Google Japan, Top Menu Localization

Google is trying to fit into Japanese web in their chasing battle with Yahoo! Japan.
On February 20th, Google made a small fix at the top-left menu on their Japanese top page.
There was an clear issue which having been remained for years on the former page. Can you find it from this screenshot?
google-more-screenshot
Yes, they had been using “more”, an English word on their Japanese top page, which they fixed last month.
# I think the text “Gmail” is not the best, too. But you may say it is a brand which Japanese consumers should remember in Roman alphabets.
google-others-screenshot-marked
Now it is more friendly for regular users whom Google should take from Yahoo! Japan.
As opposed to Yahoo! Japan, which uses US brand but owned by Japanese company and is operated rather in traditional Japanese style, Google Japan from the beginning of its establishment stated that they are a globally networked single organization happened to have a branch in Tokyo. And they hired people who have good English command.
That might cause other problem that some of the employees, rather living in English websphere and have no problem on reading “more” on menu, are different from their target customers, i.e. standard Japanese web users.
In Japan, better English skill does not always show that the person is better educated/trained in non-language fields. If you compare with some other countries where the domestic market/industry are smaller, where English is necessary to study and take degrees (most of classes in graduate schools in Japan are done in Japanese).
After the issues like Google Japan’s pay-per-post incident, Google headquarters might be thinking more direct control by having more communicable local staffs, but be careful that they have to have a good sympathy and understandings with local customers.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.