Re: Suggestions & Recommendations

Language

  • It is beyond my comprehension why HK Xbox is only available in Chinese whereas Microsoft HK is in both Chinese and English. Furthermore, other countries with multiple (official) languages have multi-language Xbox sites as well (Belgium, Canada and Switzerland).
    The only valid guess would be that it’s too much trouble, especially considering that the one-language only HK site already has update problems. While the first version of the site still provided English content, the second one continued with a few news until last year and now the only English content available is important stuff like cord replacement or disc exchanges.
  • I don’t demand an English-only site for HK as I understand the local needs; don’t get me wrong. However I do think that if the only way to get faster and more accurate information would be an English one, it sure would be in the local interest. Everyone should be capable to recognize at least a game title with pictures followed by some numbers indicating a release date and SRP. Given the close resemblance to Singapore, it wouldn’t hurt to do a copy/paste there once in a while. Using English might as well speed up that remote webmaster procedure.
    In the worst case, why not just team-up with Singapore for the non-Chinese part? We import all the stuff from Singapore anyway (see English Halo 3).
  • To avoid both problems above, the alternative would be to just get a way to edit the site by locals/locally. That would solve the update issue, and if a dual-language site is impossible for whatever higher reason, one could perhaps add some second-language data to at least the most important pages.
    It is a shame that one has to compare each page between the HK and Singapore site to understand its meaning (such as replacing the "zh-HK" part of the HK URL with "zh-SG" for Singapore. Example Halo 3 Central in Singapore: http://www.xbox.com/zh-SG/games/splash/h/halo3/default.htm and in HK: http://www.xbox.com/zh-HK/games/splash/h/halo3/default.htm).
  • People want information fast, to the point and understandable. Nice translations can be done later (what you have to translate to update a release page?).
  • It’s always nice to have dual-language hand-outs or whatever else. Why serve just a part of the potential target group if you could target all? Just don’t come up with a translation quality à la "product made in mainland and sold below production costs to win the bid".
  • Game languages are also a tricky domain. While it makes sense to translate for some groups, one also has to respect the high demand for the original game. As pointed out many times, even those who don’t understand the original language prefer very often sub-titles. I wouldn’t want to see an Asian movie or game translated either; it usually ruins the atmosphere.
    The first priority should be the original (game origin) language followed by a localized sub-title. Additional options could be a second audio track and more sub-titles. How many people would have been satisfied with an English Halo 3 and localized sub-titles; no matter from Japan, Taiwan or Hong Kong?
    Now (and likely the next time) many order directly from Singapore, their local sales go up and in HK people will wonder why. Unless, of course, the whole idea is to transform Singapore into the only English hub and all other places into localized ones. I’d welcome that idea if it would mean one centralized place with up-to-date information for everything and everyone/everywhere (in Asia) which however would create more work than a localized dual-language site. But then again, who understands the logic behind all this anyway.

{One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "09-30-2007, 2:39AM"}

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