LinkedIn Japanese Localization Finally Done

LinkedIn has released Japanese language support as its 10th language on October 18, 2011. Here is the top page for visitors when you set Japanese as your prior language.

LinkedIn Japanese localization plan was announced in September 2007 at first by its local partner Digital Garage. In this May, Digital Garage announced again the Japanese localization project, and this time the thing is getting done.

Probably learning by Twitter and Facebook having Japanese-only guide sites, LinkedIn Japan also launched “LinkedIn Katsuyouhou Manyuaru”(Effective Guide For LinkedIn), which has many pages with step-by-step usage manual on different features on the LinkedIn. It also starts an official Twitter account @linkedinjapan. Yes, it is must for Japan.

The localized page looks like this,

Most of menu items are translated in natural Japanese. When there are two ways of describing the original English menu text, it seems many texts are chosen with Katakana words, which show the original English in Japanese close pronunciations (e.g. akutibiti=activity, kyaria-samarii=carrier-summary), instead of Japanese counterparts(e.g. 行動=koudou=activity, 職歴=carrier-summary). With my internationalization expert background, I would say that their localization is done rather lightly. And if that was done intentionally (to make gap smaller against English menu), they might expect more Japanese people networks with English speakers after they get used to LinkedIn itself with Japanese menu.

Rakuten Announced Its Chinese Brand Name

Japanese e-shopping mall colossus Rakuten, who are cooperating with China No.1 Search Engine Baidu to open joint e-mall in Chinese web, disclosed their Chinese name [J].

The three Chinese letters, pronounced the same “Rakuten” are consist of original “Rakuten” in Japanese two letters and a new letter at the middle of original two.

The first letter may look very different, it was simplified in mainland China, and means enjoyable in Japanese.

The second letter newly added in Chinese one means “cruel” in Japanese but Rakuten explains that the letter means “cool” in China.

The original Japanese version letters have been used in China by South Korean-Japanese food and shopping conglomerate Lotte. So there are localization conflict of brands. Interestingly, both Rakuten and Lotte own a baseball team in the same league (Pacific league) in Japan.

Facebook To Have The First Oversea Development Base In Tokyo

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Facebook, which I think I do not need any explanation what it is to English web users, announced that they would open their Japanese arm in Tokyo early in 2010, ITMedia reports [J].

The branch, which is planned to be formed with developers from US and locally hired Japanese engineers and managers, will make a special version for Japanese cellphone, such like Twitter recently did for Japan market, and Japanese original features both for PC and cellphone.

Javier Oliván, International Manager at Facebook, told that Facebook overtaking the local No.1 like as they did in US, UK, Germany, Spain and Turkey, can be reproduced in Japan market against Mixi, Gree and Mobage-Town.

Twitter Launches Video Service From Japan

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Twitvideo, a new video tweeting service working with Twitter, was released on October 5th 2009 by DG Mobile Inc., a subsidiary of Digital Garage Inc., a Japanese Twitter partner which invested in Twitter and has been running Twitter Japan’s localization and promotion since January 2008.

twitvideo-screenshot

Using the site, Japanese twitter users can post and share movies/photos with location information from their PCs or cellphones. As it is a service of a Japanese Twitter partner, and you only need a twitter account (OAuth does not seem to be used), it might directly access twitter’s user database.

A screenshot of the mobile version is here,

twitvideo-mobile-screenshot

An iPhone application for Twitvideo is also planned, the release said.

DG Mobile also announces that they are providing paid enterprise account which allows bigger storage, offers customized company page and enables high density movie upload.

Although Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone denied “advertisement on Twitter” plan in near future, Twitter Japanese page has been showing ads for 18 months now, which Twitter US called “some commercial experimentation”.

Digital Garage group also tries an official Japanese Twitter guide site Twinavi, Twitter group management service Twicco, which recently announced Twitter List feature may cover, but began November 2008.

Japanese is the first menu translated language for Twitter, which was done by Digital Garage, too. (Last week Twitter called for user generated translation volunteers for another 4 languages.)

(proofread by Sean O’Hagan)

See Also:

DG Mobile’s Press Release [J, pdf]

Kotaku Opens Japanese Version Of Its Game Blog

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American Popular Game blog Kotaku licensed its brand and contents to a Japanese company Mediagene, after their first localized blog in Australia to open a new blog media [J] in, one of the most important countries for game industry and market, Japan.

kotaku-japan-screenshot

Mediagene already has been running two Japanese version of popular English blogs provided by Gawker Media, Gizmodo Japan [J] and Lifehacker [Japanese version] [J].

Kotaku Japan introduces its 12 staff of editors, translators, column writers, manga drawer, etc [J].

Kotaku Japan’s direct competitor may be 4Gamer.net [J], which is not blog-originated but a successful online media around game information in Japan. On their media sheet they say 4Gamer.net’s page views is 40 million per month. The border between blog-based and non-blog-based professional media is not clear now.

hat tip to Kirikomi-Taicho