Sakura in Tokyo, 2018

It felt like this spring was the best sakura (cherry blossom) season in Tokyo since I had moved here 7 years ago. The blossoms started early, but the weather during the full bloom was warm and less windy/rainy than I had experienced in the past.

I fully enjoyed the flowers by taking many walks and going hanami picnics.

March 17

Early blossoms outside of the Imperial Palace, where I biked along with my new battery-assisted e-bike.

First fully bloomed tree I saw this year, near Iidabashi Station.

March 23

Another one right above the railroad of Sōbu-Chūō Line at Iidabashi Station.

March 24

Walked around Akagi Jinja/Shrine.

The darker pink kind I spotted while my daughter Lisa played in a park.

March 25

This was the best day of the season for me. Sakura at their most beautiful time.

March 27

I took kids to a quick night picnic. Lisa liked it so much she kept saying she wanted to go again. Hopefully, we can do that next year!

March 31

Back at the Imperial Palace area — picnic at Kitanomaru Park with some local families.

April 1

Last hanami for the year at Koishikawa Botanical Garden. It was a windy day, and the fallen petals looked like snowflakes.

Sakura season is so short and unpredictable, but that makes it even more precious. 🌸

Thanksgiving in Tokyo, 2017

For the third time, we cooked a Thanksgiving meal in Tokyo. Baking a whole bird at home (especially turkey) isn’t something I do very often, but I feel it’s worth the effort for this occasion.

We started this tradition because we found a wholesale grocery store that carries frozen whole turkey, Niku-no-Hanamasa. They even deliver the purchase made at the store if you live in the nearby area.

This year we made:

  • Turkey (8.8 lbs)
  • Gravy
  • Coleslaw with red onions and sweet corn
  • Apple & raisin stuffing (alteration of this recipe)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pumpkin pie

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Four friends came over to share the food and we had a good time!

Global WordPress Translation Day in Tokyo

September 30 was the third Global WordPress Translation Day (GWTD3).

https://wordpress.org/news/2017/09/global-wordpress-translation-day-3/

649 translators for 60 different locales added 93,179 translations over the 24-hour period. 346 projects (core, meta, plugins, themes, and apps) got new language pack created as a result.

Meetups & Online Events in Japan

In Japan, there were four local meetups in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Ogijima. We also had several online participants on WordSlack, the Slack instance for the Japanese WordPress community.

We held the Translation Day event in Tokyo at Gengo office for the second time following the last year. Active translation contributors Mayuko (Mayo) & Akira (atachibana) were there, and we had a nice mix of new and experienced polyglots.

“How to Make Strings Translator-Friendly” session

From 11 am, three of us did a live session on for the Crowdcast streaming.

The idea of the session came out from a question from WordCamp Tokyo Contributor Day participant. He asked how we should translate ALL CAPS, and some of us said: “we actually don’t have a good way to translate it in Japanese (because the Japanese language doesn’t make use of capitalization)”. Then, Mirucon said the best thing we can do is to try letting developers know not to use language-specific expressions such as this.

Mayuko, Akira, and I gathered some examples of strings that we can’t translate well and I categorized them into four types. I hope this is useful for anyone writing strings for WordPress, its themes & plugins, and any other products to be localized.

Making strings translator-friendly can not only help translators but improves the overall quality of the text for all users. Precise and unambiguous instructions and UI labels can be a great feature on its own.

It’s Fun to Work Together

I was only able to stay until 3 pm since I have kids waiting at home, but I’m glad I was able to join the offline event even for a short time. I enjoyed working side by side with other translators — it’s not something I experience much, as a member of a distributed company.

But working with a remote team was also a fun part of the event. It was great to see the GWTD3 organizing team put together the whole thing with strong teamwork (I’m listed as one of the team members but I had a minimum involvement due to my early maternity leave, the hard work was done by everyone else!).

Suggesting translation is one of the easiest ways to start contributing to the WordPress open source project for those who understand multiple languages.

You don’t have to wait until the next Translation Day to get started 😄

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