The number of foreign travellers, tourists and customers in Japan and other Asian countries is on the rise. In Japan, for example, the number of tourists nearly quadrapled in the last 5 years. The number of foreign visitors and tourists in Japan is expected to increase further due to the Tokyo Olympics. The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) provides detailed data (in Japanese) about the number of foreign travelers and their activities in Japan.
Advertisements, brochures, signboards and informational documents in English, the de-facto international language of communication, are necessary for conducting business with foreign visitors. Unfortunately, many of the English signboards, brochures, menus, advertisements and other documents addressed to foreign travelers in Japan are suffering from the “engrish” problem resulting in miscommunications, misunderstandings, confusion to your customers and possibly your embarrassment and loss of face. In situations where signs and documents provide important information and instructions (e.g. safety instructions) to foreign visitors, engrish can become a safety issue or cause confusion and frustration to the visitors. Furthermore, correcting engrish can be a costly issue. For example, large engrish signboards will cost a lot to be corrected or re-fabricated. The final result is always:
engrish = lost business opportunities, time and money!