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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

Coming Together to Make Translation Newsworthy (for the Right Reasons)

Posted by Doug McGowan on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 @ 06:45 AM

In an era when so many of the world’s people can agree on so little, it was a joy to learn that the United Nations General Assembly on May 24th adopted UN Resolution A/71/288, recognizing “the role of professional translators in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development.” The same resolution also officially recognized September 30th as “International Translation Day,” so be sure to mark your calendars.

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Topics: In the News

How Rakuten Achieved in Less than a Decade What Took Centuries of British Colonial Rule: English Literacy

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Jun 05, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

In March 2010, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani stood before 3,000 of his mainly Japanese employees in Tokyo (and many more viewing remotely) and announced that English would be the company’s new lingua franca...to many a jaw hitting the floor. And in less than a decade, Rakuten has become fully functional in English—with an average employee score of over 800 on the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication).

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Topics: In the News

Shortcut to China SEO: What’s Different Between Google and Baidu [Infographic]

Posted by Doug McGowan on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 05:18 AM

If your job involves SEO, chances are you already know a lot about how Google ranks websites, and how to optimize your site accordingly. But in China, where Google exited in 2010, the search engine you need to optimize for is Baidu. So do you need to learn a whole new set of rules? 

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Topics: SEO, Global Marketing

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

Posted by Doug McGowan on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

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 @ 12:36 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 @ 09:55 AM

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 @ 09:40 AM

 

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 @ 09:38 AM

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 @ 08:54 AM

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 @ 08:40 AM

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