users ratio are even higher.

The topics not on the “Japan” list are;

  • Mori, a TV caster
  • the most serious
  • Gundam world

Twitter Clone Nano Blog Chuitter Limits 14 Letters Instead Of 140

chuitter-logo

If 1,400 letters-limit macro-blog Woofer is an American answer to Twitter, 14 letters nano-blog Chuitter is from Japan, where Haiku and other short, tiny thingy are loved.

chuitter-top-screenshot

I don’t know how much serious this service is (Chuitter design seems too similar to the original Twitter), but their first day of launch seems successful. Many Japanese Twitter users are trying this clone.

In reality, 140 letters limit of Twitter is much longer in Japanese when comparing with English. As some of you may know, one letter in Kanji (China originated letter) itself has meanings so the amount of information “per letter” can be more. Even with 14 letters, it is possible to express something in Japanese.

A popular Japanese blogger Chika Watanabe showed the English/Japanese difference on tweets by using real tweets [J] last month. In the article, an example tweet by Tim O’Reilly,

IMO a SXSW panel worth voting for: Book Publishing, The New Ecosystem http://bit.ly/4nyCSG (registration required to vote)

which is 122 letters, can be translated if in Japanese like this,

思うにSXSWパネルは投票の価値有。出版、新エコシステム http://bit.ly/4nyCSG (投票には要登録)

which is 59 letters.

Probably there are some languages which is more difficult to write in short than English (German?), and I guess Chinese could be more descriptive than Japanese in the same number of letters.

# [Update 2009-10-12] Famous Taiwanese Hacker Audrey Tang explained how Chinese tweets can convey a lot of information in compare with English. Quite interesting.

If Twitter was designed 10 years ago, it was not counted by number of letters but by number of bytes, then 140 bytes for Japanese may fall into around 40-50 letters.

[Update 2011-02-24] Chutter.jp seemed to cease in September 2010.

Lang-8: Multi-lingual social network service for learning foreign lanugages

Lang-8 is a unique social network service started by a young entrepreneur Youyou Ki who lieves in Kyoto, Japan.

Language Exchange SNS Lang-8

lang-8

It works in this way.

1.First join to the service.

2.Then write a diary in the language you’re learning.

3.Native spekers of that language who are aslo users of Lang-8 will correct your diary. This normally would not take more than 24 hours.

4. In return you will check other one’s diaries written in your mother-tongue language and correct them.

So the cycle of  good will are turning around by volunteer works of users.

Ki Youyou was born in China and when he was 4 years old he moved to Japan and grew up in Japan.  When he became a university student he visited China for a year  and there he found his Chinese was not natural as natives.

He started to write diaries in Chinese and asked his room mates to correct to imporve his language skill. This experience turned to the idea of Lang-8.

He asked to his friend to develop Lang-8 and made it by customizing OpenPNE, an open source social network service platform. They launched the service in the summer of 2006 and now more than 100 thounsands users are joining to Lang-8.

There are many free web services struggling to make benefits but Ki is quite optimistic for the future of Lang-8.

“In Lang-8, many talented users are joining.  Many of them are bilingals so if you need someone to hire who can understand and make a communication between certain languages, Lang-8 would be a good to place to seek the one.”