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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 9th June 2006, 08:13 PM
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IDN input concerns (Japan)

Questions that stemmed from a conversation I recently had with a friend in Tokyo.
He is fluent in Japanese & English.

Some concerns he pointed out with IDNs in Japan, wanted others opinions on them, especially native speakers,etc. :

Currently characters are input phonetically using the standard qwerty keyboard.
The user then decides whether to display on the screen Japanese characters or letters of the western alphabet. If the user does input the Japanese character he needs to check that he's using the correct character. This is because the word can sound the same but have vastly different meanings. So its actually safer, and requires less effort, just to phonetically input (with the option of Japanese script Hiragana or English) the word on the keyboard and display it in alphabet script on the screen (current status quo i believe).

So basically you can either type it in English or you can use the Japanese phonetic script and press the key with the character for the sound. In either case they can then select which "kanji" (or character) they wish to display, if they so wish. But obviously this requires an extra step and extra time. If you are writing a document in Word for example then you will always want to use Kanji, But because you are writing coherent sentences with words in context you are unlikely to have too many problems with kanji chooice

Actually romaji (alphabet script) for website names. Content will always be a combination of kanji, hiragana, katakana, and sometimes romaji.

The only reason romaji is used for website names (currently) is that its easier to input ad hoc words phonetically, and you don't run the risk of displaying the wrong kanji.

You can type Japanese kanji characters into the address bar in internet explorer. It is just a two-stage process of (1.) inputting the word phonetically, and (2.) selecting the correct kanji character from a selection of options. The reason that web addresses are in alphabet script is that by doing so the need for stage (2.) above is negated.


Thats the gist of it, comments please, am i missing something here?
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:33 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune
Actually romaji (alphabet script) for website names. Content will always be a combination of kanji, hiragana, katakana, and sometimes romaji.

The only reason romaji is used for website names (currently) is that its easier to input ad hoc words phonetically, and you don't run the risk of displaying the wrong kanji.

Romaji might be a reason why Japanese idns get lesser traffic than we expect.
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:37 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Well aware as to how to type Japanese. I don't see any issue here.
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:50 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

my point wasnt to explain how to type japanese but rather was wondering about japan adopting typing in kanji terms in IDN if it is more time consuming.

Dont get me wrong i am all for IDN [Japan], just not too familiar with the process so wondering about this issue

Last edited by Neptune; 9th June 2006 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:53 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

I think Ovt tells you that they do type these terms in. If they type it in a search box they will type it in the address bar.
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:57 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Remember that they're typing Japanese in their e-mail, word processing and other work. It's actually less natural to stop typing the space to select the kanji after every so often.

There's a whole generation who will quickly learn that Japanese URLs work.
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:03 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gammascalper
There's a whole generation who will quickly learn that Japanese URLs work.
And it will catch on like wildfire. As simple as typing your word in the search box. I imagine that ids will compete with ascii for Google-Yahoo-MSN etc page rank etc. This competition should make it real interesting! All predictions over the past months are that Japan will be the first to really run with idns.
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:15 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhhisc
And it will catch on like wildfire. As simple as typing your word in the search box. I imagine that ids will compete with ascii for Google-Yahoo-MSN etc page rank etc. This competition should make it real interesting! All predictions over the past months are that Japan will be the first to really run with idns.

Europe will take off first, especially germany.de, it will fly.
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:41 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune
my point wasnt to explain how to type japanese but rather was wondering about japan adopting typing in kanji terms in IDN if it is more time consuming.
Not a problem at all. That extra time means nothing compare to the benefit they get....
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:45 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

I suspect that Kanji wins in terms of brandability and easier recall? 2 crucial factors for advertising.
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Old 9th June 2006, 11:25 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune
Questions that stemmed from a conversation I recently had with a friend in Tokyo.
He is fluent in Japanese & English.

Some concerns he pointed out with IDNs in Japan, wanted others opinions on them, especially native speakers,etc. :

Currently characters are input phonetically using the standard qwerty keyboard.
The user then decides whether to display on the screen Japanese characters or letters of the western alphabet. If the user does input the Japanese character he needs to check that he's using the correct character. This is because the word can sound the same but have vastly different meanings. So its actually safer, and requires less effort, just to phonetically input (with the option of Japanese script Hiragana or English) the word on the keyboard and display it in alphabet script on the screen (current status quo i believe).

So basically you can either type it in English or you can use the Japanese phonetic script and press the key with the character for the sound. In either case they can then select which "kanji" (or character) they wish to display, if they so wish. But obviously this requires an extra step and extra time. If you are writing a document in Word for example then you will always want to use Kanji, But because you are writing coherent sentences with words in context you are unlikely to have too many problems with kanji chooice

Actually romaji (alphabet script) for website names. Content will always be a combination of kanji, hiragana, katakana, and sometimes romaji.

The only reason romaji is used for website names (currently) is that its easier to input ad hoc words phonetically, and you don't run the risk of displaying the wrong kanji.

You can type Japanese kanji characters into the address bar in internet explorer. It is just a two-stage process of (1.) inputting the word phonetically, and (2.) selecting the correct kanji character from a selection of options. The reason that web addresses are in alphabet script is that by doing so the need for stage (2.) above is negated.


Thats the gist of it, comments please, am i missing something here?
I wouldn't worry Neptune, ascii in Japan is about to have an incredibly diminished role and Japanese will dominate. The Japanese don't like romaji only domains, never have, and only do it because they HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. Remember according to old white southerners black people preferred slavery too. It's just plain hard to get your head around a concept until you do - I get why your friend has that impression. He sounds more like a foreigner who speaks Japanese than a Japanese though. Am I wrong or right?

The problems in your friend's logic are:
1. The average Japanese have a fiendish time spelling english words and would much rather find amazon.co.jp through a japanese based yahoo search than by typing into the url line of the browser. Why? Because the Japanese prefer to navigate in Japanese not in some foreign language. I will exclude the small population of returnee Japanese who were actually raised abroad and are fluent in English or another language - they are irrelevant sample for this argument.

2. To a foreigner "selecting" the kanji is an extra step in the process. To a native, it's like breathing - you just do it, you don't think about "geez this is inconvenient, I should just learn how to write English. It' so easy since English spelling is so LOGICAL instead of all these complex drawings I use in my own stupid native language" But seriously, for 95% of tasks Japanese don't even think about which kanji on the list is the correct one - they just "know".

The real issue, Neptune, is that because of the romajii domain name barrier, Japanese do not type in to the URL line of the browser today. They rely overwhelmingly on search engines. The question is whether the Japanese will learn how to type Japanese into the url line and at what rate will they start doing so. Only then will we get the natural traffic we need to make this market pop.

Last edited by rhys; 9th June 2006 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 9th June 2006, 11:28 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

As far as Japanese is concerned, I consider romaji almost a subset of the language. There are a number of cases where romaji is the most prevalent way to write a certain foreign term (rather than writing it out phoenetically in longer katakana), and you'll often find romaji in the middle of all kanji/kana text. In fact, I even have some domains that have romaji and kanji combined in one domain name.

So, no I don't think they have any trouble switching back and forth, even mid-sentence.
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Old 9th June 2006, 11:59 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune
The only reason romaji is used for website names (currently) is that its easier to input ad hoc words phonetically, and you don't run the risk of displaying the wrong kanji.

You can type Japanese kanji characters into the address bar in internet explorer. It is just a two-stage process of (1.) inputting the word phonetically, and (2.) selecting the correct kanji character from a selection of options. The reason that web addresses are in alphabet script is that by doing so the need for stage (2.) above is negated.


Thats the gist of it, comments please, am i missing something here?
Yes, you have conveniently forgot to mention that more than 95% of the browsers in use in Japan don't support anything other than ASCII script. That might provide a reasonable explaination as to why it is widely used.
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Old 10th June 2006, 06:30 AM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

Yes Neptune,
There's a difference between foreigners that speak Japanese fluently & foreigners who speak, read, & write Japanese on a daily basis. (You have to put personal ability aside & think of it as Japanese would only)
Rhys said it correctly... I keep hearing that some people will bring up

1. Hey what if the sound of the word has more than one kanji. Most likely most intelligent Japanese will 99.9% associate the right kanji with the correct business type. There are also words that sound alike in English.
2. Selecting the kanji is in fact easier & natural like Rhys said it only becomes a problem for foreigners who aren't good at reading & writing Japanese. Even young people do it on mobile phone & I bet you 100% the average Japanese kid can write a full paragraph faster than we can in English guaranteed..
3. Romaji is better - Absolute lie... Japanese never "learn" Romaji... They do input it but truthfully there are no rules to romaji. My domain GraviaIdol.com can be written more than 6 different ways GraviaIdol.com, GrabiaAidol.com, GraviaAidoru, etc... But there's only one way Japanese will write it in Japanese. Plus search engines will never see this as the true exact term Japanese are searching.

Concerns are good but you have to look at the way Japanese can use IDN domains. I've typed in Japanese even before I could really speak the language. In English we have to type capital letters & spaces. If a Japanese says that he/she has to type this so it's bothersome would you think it was valid?

There is no typeins because URLs are just in Romaji... This is a fact. Japanese are horrible at spelling in foreign languages, just as anyone that would be forced to would be...
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Last edited by Olney; 10th June 2006 at 06:39 AM..
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Old 12th June 2006, 06:57 PM
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Re: IDN input concerns (Japan)

was away for a few days, thank you all for the insight.
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