While my company translates a broad range of fields, a lot of my own translation work involves machine tools, machining centers, and related technology. So, when the “Japan International Machine Tool Fair” is held, I try to attend. Not only is it a good way to meet up with a dozen or so clients in one day, but I also get to see the latest developments and technology.

This year I flew out from China (just two nights) to Tokyo for the event. It seemed a lot to do for an exhibition, but it is only held once every two years. The usual players were there and, unfortunately, many of the companies still had terrible English and Chinese on their panels, in the catalogs, and on their signs. Not much chance for those companies to succeed in the international market. Still, nothing new or surprising.

Then, I saw the large sign announcing the event itself. The Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA), which organizes the event, couldn’t even spell “International” correctly; they omitted the second “i”. Amusing? No. Pathetic and incompetent? Yes. How do they expect to improve Japan’s international standing in the industry if the host of this major event can’t even spell.

Oh well, I thought, anyone can make a mistake. That is, until I had a look at the English version of their website. They manage to spell the same word incorrectly, again; this time, omitting the second “a”.

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On the bright side, they have time for improvement by JIMTOF 2012 . . .