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The basis of Google's search technology is called PageRank (tm), and assigns an "importance" value to each page on the web and gives it a rank to determine how useful it is. However, that's not why it's called PageRank. It's actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page.
But not on Google Japan. There you can find Larry Page is written in katakana as "rari- peiji" [google.co.jp] but when they write about PageRank [google.co.jp] the word is explained as "pe-ji jun'i" with "pe-ji" in katakana and "jun'i" (order, rank, precedence) in kanji. It is very common when writing about a page of a book, fax or internet-page to write it in katakana as "pe-ji". So on Google Japan PageRank is just the ranking of an internet-page.
That bit of trivia seems to be well known around WebmasterWorld, but maybe it was lost in translation. I'm betting that it was a straight translation issue whether conscious or unconscious. It makes more sense to describe PageRank as a function relating to the web page rather than trying to get the Japanese populace to realize that Page can be a person's last name...let alone the founder's name. The description also works well the way it is now in Japanese; at least it seems logical to me.
Does anyone believe for a minute that at the very least the name was meant to be clever and to mean both and to be intentionally confusing?
Just as Bill, I think that it was like in the movie: Lost in Translation.