Japanese and “Subtitle” UI

Slack is now available in Japanese! You can learn more about it here: https://slackhq.com/slack-is-now-available-in-japanese-e5f9575eb080

For parts of Slack in Japanese, rather than “dubbing” every word in sight, we took a “subtitle” design approach where we use a hybrid of English and Japanese.

One place you can see the design in action is search. When we first translated our search modifiers, we heard from our beta users that words like “from”, “in”, or “has” should be familiar to most of our Japanese customers. In addition, it’s generally more work to type using kana/romaji and kanji compared to English. It would make search a bit more clumsy in Japanese if we were to dub them. So we left the modifiers in English and added Japanese as the helper text.

And like movies, sometimes subtitles are just cooler. 😊

Posted on Dec 4, 2017

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