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Japanese to English Google Maps

Google Japan is one of the most popular non-English websites. And that’s why Google has set up its own office in Tokyo and now providing English labels for all Japanese cities, districts and even transit stations.

Google would be first releasing English labels of the Japanese cities, districts, prefecture and transit station names in Japan. Google has used a combination of transliteration which is a local pronunciation into English alphabet and translation. This would mean “Shibuya Eki” would be read as “Shibuya Station”.

Google has also used macrons which will further help in pronouncing them in English as pronounced in Japanese. For example, “Tokyo” will be read as “Tōkyō”.

Google mentions that users have been requesting the feature for a long time and that the Maps team has been working on this English labels project from February. With Google providing some of Japan’s streets in its first Street View coverage, Google sure seems to be giving a lot of favoritism to Japan.

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One Response to Japanese to English Google Maps

  1. nick may November 2, 2008 at 12:14 am #

    I am glad Google have finally got around to this – I hacked English labels onto their maps in a crude form back in June 2007. Nicer to see them on the tile layer though. The translation thing has pros and cons – not all “shi” are cities for example.

    What we could really use now full address search of Japanese addresses. Again, this isn’t hard to do (I’ve done is, so they can…) – although I suspect they will have to forgo the macrons….

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