Google aims to eliminate the language barrier faced by users who wish to share messages of support for earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan with its launch of Messages for Japan, which serves the dual purpose of automatically translating posts into Japanese and helping to raise funds for the country’s recovery efforts.
Google Japan product marketing manager Naoki Sadakuni posted on the Google Blog:
Since the crisis, people around the world have sent countless messages of hope and support to the people of Japan. Some of them showed sympathy for the victims. Others encouraged us to look forward. Reading these messages — many of them in English — you can’t help but feel the support coming from around the world. But we wished more people in Japan could hear from these supporters and feel that same sense of hope — even if the senders spoke another language.
So we had an idea: a site where people around the world could input messages for Japan in their own languages and have them automatically translated into Japanese while raising funds to help Japan. And today, we’re pleased to share messagesforjapan.com. On the site, you can submit messages and have them automatically translated to Japanese by Google Translate. Of course, people who speak Japanese can also post messages in Japanese if they’d like. You can see messages on the world map, browse them in their original language or in Japanese, and donate to the rebuilding effort. We’re planning to deliver some of these messages to people in Japan via offline media, as well.
A final note: Donations raised via the Crisis Response page have exceeded $5 million so far. We truly appreciate your contributions and thank you for your continued support.