My secret wish for WOVN’s mission
Hello. I’m Kiri. I love Starbucks, so I thought to write something about Starbucks, but since it’s been almost one year since I joined this company, I decided to write about something more serious.
Our mission at WOVN is to “create a world where all people can access all data in their native language.” Today, I’d like to take a moment to talk about my wishes for this mission and how I came to think so.
Interested in foreign languages from a young age
Now that I think about it, I’ve been interested in foreign languages since I was little. There were many reasons for this, but what I remember most are the ending theme song of the Sailor Moon anime from elementary school and the Harry Potter novels from junior high school. The concept of both the song lyrics and novels including words/sounds I didn’t know but that had meaning to those who understood them really struck a chord with me.
My interest in foreign language and culture led me to study abroad
One way or another, I became interested in foreign languages, and I went to a high school where a relatively large amount of students pursued foreign language education and came from different cultural backgrounds. Then I studied abroad in New Zealand for one year starting in winter of my second year in senior high school.
I went to a local school while doing a homestay with a host family for one year. Many times in life, we get frustrated if we aren’t understood or something is just “different.” There was a time when I felt overwhelmed and frustrated, thinking "I can’t take it anymore.” But one day, I had an epiphany. “No two Japanese people in Japan are identical, so it's only natural that things would be different in New Zealand, a foreign country.” I suddenly felt as if scales fell from my eyes. I feel like from that point on, whenever I encountered something different, I became able to simply accept it as different instead of judging it as good or bad.
WOVN can definitely provide more than just localization services
Having had such an experience, I came to think that “the more drawers people have inside their mind, the more tolerant they can be.” The first step is realizing there are things and ways of thinking completely foreign to you. The more you have these realizations, the more these drawers increase inside your mind. So next time you encounter something different, you’ll be able to simply say “Oh, I never knew people thought that way,” instead of completely rejecting it because you assume it’s wrong.
WOVN provides a service for localizing websites and currently, many Japanese companies are adopting it. In the process of localization, there is always “someone localizing something” and “someone receiving localized information.” Whichever side you are on, there is always an opportunity to learn something wildly new.
Someone in charge of a localization project could gain a new outlook by providing information for those with a non-Japanese background, while those on the receiving end would gain access to an untapped well of Japanese knowledge. The possibilities for learning are endless.
WOVN holds the keys to such learning opportunities. This mission captivated me, leading me to join WOVN. And my secret wish for the WOVN mission is for everyone involved in localization projects to become tolerant of all things different, eventually leading to a world where humanity can live in equality regardless of nationality, language, or culture. (sorry for the long secret wish lol)
It is my hope that my daily work will bring me even just a bit closer to this personal wish of mine.
# Writer Profile
Name : Kiri
Time at WOVN: 11 months