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A Step-By-Step Guide To Handling An English–Japanese Brochure Translation Project

Posted by Chloe G. on September 20, 2023.

The brochure is the first impression that represents the company’s image and provides an overview of the company’s service. Localizing a company brochure means aligning the company’s image with local norms, values, and standards.

Japan, one of the most vibrant markets with no exception to the global trend, also upholds the brochure localization quality. In this post, we will discuss the steps to handle an English–Japanese brochure translation and address some insights into finding a good service provider.

1. English–Japanese brochure translations – An overview

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of the translation process, it’s vital to understand the unique challenges and considerations that come with translating brochures from English to Japanese. Japanese is a complex language with distinct writing systems (hiragana, katakana, and kanji), and cultural nuances that must be respected to ensure the brochure effectively resonates with the target audience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

English–Japanese brochure translation 11

The changes in fonts while the graphic remains

  • Language Structure: Japanese sentence structure is different from English, with the subject often omitted. Understanding how to convey the message coherently in Japanese is crucial.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: It is needed to aware of cultural differences. Phrases, idioms, or imagery that work in English may not have the same impact or meaning in Japanese.
  • Typography and Layout: Japanese text takes up less space than English, and fonts, characters, and symbols must be carefully chosen to maintain a visually appealing layout.
  • Images and Graphics: You need to ensure that images and graphics are culturally appropriate and resonate with the Japanese audience. Sometimes, images need to be replaced or adapted.
English–Japanese brochure translation 12

Japanese usually takes less space than English


2. Essential steps to work on an English–Japanese brochure translation

Localizing the English content to fit with the Japanese culture is surely one of the top concerns in English–Japanese brochure translation projects, but layout issues are equally important. Here are the recommended steps:

Step 1: Create a plan for the project’s workflow and timeline.

Japanese is considered a complex language with numerous rules concerning writing systems, styles, hierarchy, and more. Therefore, it is essential to clarify your requirements with your translation providers at the project’s outset. In other words, a good Japanese brochure translation project is one adapting to your requirements from the start.

Start by thoroughly reviewing the source English brochure and the project requirements. Pay special attention to fonts, images, and overall display. Japanese fonts differ from English ones, so select appropriate Japanese fonts that match the style and tone of the original brochure. You need to ensure that images and graphics are high-resolution and culturally relevant.

Japanese is considered a complex language with numerous rules concerning writing systems, styles, hierarchy, and more. Therefore, it is essential to clarify your requirements with your translation providers at the project’s outset. In other words, a good English-Japanese brochure translation project is one adapting to your requirements from the start. 

After reviewing and clarifying your requirements, you need to request your translation vendors to make a plan for the project’s workflow and timeline. Therefore, you can follow and manage your English-Japanese brochure translation project more effectively.

Choose suitable resources

Selecting the right team is vital for the success of your English-Japanese brochure translation project. Work with experienced native translators who are not only proficient in Japanese but also understand the nuances of the content. 

Obviously, the translation team should be allocated with native Japanese linguists to ensure not only the appropriate transmission of ideas but also the correct display at the sign-off stage. Additionally, a desktop-publishing (DTP) professional or team should be in charge of the design package. It is vital to collaborate with designers who have expertise in Japanese typography and layout.

Prepare the working files

Accordingly, the project materials including the design package will be prepared with text and photos fully adapted. However, the design package should adequately be imported into the CAT tool so the linguists can work on it because not all linguists have a design tool and CAT tool supports easier quality checks (QA). This step is partially the same as a typical translation project; particularly, the translation memory, glossary, or reference material if any needs to be included in the CAT package. 

English–Japanese brochure translation project 1


Step 2: Work with related native translators in the TEP stage

Everything in the English-Japanese brochure translation in this stage will be on track of an usual translation project. The translator proceeds with the translation package, and the translated file is later forwarded to the editor. Make sure that the linguists’ files come through both technical checks which involve a QA tool and manual checks. Linguistic changes are not expected in the next stage to avoid back-and-forth between the linguists and the DTP team, so the translation file should be ready for submission to the DTP team.

English–japanese brochure translation project 2

Step 3: DTP + LSO stage – what should be checked to complete an English-Japanese brochure translation?

Basically, the DTP team will take care of importing the translation in the design file and send the PDF temporary file for linguistic sign-off (LSO). Below is the checklist where the TEP linguists should be engaged in this very last step of an English–Japanese brochure translation:

First and foremost, compare the original English file with the current Japanese file to have an overview of the translated text. This is when you may spot the untranslated text, the inappropriate order of pages, paragraphs, or images, and take prompt action. There are also some opposite situations where a component shouldn’t have been translated according to the context. If any mistakes, the linguists may fix them properly in the translation package. 

The other part of LSO is the display – a pack of line breaks, font, images, and symbols. Meticulousness is a must not to miss out on any display errors.  Otherwise, the DTP team is responsible for updating the design file. The project is deemed complete when there are no longer errors found.

English–Japanese brochure translation project 3


3. Some tips to improve the quality

To enhance the quality of your English-Japanese brochure translation, consider the following tips:

Keep track changes of the edited version

The track changes in the translation file can reveal a lot about the quality of both the translator and the editor. If the translation is heavily edited, you need to ask your project managers to ask the editor to break down the poor components and send back the file to the translator for validation. 

Remain the tags in the translation file

Tags in a brochure translation project, especially with a Latin – hieroglyphs pair like English – Japanese plays a critical role – it represents the text format and even the images. The linguists should keep the tags the same so the DTP team can import the same display from the original English file. 

Careful QA step

QA check is apparently important in every translation project. In a brochure localization, inconsistency in target, tag mismatch, or target same as the source are notable ones; still, a careful QA step is not simply a QA Xbench report with all false errors. Your project managers should be aware of your specific requirements of terms and style as well.  

Thorough LSO step

There are two LSO parts as mentioned above. As this is the final step of the project, your project managers should join with the linguists from their understanding so far with regard to Japanese localization. In any case, two heads are better than one.

You should encourage open communication between the translation team and your team. Regular feedback could help address issues and improve the quality of future English-Japanese translations.

English–Japanese brochure translation project 4

Localize Content:

For brochure content or marketing content, you should go beyond translation by localizing the content to make it resonate with the Japanese audience. This may involve adapting marketing messages and references.


It is important to maintain consistency in terminology, style, and tone throughout the brochure. Let’s use a glossary to keep track of key terms and your translations.


4. Start your English–Japanese brochure translation project with us

It is needed to engage with a Japanese translation agency or professionals who understand Japanese culture and can provide insights into cultural nuances. 

GTE Localize has extensive experience in the Japanese localization sector, with various reasons that make us stand out in the market. Check out the top reasons why we can provide you with high-quality English–Japanese brochure localization:

High-qualified Japanese translators

GTE Localize takes pride in a team of native Japanese translators who specialize in a variety of fields in company brochures and marketing content. These linguists have a deep understanding of Japanese nuances, appropriate terminology, and cultural norms. We ensure that your content and messages are translated correctly and smoothly to the target audience. Working with local translators, GTE Localize ensures terminology accuracy and stays updated with market trends.

Positive feedbacks

GTE Localize has a strong reputation in Japanese translation services. We have a highly recommended profile on many social platforms, demonstrating genuine preferences and satisfaction from our customers who have experienced our outstanding English-Japanese brochure translation services, such as GoodFirms, ProZ,, etc. We are committed to continuing to provide high-quality English-Japanese translation brochure translation services and strive to improve ourselves further to meet more and more customers’ expectations.

Security and Confidentiality

We understand that brochure materials often contain sensitive and confidential information. We recommend a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure that all information handled by us in the English-Japanese brochure translation project receives careful treatment.

With a team of experienced and professional staff, we analyze the project’s goals ourselves and propose the most advantageous English-Japanese brochure translation solutions to our customers, ensuring the finished product aligns with industry practices and current trends.


5. Summary 

English–Japanese brochure translation project cta

Translating an English brochure into Japanese is a detailed process that requires careful planning, skilled professionals, and attention to detail. With the help of a comprehensive translation agency, you can successfully navigate the challenges of an English-Japanese brochure translation project and expand your reach to Japanese clients with confidence.

GTE Localize stands out as the most trustworthy and capable provider of translation services for English-Japanese brochure translations. GTE Localize, one of the top translation companies on GoodFirms, guarantees precise and culturally appropriate English-Japanese brochure translations for a wide range of industries. For the highest level of accuracy, professionalism, and client satisfaction, choose GTE Localize to handle your English-Japanese brochure translation needs.

Contact our team now to get a free quote and a 1:1 consultation.