Saving money on English is worse than publishing only Japanese, but they keep on doing it

After a few years of actually caring about the quality of their English language websites, Japanese enterprises have gone back to their bad old habits.

What went wrong? As I understand it, after the subprime mortgage debacle (known in Japan as Lehman Shock) and the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami, Japanese companies went into cost-cutting mode. Instead of outsourcing to professional translators and writers for proper transcreation, they thought, Hey, we have all these young Japanese kids and S.E. Asian interns who can speak English. They can do this work and we can save lots of dough.

You can see the appalling results on the “global” sites of most Japanese companies.

At some point, they are going to start noticing the lack of positive feedback, if not actual negative comments, and a few companies will start doing things the right way again. Then the others will have to follow.

It’s just a matter of time … but how long will it take?