American Services In Asia:

Assistance for Asian Companies

Your company is an Asian company. You have come to this web page because you want to find out how our company can help your company improve your web site or marketing materials.

As an example, let's discuss the situation of a Japanese manufacturing company. The principles illustrated in this example can also apply to other types of companies (banking, trading, etc.) from other countries (China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.).

Suppose the Japanese company sells TVs, DVD players, musical keyboards, and other electronic products in Southeast Asia. Such products require clear instructions and packaging.

Using English Internationally

Because the Southeast Asian market has many different languages, the Japanese company realizes that it would be cost-effective to use English to communicate with the entire regional market. They decide to translate the operating instructions for all of their products from Japanese into English.

However, Japanese executives know from experience that problems can occur when they use English to communicate with Southeast Asians. For example, Japanese people sometimes have trouble understanding English when the global language is spoken or written by Thais, and vice versa.

It is easy to prevent such problems from occurring in written communications. After each product's operating instructions are translated into English, the Japanese company can hire a native English speaker to edit the text. As a result, the English version of the instructions will be clearer, smoother, and easier for consumers in the target market to understand.

The 21st Century

It is now standard practice for a Japanese company to present its company profile on the world wide web. The company's web site supports its employees' use of their business cards ("meishi" in the Japanese language). Instead of carrying a company profile sheet, each employee can have the company's URL printed on his or her business card.

As in the case of the business card, a Japanese company's web site is often produced in two languages: Japanese and English. The purpose of the English version is to communicate with all non-Japanese people who visit the web site.

However, the category "non-Japanese" includes a wide variety of people, who have many different native languages and different levels of English fluency. In order to make the English version of its web site effective for such a diverse audience, a Japanese company needs to use "Global English" rather than American English or British English.

Global English

The term Global English refers to English that can be easily understood by a global audience. It is an important goal when translating a product's packaging or operating instructions from Japanese to English. Producing globally understandable English text is even more important if the content of a web page will be the basis for translation into additional languages (beyond Japanese and English).

A native English speaker who edits a world wide web site must do much more than correct mistakes in grammar. He or she must be skilled at producing English that is clear to people all over the world, not only people who are from his or her own country. This means streamlining the English text and removing idioms that are specific to the US, UK, India, Canada, Australia, Singapore, or other English-speaking countries.

Most Japanese companies are already aware of the effectiveness of globally understandable English for increasing their export market. However, the sudden growth of the internet (especially e-commerce) has caught many companies by surprise. Some Japanese web sites still have poorly written English-language pages or no English version at all.

We Can Help You

American Services In Asia can help you promote your company on the world wide web. Our native English speakers are experts at producing Global English text to make your web site more easily understood by a global audience.

If your web site already has an English version, we can edit it. If your web site does not yet have an English version, we can help you build the content for each English-language web page.

In addition to editing and writing, we can reorganize your web pages so that they will be easier to navigate, thereby motivating visitors to spend more time at your site.

To learn more about Global English as a writing style, see the Frequently Asked Questions page of our web site.

For fees or information about other types of editing and consulting that we offer, email us.

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