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Doug McGowan

Born to an Irish-American father and Japanese mother, I found my “calling” at age 9 when an elderly stranger, out of the blue, told me “I hope you can become a bridge between your countries.” Throughout my career in tourism, publication, advertising, and localization, that defining moment has remained my beacon, and through Moravia I’m taking that experience into the future.
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Recent Posts

How to Leverage High Quality TTS Voices for a Localization-to-Vocalization Solution

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 05:00 PM

Have you ever been frustrated at having to find and audition narrators for each language, and book the recording studios, only to have an unexpected revision require re-recording at a later date? For e-learning and training videos, the solution may just be Text-to-Speech (TTS). And for languages other than English, that solution might best be sourced from a local entity that really knows the language.

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Topics: Localization

A Lighthearted Look at What Neural Machine Translation Can (But Shouldn’t) Do

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 @ 05:36 PM

Undeniably, the most familiar and accessible Neural MT (NMT) engine is Google Translate. You probably use it quite often. And the results look really good. Sentences read very fluently, without the telltale signs of machine translation. Herein lies the biggest pitfall of NMT—it just looks so darn good.

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Topics: Localization

Three Benefits of Editing Your Marketing Copy Pre-Localization

Posted by Doug McGowan on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 03:55 PM

Marketing copy often falls victim to being mistranslated into other languages, as creative colloquialisms and cutting edge slogans unintentionally get lost in translation. A quick search on the web will yield lots of examples of marketing translation fails, such as KFC’s iconic “finger lickin’ good” being translated as “eat your fingers off” in Chinese. But without being so spectacularly embarrassing, the way you handle your source text can result in translations that just don’t get the job done.

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Topics: Localization Insider

7 Things You Should Know About SEO for Japan

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 03:40 PM

 

SEO is SEO, right? When Google indexes your site or your blog, it’s basically the same process whether it’s in Japan or elsewhere. Your quest for the most effective long-tail keywords is also the same whether your language is English or Japanese. Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Google Analytics are valuable tools for you in Japan as they are in other markets. So if you know how to SEO for your home country, does that mean you’re ready for Japan?

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Topics: SEO

5 Things You Should Know to Sort Japanese the Right Way

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 03:38 PM

All too often, developers who are native to Western languages approach Japanese as if it was just, well, another language. Source strings get translated, target strings get sorted, and everything falls to pieces. In this article we’ll take you on a journey through the complexities of sorting Japanese text — so you won’t learn about it the hard way.

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Topics: Localization Insider

There’s Something Punny About Japan

Posted by Doug McGowan on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 02:54 PM

It’s the year 2020 and you’re in Japan. This is your first meal of the year, and your AR vision suddenly lights up with a cornucopia of warning displays — they’re pun alerts! It’s time to discover and savor the punny side of New Year’s in the land of the rising sun.

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Topics: People at Moravia

Survival Guide to Japanese Social Media

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Dec 05, 2016 @ 02:40 PM

The 2016 US presidential race proved that social media is an important marketing tool. And unlike China, where social media exists in its own unique ecosystem, Japanese social media is similar to the western world — with some important differences. 

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Topics: Localization Insider

Leveraging Comics for Your Marketing in Japan

Posted by Doug McGowan on Thu, Nov 24, 2016 @ 01:40 PM

Comics are for kids, right? Well, in many places around the world, that would be correct. But in Japan, the manga style of cartoon or comic can be your key to unlock the market.

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Topics: Localization Insider

Why Moravia Launched a Japanese Blog (and Maybe Why You Should Too)

Posted by Doug McGowan on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 @ 02:44 PM

When considering a new Asian market to enter, it seems all eyes bypass Japan and focus directly on China. With its double-digit growth and rising incomes, it makes sense, right? But let us remember that Japan still remains the third largest economy in the world, with some major buying power bolstered by a resilient currency that refuses to stay down. So if you have something interesting to sell, looking at Japan can be well worth your while.

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Topics: Localization Insider

Why Inbound Marketing May Be a Tough Sell in Japan

Posted by Doug McGowan on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 05:36 PM

Inbound marketing pioneer HubSpot held its “Grow with HubSpot” event on September 8th as part of its Tokyo office grand opening inaugural celebration. HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan was there, reenacting a sumo bout that took place years ago to express his future hopes for change in marketing practices in Japan. Will it happen, or will the status quo prevail as it often does in the land of the rising sun?

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Topics: Localization Insider