ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21501 posts, RR: 60 Posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3868 times:
Not sure if this should be here or in Poll and Prefs, or somewhere else.
For years I've tried to successfully navigate ANA and JAL "US" websites as a native English speaker, and I find it frustrating to no end. These airlines claim to offer English language portals, and yet they are so poorly implemented, it's impossible to finish any advanced search, transaction, etc. because either the site itself is incomplete on the English (US) side of things, or the instructions are so poorly written (or missing) that you keep running into errors because you didn't do something right with little indication of how to do it the way they want it done. Sometimes, information is simply omitted entirely. And then there are problems such as entering a flight search and being told the flight number you entered was wrong. On a page where you have entered no flight number...
This is not something I experience with other international companies, airlines or otherwise. If they offer a UK or US portal, they make sure that portal works and is comprehensible. It may not be as complete as the website in the native tongue, but the features they provide WORK and the information they provide is almost always in correct English. They usually achieve this by, horrors of horrors, hiring US or UK born employees to build the website, or at a minimum proof the content, etc.
Is there some reason that Japanese airlines won't do this? Because it is painfully obvious that they are forcing Japanese natives who learned English in high school to create these portals, and the result is laughable. In many cases, it's worse than a DVD player manual. At least those have cartoony pictograms to go along with the poorly worded instructions.
I know a lot of French, but I wouldn't even think of creating a French language website without hiring native French speakers to make sure everything makes sense and reads correctly, and that the website actually does what it should. Why do NH and JL think "it's good enough" to do it their way?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3772 times:
I use the ANA web site all the time and have never noticed any "Engrish". It's definitely not the best-designed site in the world, but this is pretty standard for Japan - their general preference seems to be for cluttered, text-heavy sites without a lot of white space. And they rarely have a consistent interface, often even using multiple domains within the same site.
Part of this is because they're used to using the web on cell phones, and that carries over into their overall web design.
It's a Japanese airline, I'm not sure why you'd expect them to somehow not be Japanese. I don't; it's one reason why I fly them. Their identity as a Japanese airline carries with it more positives than negatives. But you take the bad with the good when you're dealing with a different culture; there's no point expecting them to be the same as a western airline, or to be the same in the ways you like but not in the ways you don't. (I'm presuming there's some reason why you fly them, but it's not realistic to expect an airline from a different culture to be different only in ways you personally like.)
I also think that the English web sites of both ANA and JAL are probably primarily aimed at other Asians, not westerners. (ANA's English portal still defaults to Japan, for example.)
[Edited 2011-01-04 20:37:54]
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
anonms From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 618 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3715 times:
Quoting spacecadet (Reply 1): I use the ANA web site all the time and have never noticed any "Engrish". It's definitely not the best-designed site in the world, but this is pretty standard for Japan - their general preference seems to be for cluttered, text-heavy sites without a lot of white space. And they rarely have a consistent interface, often even using multiple domains within the same site.
swissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3300 times:
Maybe it is already good to have something in English at all. In most Asian countries English is not an official language nor do people use it very often. In Japan English is more and more used for Tourists and Expats but the quality is often poor. English native speaker however take it for granted, that everywhere in the world English is spoken like in their home country. There are many other websites in Japan without any English at all. So maybe just be happy with what you already got.
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
In other words, no reason for improvement? I happily overlook English errors by non-native speakers on this site, but I would think that a business web site would want to be professional and write in proper English or proper any other language they are communicating in. Would you overlook sloppy Japanese usage on a Japanese site (if you were a Japanese speaker) and not let the errors influence your impression of that business?
HT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3162 times:
May I add another insult here ?
KE's website in German language.
While the bulk of the website is okay, when searching for telephone numbers for call centers, the drop down list for countries speaks of "Tschechoslowakei" ("Czechoslovakia") for Czech Republic. There is a separate entry "Slovakia"
For those youngsters not knowing about that piece of history:
Czechoslovakia was the combination of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic which broke up peacefully in 1992.
To make things worse, OK , the national airline of the Czech Republic, is member of SkyTeam, as is KE.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
In fact, even as a native english speaker I disagree! Most of Europe and a considerable amount of Africa as well as India can easily be got around by someone who speaks English and only English. As English natives we DO take it for granted - although we may not realise it, we are in a very easy position.
yeogeo From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 882 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3037 times:
Quoting swissgabe (Reply 3): English native speaker however take it for granted, that everywhere in the world English is spoken like in their home country.
Quoting baguy (Reply 7): As English natives we DO take it for granted
The problem with sweeping generalizations like these is that even one exception gives the lie to the statement.
I've traveled some and have often been grateful of those fluent in English or those who make attempts to help in my native English. I don't take it for granted. It's a great privilege and, really, just luck, that my native tongue happens to be one of the most common second languages of the world, if not the de facto lingua franca in many countries.
Also, anyone who has learned or is attempting to learn a second language knows the work & time involved and would hopefully not take anyone's second language skills for granted.
I'm certain that there are those who do take it for granted, I just would suggest there are many who don't.