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Bridging the Language Barrier: The Role of a Japanese Translator

Posted by Ethan N. on March 15, 2023.

Due to Japan’s booming economy and cultural supremacy, the Japanese language has become more widely known. At the same time, many major Japanese corporations are growing their operations abroad, they are constantly looking for Japanese translators who can facilitate communication by translating discussions from other languages into Japanese or vice versa.

In this article, GTE Localize would provide the most necessary information about translation and localization for any investor when thinking about entering the Japanese market.

1. Qualifications of a Japanese Translator

The top Japanese translator must have these 3 characteristics.

Fluency in Both Japanese and the Target Language

A normal Japanese translator normally requires a specific degree. And it is not too difficult to acquire a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Japanese to work as a full-time translator. There is also a specialist certification course or a certain degree of proficiency for translators.

Along with Japanese proficiency, the translation provider should be knowledgeable about the other language so a high degree of expertise in at least two languages is required of translators. The near-native level is one of the advanced levels on official language examinations.

Cultural Understanding of Both Languages

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The languages of 2 civilizations reveal the distinctions between them. Understanding people who (presumably) grew up with quite different values and views requires a deep understanding of the intricacies of their language. Therefore, fluent Japanese translators should be well familiar with the culture of Japan and the other language.

Familiarity with Translation Tools and Software

The term “translation software” often refers to the instruments and sources you may utilize to facilitate the production of high-quality translations while streamlining your multilingual workflow. And because it might take a lot of work to complete each duty precisely when translating corporate assets for various markets, a professional Japanese translator needs to handle the materials smoothly with up-to-date translation tools.

2. Popular Types of Japanese Translation Services

Document Translation 

The most common type of documents that Japanese translators often encounter are:

  • Legal files (contracts, law papers, confidential information, etc.)
  • Medical documents
  • Technical materials (training material, patents, user guides, etc.)
  • Books with various genres and writing styles

Website and Software Localization

In the localization field, Japanese translators usually need to handle:

  • Website localization (mobile optimization, multilingual SEO, etc.)
  • Software localization (apps, online help, eLearning, etc.)

3. Challenges of Japanese Translator

Idiomatic Expressions and Cultural Nuances

Japanese language and sentence construction differ significantly from English or any others. Idiomatic phrases are one issue that all translators encounter. Since it would be absurd to interpret things verbatim, culture must be taken into account if there isn’t a comparison. Idioms are an odd aspect of language, and only the best translators are able to use them fluently between languages.

Moreover, to guarantee that the translation is accurate and that the proper context is portrayed, linguists must pay particular attention to cultural subtleties when starting any translation project. This is especially true with Japanese since the language requires sentence fragmentation in order to accurately capture cultural nuance in a natural-sounding manner. For instance, it is crucial for the translator to convey the formality and politeness that the syntax of the Japanese language communicates.

Managing Tight Deadlines and Client Expectations

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Japanese customers often prefer quick responses. Every phone call, email, and fax from a Japanese customer should be acknowledged as quickly as you can. And it is the same with a localization project that targets Japanese customers, leading to the possibility that Japanese translators need to be able to work with tight deadlines.

Also, it goes without saying that Japanese people demand the best possible products.  Of course, it’s crucial to keep in mind that this is true for everything you do, including your written communications and interpersonal encounters. To avoid any errors or quality issues, double-check everything.  Everything sent to the consumer must be flawlessly presented.

4. Best Practices for Japanese Translation

Careful Attention to Context and Cultural Appropriateness

Taking everything into account, it is crucial to recognize that translating from Japanese to any other language and vice versa requires not only the expertise of a native translator who is familiar with the local culture but also one who is constantly up-to-date with contemporary culture and preferably lives in-country. 

Utilize Translation Memory and Glossaries

Japanese translation providers must compile a glossary of important terminology and a style manual in order to maintain consistency and guarantee that specific corporate phrases are communicated.

Businesses frequently have their own internal lingo, which should be shared with the translation agency to guarantee that the same consistency is maintained in Japanese or in the target language. A professional would be essential to the project in this situation to ensure that the right language is utilized.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development

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To stay current in the age of artificial intelligence and machine translation, Japanese translators must continuously be learning new things. The most popular trend in the field is continuous professional development (CPD), regardless of whether you work as a freelancer or an internal translator.

By focusing on tomorrow’s markets rather than the present, it has become much simpler thanks to the Internet to keep up with the trends and even advance. Engaging in CPD encourages you to push off the limitations.

5. GTE Localize Provides The Best Japanese Translators

Japanese translation is a difficult undertaking with many obstacles to overcome. Yet, if you work with reputable Japanese translation services, you can simply get beyond these obstacles.

As a reputable international translation company, GTE Localize offers you thorough and high-quality Japanese translation services from native and fully qualified Japanese translators. In addition to several sectors like life science, software, IT, business, legal, manufacturing, and education, we support all significant Japanese language pairs.

We have the tools, systems, and personnel to guarantee that your Japanese translations are both grammatically and, more significantly, stylistically accurate and consistent with your brand’s voice and style requirements.

We have collaborated with some of the greatest international companies to help them succeed in the Japanese market.


Contact us immediately to get a free test and the best quote.