Japanese Characters, Formatting and Testing

For non-Japanese speaking people, we wanted to show a few options on how we handle Japanese texts during development process. But first, let us have a short discussion about the standard Japanese writing system and formats that we are currently using in Excite Development Projects.

Japan Writing System

There are three character types:

  • Kanji characters are historically Chinese characters. It is also used to write most content words of native Japanese.
  • Hiragana is used to write native words for which there are no kanji, including grammatical practices.
  • Katakana is used for those Japanese language words and grammatical inflections which kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary usage is quite similar to italics in English; specifically, it is used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words.

Japanese sentences are usually written in a mixture of katakana, hiragana and kanji, e.g.: アメリカ人です (amerikajin desu: I am American). Here “amerika” is written in katakana, the ending “jin”() is kanji, and “desu” (I am) is in hiragana.

Date Notation in Japan

The most commonly used date format in Japan is “year month day (weekday) with Japanese character inserted after each numerals.

japan-date

Japan Contact Number Format

In Japan, telephone numbers consist of an area code, an exchange number and a subscriber number.

Most of the tasks that are related to this article are the task for changing text. In programming, text change tasks are not so difficult. But for a non-Japanese speaker, it can become a bit complicated.

text-change

Anyway, in my experience, I have come up with the two options for solving the task.
I prepared the following options and see illustration below:

First Option

Search and Check
Step 1: Copy the text/phrase you want to change from the task or ticket.
Step 2: Go to the web page, find (ctrl + f) and paste (ctrl + v) to the search box.
Step 3: Check the text/phrase existing from the layout.
Optional: You can press the “Highlight All” button for checking many text updates involved.

Update and Test
Step 1: Copy the text/phrase you want to change with.
Step 2: Update the text/phrase in you file code.
Step 3: Test your updates from the web page.

Second Option

Search and Check
Step 1: Copy the text/phrase you want to change from the task or ticket.
Step 2: Go to the web page, inspect element (F12).
Step 3: Find (ctrl + f) and paste (ctrl + v) to the search box.
Step 4: Check the text/phrase existing from the HTML elements.
Step 5: Repeat “Update and Test” process above.

text-change-process

These kind of methods are very common process when we are testing typos and text changes during development phase. But we need to be cautious on implementing it in our tasks since we cannot read it directly, we might end up putting in the wrong place, wrong phrase or incorrect category . I also recommend to use Google Translate to verify and understand what are we working on.
google-translate

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.

~Brian Kernighan