Japanese Language Translation Services
An Accent on Accuracy
The highest quality translations, brisk turnaround schedules, competitive rates, and sharing of our knowledge, are all requisites for ALT‘s success. The complete and accurate translation of your company’s communications is vital to your success. That’s why ALT is obsessed with providing the best translators for YOUR project. High-quality translations are the product of a highly talented and experienced translation team with expertise in your industry. ALT puts all the pieces together to make it happen.
Why choose us for English to Japanese or Japanese to English Translation?
Advanced Language Translation’s Professional Japanese translation services utilize only native speakers to ensure quality and precision translations for your target audience. With Japanese in particular, a deep understanding of Japanese culture is needed for translation to be successful. When doing business in Japanese Republic, professional human translation is a must. Do not expect to close a business deal or impress your clients with spotty software translation. Only through human translation, edited and customized to your target audience, can your meaning be honestly conveyed and your audience not be offended.
We are proud of our excellent reputation for reliable and high quality Japanese to English and English to Japanese translation services. We have assembled teams of translators from around the world, with an array of skills and specialties and can custom fit the knowledge and strengths of our teams to your specific projects. To demonstrate our commitment to quality and our dedication to our clients, we offer free consultations and provide an industry leading 180-day warranty on translation!
We provide quick and easy custom quotes for your Japanese translation and localization needs.
Need to get the “gist” of Japanese?
Although professional translation is highly recommended for any business, legal or sincere correspondence in Japanese, sometimes it’s necessary to use machine translation (via software or the internet) to get the gist of an e-mail or web page. By no means is machine translation an acceptable substitute for professional translation—the technology is not there yet. But it is great for quickly getting the general idea of an article, e-mail, or web site.
Interesting Facts about the Japanese Language
Japanese contains many words that are specific to the culture and are not found in other languages. Politeness is strongly reflected in the way Japanese is spoken and great care must be taken not to offend the audience. The ability to translate Japanese requires not only a strong knowledge of Japanese culture, but also an understanding of the audience as to not be impolite.
There are several dialects spread across Japan, most of which are mutually intelligible, with the exception of the geographical extremes. Hyoujungo, the official dialect, is overly dominant and used in all official documents, taught in schools, and used in the vast majority of the country. Despite the difficulty of the Japanese language, Japan boasts an impressive 99% literacy rate.
History of the Japanese Language
Unlike most European languages, Japanese grammar, writing and usage are vastly different from its neighboring counties. It is commonly believed that the Japanese language stems from Korean, but the link is very distant if at all. Most linguists refer to Japanese as a language isolate and believe it to be unrelated to any modern language.
Up until 4th century AD influence from China, Japan had no writing system. The Chinese system of characters was incorporated into the language, providing a rough approximation of the oral language, and later became the Kanji component of modern Japanese. It wasn’t until centuries later, when Buddhist monks developed the Hiragana and Katakana writing systems as pronunciation guides, that Japanese writing developed further into the language it is today.
Modern changes to the language were largely to simplify the use of Kanji and to adapt to the use of foreign words (mostly English), for which the Romanji writing system was developed. Traditionally, Japanese was written top-to-bottom, right-to-left. After World War II, the more western left-to-right horizontal writing style was adopted. Both styles are in use today.
Modern Japanese is written using four different scripts:
Kanji: The adapted Chinese characters (ideograms) are used more for root words and are the primary make-up of written Japanese.
Hiragana: Adapted from simplified Kanji, this script is used primarily for inflectional endings, grammatical particles and for “spelling” words that have no Kanji representations. Since there are literally thousands of Kanji characters, and children take most of their school years to learn the majority of them, Hiragana is often used to spell out difficult or uncommon Kanji. Japanese keyboards have Hiragana keys, and Kanji is typed by spelling out the word with Hiragana.
Example: (Good morning)
Katakana: Primarily used to spell out foreign words and for extra stylistic emphasis.
Romanji: Actually a roman script, which is not used to write Japanese, but for the spelling of foreign words and writing acronyms. Example: Meri kurisumasu (Merry Christmas).
Lately it is becoming increasingly popular and well accepted to include English (typically American English) words within Japanese syntax. Since most Japanese students are required to take English lessons while at school, the population of Japanese who can understand basic English continues to grow, as does this trend.
Japanese Language Statistics
- Roughly 135 million people speak Japanese.
- Mostly spoken in Japan, but some small populations in China, the US and Brazil have
retained Japanese as a secondary language.
- Japan boasts a 99% literacy rate.
Translation and Localization Issues with Japanese
Advanced Language Translation Inc has extensive experience with the in and outs of the Japanese Language and we have a long and flawless record of success with complicated Japanese translation projects. Here are some of the common issues with English to Japanese translation and desktop publishing that we have learned:
- Japanese translation typically expands 30% in size from English.
- Not all applications support Japanese text and great care must be taken when using
Japanese in complex layouts.
- The target audience must be known before translation in order to correctly address
politeness and use of Kanji.
- There is no hyphenation in Japanese, though it is considered incorrect to start a line
with certain characters.
- The majority of Japanese systems use SJIS or JIS text encoding rather than Unicode.
- Vocabulary can vary according to the gender of the speaker.
- All syllables carry equal stress when speaking (with few exceptions).
Japanese Language Vital Information
Speaking Population: 135 Million
Where Spoken: Japan, US, Brazil
Writing Systems: Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, Romanji
Code Pages: 932 Shift-JIS
20290 IBM EBCDIC Katakana Extended
50220 ISO 2022 Japanese with no halfwidth Katakana
50221 ISO 2022 Japanese with halfwidth Katakana
50222 ISO 2022 Japanese JIS X 0201–1989
50930 Japanese (Katakana) Extended
50931 US/Canada and Japanese
50939 Japanese (Latin) Extended and Japanese
51932 EUC – Japanese
Unicode Supported: Yes
Good-bye: sigh oh na ra
Thank you: ah-ri-ga-to-oh