Community post by Junya Okabe, Kaito Ii, and Nao Nishijima

The Cloud Native Glossary is a project led by the CNCF Business Value Subcommittee. Its goal is to explain cloud native concepts in clear and simple language without requiring any previous technical knowledge. We are in the process of localizing the English version of the Glossary into as many languages as possible. This week we focus on Japanese and the team that localized the Glossary for Japanese speakers! 

About Japanese and the Japanese Glossary

Japanese is the national language of Japan and is used daily by approximately 120 million people in Japan. It uses hiragana, kanji, and katakana, allowing for a wide variety of expressions. It is a highly compressible language that can express complex meanings in a limited number of characters (e.g. Haiku and Senryu). It is also characterized by its richness of expression: it is said that more than 400 words can be used to call for rain. For this reason, Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages for foreigners to learn.

In Japan, foreign technical books and terms are translated into Japanese, and Japanese developers understand content in Japanese rather than English. Therefore, we decided to localize the CNCF glossary into Japanese. There are currently 8 people on the Japanese localization team, and we have localized 46 terms in about six months.

Why do you think localizing the Glossary in Japanese is important?

Japan is often a home-grown country, and language barriers are significant when it comes to new foreign technologies. Cloud native technologies are gradually becoming more popular in Japan, but not many Japanese developers are willing to understand new technologies in English. Localization of technical terminology is therefore key to promoting cloud native adoption.

Native language localization helps decision makers understand new technology concepts. It can also prevent Galápagos syndrome (a term of Japanese origin used in business studies to refer to an isolated development branch of a globally available product) by following standards.

Meet the Japanese Glossary team

The team members responsible for approvals and active within the Japanese team are as follows:

Junya Okabe – I am a student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Tsukuba. I am interested in Kubernetes and related Cloud Native technologies. I actively contribute to the localization of cncf/glossary and kubernetes/website.

Kaito Ii – Cloud Native Platform Solution Architect at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. An open source enthusiast helping customersrun things Cloud Native.

Nao Nishijima – CNCF ambassador and Senior Researcher at Hitachi. For most of his 10+ year career, he has been involved in architecting, designing, and engineering open source systems, including the Linux kernel, OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Hyperledger.

Of course, there are many more people behind this effort. Key contributors include @inductor @yuichi-nakamura @bashi8128 @shizhenhu @HANABE926 @A-aiura

Why did you decide to localize the glossary? Why is it important to you?

It is critical to base discussions and decisions on a common understanding. We believe that a glossary is the first resource that people entering the cloud native world should look at. Localization is also more than translation. We are passionate about providing high quality glossaries that take into account the nuances of each country’s culture and native language. We are confident that this glossary will help you on your journey to cloud native.

How has the experience been? 

We would like to thank everyone involved in the creation and localization of the glossary. We have been able to connect with people and local communities around the world. It is a pleasure to see more and more terms being localized into Japanese every day.

To sustain the community, we work daily to create an environment that makes it easy for new participants to join and contribute.

Japanese is a language with multiple character sets and a wide variety of expressions, and the team discusses how certain terms should be localized until a consensus is reached. Long vowels and katakana issues are particularly difficult to translate, and we referred to Kubernetes translation projects for solutions.

Our future focus will be on evolving the project to make it more attractive to new contributors. If you are a Japanese speaker and interested in our project, please join us!

Any lessons learned you’d like to share with the community?

The first barrier to starting a community was attracting participants. To solve this, we joined Cloud Native Community Japan, a community of cloud natives. There, we recruited localization members through other communities and meetups. We recommend reaching out to the many communities related to cloud natives.

How and why should others contribute

If you would like to participate in the Japanese glossary, please start a conversation on GitHub.

The Glossary is an excellent starting point for joining the CNCF community and is a great way to expand your cloud native knowledge and advance your career. It provides a great opportunity to make new friends and connect with other cloud native developers. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Anything else you’d like us to call out?

The philosophy of the open source community and its cycle is very impressive. I am deeply grateful to the people involved in the creation and localization of the glossary. Not only have we been able to connect with people around the world, but we have also been able to make local connections. Our achievements so far are the result of the cooperation and contributions of many people. Now it is our turn to help others. Will you join us in helping them? Let’s continue to work together to build a great open source community!


Japanese Version

クラウドネイティブ用語集 – 日本語版を公開しました!










岡部 純弥 – 筑波大学でコンピュータサイエンスを専攻している学生。Kubernetesや関連するCloud Nativeな技術に興味を持っています。cncf/glossarykubernetes/websiteのローカライゼーションに積極的に貢献しています。

井伊 海人 – 日本ヒューレット・パッカード合同会社のソリューションアーキテクト。学生の頃からオープンソースに携わり、現在はCloud Native関連の技術を扱う業務に従事しています。

西島直 – 日立製作所の主任研究員。10年以上のキャリアのほとんどを、Linuxカーネル、OpenStack、Kubernetes、Hyperledgerなどのオープンソースシステムのアーキテクト、設計、エンジニアリングに携わってきました。またCNCFアンバサダーでもあります。

もちろん、この取り組みの背後には多くの人々がいます。主な貢献者には、@inductor @yuichi-nakamura @bashi8128 @shizhenhu @HANABE926 @A-aiuraです。