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What to Consider When Comparing Japanese Translation Services

The Japanese economy is the third largest in the world, with the majority of their businesses focused on exporting advanced technology. For this reason, Japan files for more U.S. patents than any other foreign country. It is no surprise, then, that demand for Japanese translation is on the rise. Contact us to learn more about our Japanese translation service.

Given the complex nature of the Japanese language, it is crucial to hire an experienced, professional translation service. Here are three main factors to bear in mind when choosing a Japanese translation service.

Which kind of characters can they translate into and from?

The Japanese language can be written using the Japanese writing system or the Latin alphabet. And that’s just the beginning of the complexity.

The characters used in the Japanese language come from two very different writing systems, kanji and kana. Kanji, much like Chinese, uses symbolic characters to depict sounds. Kana, on the other hand, is much more phonetic. It also uses more up-to-date, borrowed words from the West, for which there was once no equivalent.

Nowadays, many Japanese texts merge the two types of characters to communicate in the modern world. However, some texts use only the Latin alphabet, known as Romaji in Japan. You should check whether your Japanese translator has experience with the writing system used in the text you need translated.

How do they deal with grammar and social context?

In Japanese, word order, plurals, and the future tense are all vastly different from those of English—in fact, there is no future tense in Japanese. Discuss with your translation service how they plan to tackle these grammatical challenges.

Similarly, in Japanese language and culture, the relative status of the speaker and listener are integral to the way language is used. Look for a Japanese translation service that is willing to take the time to understand the social context of your text and its audience and whether it will be read aloud or printed.

What kind of experience do they have?

The best way to confront these challenges comes from tried-and-tested methods. When selecting a translation service, ask them about their previous experience with various types of texts, clients, and subjects.

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