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Top 3 Essential Things about Japanese Chemical Translation Services

Posted by Chloe G. on February 10, 2022.

Japanese chemical translation services are used by businesses in the chemical industry when they want to succeed in the Japanese market.

When it comes to chemical translations, the most important need is a high level of technical accuracy. After all, documents from this industry may include exceedingly complicated chemical formulas.

A qualified chemical translator may have to translate a variety of documents, including product specifications and chemical engineering manuals, as well as press releases and marketing materials, patents, and legal contracts.

As a chemical industry professional, you’ll need your selected linguist to guarantee that your translated papers are correct, meet the regulatory criteria of the Japanese government, and are clear and precise.

Here’s what you need to know about selecting the best Japanese chemical translation service for your project:

Why are professional Japanese chemical translation services important?

Japanese Chemical Translation Services

There are various reasons why chemical translation should be performed by linguists and chemists who are both professionals in their fields:

#1. The risks and dangers of mistranslation

Bad translation, in a positive way, can lead to funny moments. But in the chemical industry, any mistranslation could put relevant people who are going to handle, transport, and use the chemicals in danger of losing their lives.

The 2015 Tianjin Port Disaster was one of the worst examples of this. An explosion caused by misunderstood chemical storage and handling instructions mixed with technical document errors killed 173 persons and caused $1.1 billion in damage.

#2. Differences in the terminology used by Japanese chemical translation services

Chemical terminology varies depending on the language and region. This implies that relying on a literal translation of certain terminology isn’t always a good idea. The outcomes can be severe in some circumstances. Thus, it’s critical to check chemical terminology in Japanese again and again. 

#3. Legal requirements

These standards are in place to reduce the risk of issues with terminology or safety, such as those described above. The rules themselves differ based on the jurisdiction and region. When tapping into the Japanese market, you have to conduct research on local legal regulations and follow them accordingly. 

What are Japanese chemical translation services used for?

Japanese Chemical Translation Services

Japanese chemical translation services are utilized for more than simply product labels and warning signs. There is a need for many types of documents as follow:

#1. Technical documentation

Materials handling, manufacturing, transportation, as well as the legal side of the sector, are frequently addressed in technical documents. They are:

  • Investigation and filing of patents
  • Legal, commercial, and employment contracts 
  • MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) 
  • Information on EHS
  • Specifications for the product
  • Manuals on chemical engineering
  • SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) manuals for chemical production
  • Information about the packaging
  • Risk evaluations
  • Reports on toxicology

#2. Related documents and content

There is also a substantial volume of relevant content that Japanese chemical translation services providers need to perform. Materials relating to product advertising, sale, and usage, company reputation, communications, and the like are included:

  • Press releases and public service announcements
  • Promotional materials
  • Video content
  • Internal communication
  • E-Learning and other instructional materials
  • Catalogs
  • Websites
  • Software

#3. Verbal communication

Besides written communications, there is a growing requirement to interact verbally with experts who speak in Japanese.  

How to select the best Japanese chemical translation services

Japanese Chemical Translation Services

With the above types of content, using a professional Japanese chemical translation service is definitely the best way to go. Only if you have an in-house staff of native speakers who are experts in the field as well as qualified in translation, editing, and proofreading of bilingual papers is there a viable option.

When choosing a Japanese chemical translation services provider for the job, it’s a good idea to consider the following factors:

#1. Use specialist chemical translators and interpreters

Always search for a translation company that employs translators with experience in the chemical business. Preferably, the specific branch of the industry, such as agrochemicals, petrochemicals, plastics production, or materials science.

For example, GTE Localize always ensures that your project is handled by linguists with at least five years of expertise or Master’s degree-equivalent qualifications in your chosen field. Many of the translators we utilize are materials scientists or chemists who are currently or have been in the field.

The only way to ensure that your final translation is correct is to have access to subject matter knowledge.

#2. Always choose native speakers

Japanese is regarded as one of the most difficult languages to master. Thus, only a linguist who is Japanese and is well-versed in the culture of Japan can accurately assess how natural a translated text is and how clear its message will be.

The modern Japanese writing system is made up of Kanji (the accepted logographic Chinese letters), Hiragana, and Katakana — two phonetic alphabets. Hiragana and Katakana have 46 characters apiece, but Kanji has almost 2,000.

It produces a great number of words that may be written in a variety of ways and are useful in many situations. To effectively use Japanese to communicate with your target audiences, working with professional native Japanese linguists is highly recommended.

#3. Remember the challenges of localization

Native speakers from Japan may assist you in gaining a better understanding of cultural reference points, sensitivities, and expectations.

These are details that are easy to ignore or overgeneralize. However, without it, any message would fall flat. Or, even worse, provide an entirely different or confusing message since the translation was based on a poor understanding of how the target audience perceives the world – or even how they comprehend certain terms.

Even when considering something as simple as a safety notice, it’s clear to see how much confusion this may produce. When dealing with complicated chemical equations or directions, the risk of hazardous misunderstandings increases dramatically.

#4. See what Quality Assurance your Japanese chemical translation services offer

The minimum you should expect is professional editing and proofreading of your translated text. You might want to search for the following:

  • Editing: An editor will ensure that your translated text has the desired impact. Tone, voice, clarity, and consistency will all be checked.
  • Proofreading: A proofreader ensures that your translator and editor have done an excellent job. They will make sure that your document is ready for publication.
  • Back translation and reconciliation: Because the chemical industry’s projects are often complicated and high-value, it’s a good idea to look into the potential of requesting back translation and reconciliation of your material.



If you intend to enter the Japanese market, the critical steps include a deep knowledge of the chemical industry, a comprehensive understanding of Japanese culture and language. 

GTE Localize is a professional translation company that specializes in Japanese translation. To provide you with accurate and culturally sensitive Japanese translations, we have a staff of experienced and native Japanese translators with a thorough grasp of Japanese culture and customs.

Japanese Chemical Translation Services

Contact our Japanese chemical translation services specialists for a free consultation if you want to tap into the Japanese market but don’t know where to start.