Thursday, December 21, 2006

e-Stores in French, German and Japanese

ICE High Sppee Model TrainAmazon has a facility for setting up your own "store" to sell their products on commission. After setting up one for (the US based site in English), I set one up with the German, French and Japanese sites. This was challenging, as I don't speak any of these languages. The Japanese site offers an English interface for shoppers, but not for the resellers. The German and French sites offer no English at all.

I used a web translation service to translate the Amazon interface to English. That wasn't so hard for German and French, but more difficult for Japanese. It was not just a matter of word translation, as an example, I found that postal addresses are entered the opposite way around than in English (with state, city, street instead of street, city and state). But I managed to get through all that.

To see what it looked like, I then translated the sites back to English from French, German, and Japanese.

Fuzzy Logic Rice CookerAfter carefully translating headings and sub headings into each of the languages I discovered when translated back they were all nonsense. So I put the captions in English. The hope is that English speakers will be attracted to the site for products which they can't get at the US Amazon site (the Japanese seem to be obsessed with AI fuzzy logic rice cookers). This even applies to the UK Amazon, which is in English, but has different products to the US Amazon.

Eurostar Model TrainAs an example the US amazon has a poor selection of high speed models of toy trains. This is because the USA doesn't have many real high speed trains. In contrast the UK Amazon offers models of the Eurostar and German Amazon the ICE and Thalis very fast trains.

Apart from that I created speciality stores on subjects from Accessible Web Design to Walter Burley Griffin. Full list:
  • Accessible Web Design: Web site testing and General Accessibility for web pages.
  • Australian Bush HatAustralian Bush Hats: Hats, Oilskin Coats, Saddles, Boots and Books of Australian Outback.
  • Canberra: History, Travel and Architecture of the city of Canberra.
  • Build Your Own Car PCCar PCs: Build a PC for your car. Books and parts with a step by step guide to building a personal computer into a car for entertainment, GPS navigation and car diagnostics. With: Car PCs, LCD Screens and On Board Diagnostics (OBD)Equipment.
  • Film, TV and Video Games Industry: Books on Film Making, TV Production, Games Industry, Electronics, Cameras and Photography.
  • GPS Car Navigation Systems: Units, Books and DVDs on the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Home Office Products: Computer and telecommunications equipment for your small or home office. With ADSL Modems, Routers, VOIP, Skype Phones, Wi-Fi, Printers, Scanners, PCs, Add-ons, Software, UPS and Fire Safes.
  • Computer Education Products: Books and other training materials for the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL/ECDL) computer literacy standard.
  • Military Technology: Books on UAVs, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, Network Centric Warfare, airborne early warning and control aircraft.
  • International Sporting Events: Clothes, Books, DVDs and Related Products
    from the Olympic Games and other events.
  • Lego Robot KitRobots: Robot kits, books and videos. Build and program your own robot or see how others have done it. With: Lego Mindstorms and the iRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuum.
  • RSS Feeds: Books about RSS and Atom Feeds, Podcasting and Blogging
  • Smart Apartment: Home Automation, Fuzzy Logic Products, Home Theatre and Wide Screen TV.
  • Trains: Train Books, Model Railways, Rail Travel Books and DVDs
  • Universal Service
  • USB: Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices and information.
  • Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin: Architects of Canberra, town planners and landscape architecture.

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