Japanese don’t know the meaning of innovation

Advertisement

A lot of English (and other language) words end up as loan words in Japanese, but many of them, particular technology-related ones, are unfamiliar to many Japanese, so goo Ranking took a look at what loan words do people often hear but don’t know the meaning of.

In the list below I’ve decided to use the English spelling, as I find it grating when journalists re-transliterate back to the Roman alphabet, such as using sarariman instead of salaryman. In this survey, spelling number one as innobāshon (or innobāsyon for bonus irritation points) wouldn’t help anyone understand what I was on about.

By the way, I’d never heard of Social firm, Ancien régime (French) or Merkmal (German) until this survey.

I had a look for a picture of “innovation”; would an innovative pyramid watermelon do?

Pyramid Watermelon
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

Digital signage and in-train television in Japan

< ?PHP include "/home/whatjapa/public_html/libchart/libchart.php";$chart = new PieChart(400, 200);$chart->setTitle(“Have you ever seen the ‘Train Channel’?”);
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“Yes”, 59.3));
$chart->addPoint(new Point(“No”, 40.7));

$chart->render(“/home/whatjapa/public_html/image09/seen-train-channel.png”);
?>
Have you ever seen the 'Train Channel' in a train carriage? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a whole lot of buzzwords relating to the business of digital signage, the subject of a survey conducted by iBridge Research Plus and reported on by japan.internet.com.

Demographics

On the 8th of June 2009 300 members of the iBridge monitor group resident in the Tokyo area completed an internet-based questionnaire. 50.7% of the sample were male, 15.3% in their twenties, 33.0% in their thirties, 33.7% in their forties, 14.3% in their fifties, and 3.7% aged sixty or older.

In Q1 I present both the English and the Japanese. For my readers who don’t understand Japanese, you’ll just have to take my word on the difference between “sign” and “signage” or “bulletin board” and “board”. For my readers who do understand, I cannot explain the difference in usage between “sign” and “signage” or “bulleting board” and “board”, except that’s just how the buzzwords have been coined!

In Q2, a number of the Tokyo lines have television screens in them that display information such as upcoming stops, platform exit information, news and advertising, colloquially known as the “Train Channel”.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

Top Japanese internet buzzwords for 2007

japan.internet.com recently reported on a survey conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc into 2007’s web trends. Ahh, the first “… of the year” survey for 2007.

Demographics

On the 9th of November 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research monitor group who were employed in private or public industry successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 80.9% of the sample was male, 10.9% in their twenties, 43.0% in their thirties, 33.0% in their forties, 10.0% in their fifties, and 3.0% in their sixties.

The only buzzword that was presented translated into Japanese is “wisdom of the crowds”, becoming 集合知, shuugouchi, although that did very little to aid understanding. In Q2, only about a sixth claim not to know what ubiquitous is, an awareness I doubt native English speakers could duplicate! That figure does seem rather fishy to me, or perhaps the question was framed by presenting a short Japanese explanation of the term.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,

Comments

Custom Search

Googlers smarter than Yahoos?

Do you think 'Web 2.0' is in vogue these days? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com recerntly reported on an opinion poll conducted just before Christmas by goo Research on the subject of awareness of Web 2.0. 1,075 people from their monitor group successfully completed the internet-based private survey. 53.5% of the sample was male, 17.9% in their teens, 19.7% in their twenties, 16.8% in their thirties, 17.4% in their forties, and 28.2% aged fifty or older. Note that this demographic is slightly more male and younger than the average monitor group from goo Research; perhaps due to Christmas and other end of year activities the sample was slightly skewed?

For me, I’d have to say that I’m fed up hearing about it, and it’s over-hyped, an answer that sadly was not available. Perhaps that’s one of the 20 others in Q1SQ1?

As can be seen in Q2 and the headline, Google users seem more aware of Web 2.0, although the exact causal relationship is unclear. All in all an interesting but puzzling set of results.

In case you’re wondering, here The Register sums up what Web Two Point Naught is all about.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

2006’s buzzwords poorly understood

japan.internet.com today published the results of a survey conducted by JR Tokai Express Research into the trendy buzzwords of 2006. 330 members of their monitor pool employed in public or private enterprises completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 79.1% were male, 17.9% in their twenties, 44.5% in their thirties, 26.7% in their forties, 9.7% in their fifties, and 1.2% in their sixties.

I read today on Gen Kanai’s blog that Joi Ito has just been appointed chairman of Creative Commons, so with Creative Commons being the most confusing of the words for the Japanese, this survey suggests one issue he may need to approach.

Note that most of the words have come into Japanese either using the English spelling or transliterated into katakana, so that makes it harder for the average person to figure out the meaning. The only one meriting a translation is 集合知, shuugouchi, Wisdom of Crowds, the term that describes Web Two-Point-Zero sites like for instance digg, where the theory goes that the masses will ensure that the most interesting stories will naturally get promoted up to the top of the pile. As one could probably predict, however, the stories that make the front page tend to be those promoted by the top users, and those that attract their attention more often than not are “Top [Ten/Twenty/100] [Tips/Tools/Downloads] for [Linux/Photoshop/iPod]”.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,

Comments

English buzzwords poorly understood

Do you think IT-related technical terms are difficult? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com recently published the results of research by goo Research into how well IT buzzwords are understood. At the start of July they interviewed 1,033 members of their internet monitor group. 42.6% of the sample was male, 1.8% in their teens, 20.3% in their twenties, 41.9% in their thirties, 23.2% in their forties, 10.4% in their fifties, and 2.2% in their sixties.

Most of the buzzwords seem to get imported straight into Japanese as the English term, be it a complete word or an abbreviation. The rest perhaps just end up as katakana renditions of the term, like, for example, Social Network[ing] Service/Site, which ends up in Japanese as just SNS or Social Network Service or Site spelt out in katakana, which doesn’t really help many Japanese as the word “social”. Actually, there’s already a slang term in Japanese for SNS, 出会い系サイト, deai-kei saito, but perhaps it is loaded with overtones of seedy (or downright fraudulent) dating sites, whereas SNS suggests a different, more Western-style location?
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

Buzz of buzzwords not being heard

Do you understand well buzzwords like Blog, .NET, AJAX, etc? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com, in conjunction with JR Tokai Express Research, carried out an internet-based survey of 330 people employed by national and local government, and by private enterprises to find out how well they knew various English computer-related buzzwords and acronyms. The sample was 72.7% male, with 23.0% in their twenties, 42.7% in their thirties, 24.8% in their forties, 9.1% in their fifties, and just 0.3% aged sixty or over. Note that those interviewed are not necessarily IT specialists, or even IT users, in their workplace.

Note that the questions are testing to see how confident the respondents are in their knowledge, not if they are correct or not. I do remember one incident at work regarding the GPL (actually, I remember lots of incidents with lots of technical terms) where one senior person was holding forth at length and with great confidence about a certain aspect of it but was, in fact, talking utter cobblers.

I’m rather surprised at FTTH scoring almost double of RSS and SNS, though. As far as I am aware, FTTH is rarely used in advertising for high-speed home internet access; it is usually just fibre-optic (光ファイバー, hikari faiba-) or NTT’s trademark B-FLET’S (B for Broadband, F for “flat rates, friendly Internet access, and a flexible environment”, and “Let’s” for “Let’s IP Service”).

How well do you do in knowing these terms?
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,

Comments