The other day I was asked by a translation agency to “evaluate” / examine an online questionnaire, supposed to be done among foreigners (in Japan) trying to find certain restaurants. My job was to find out, how “easy” to use several different search sites are.
Tasks (in an Excel file) were formulated for example like:
★Use the restaurant search website “XXX” to search for a single restaurant offering food you would like to eat.
★Once you find a restaurant offering food you would like to eat, please complete the following survey.
So far, so fine.
People were supposed for certain (specific) restaurants and then asked:
“Based on your experience using all the sites, which provided an easy-to-understand display of restaurant information?”
Let’s say, you were looking for a Chinese restaurant in Osaka, that has the name:
Assume for a minute, that those foreigners (supposed to be tourists) do NOT speak/read Japanese.
In that case it is unlikely that they ENTER the above term in the search field.
But MAYBE they would enter the name of the restaurant, which is displayed in roman letters like:
All foreigners here, who either CAN read the above, or would even ENTER that mumble jumble to search for the given restaurant … please raise your hands.
Is it not absolutely clear to EVERYBODY, that:
* “CYUUGOKU” stands for China, pronounced in Japanese “chuugoku”
* the terms “ryori” (cuisine) and “Peking” are TWO (not one)
* everybody who is NOT Japanese would expect “Hotel” instead of “HOTERU”
* again: GURANVIAOOSAKATEN is at least THREE different words, that should appear as such when written in roman letters!
* this last thing glues “guru navi” (search site), Hotel, Osaka and Branch together to give the hillarious: HOTERUGURANVIAOOSAKATEN
PLEASE … Japanese people!
If you want to communicate with the world / or have the world communicate with you ….
you have to do better than that!!!