As your marketing campaign expands globally, you’re probably (or you will be) gearing up for new international markets, including the lucrative market of Japan. And although the Japanese language is complex, reaching that Japanese-speaking audience doesn’t have to be complicated—and it will pay off in the end. Learn why investing in professional Japanese translation services is the best way to gain access to the Japanese market and avoid costly translation errors.
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The Japanese language: It’s quite complex
With more than 130 million speakers around the world, Japanese is the ninth most widely used language on the globe. Japanese has given English such words as karate, sushi, and karaoke, but otherwise it’s not an easy language for non-native speakers to learn.
Japanese uses three groups of characters instead of letters. One group, for example, expresses concepts, such as nouns and verbs. The other groups are syllables that don’t have a particular meaning. Without a solid grasp of these concepts, your message, translated from English to Japanese, can be downright wrong—and even embarrassing.
Beyond literal translation: Communicate your intended message
The internet and social media are filled with examples of English–Japanese translation gone wrong. Some are downright funny, like the warning sign translated as “Slip and fall down carefully!” It’s all good fun—until it’s your content that comes out skewed. If you’re marketing an international cookbook in Japan, you don’t want one of your recipes to be titled “Stupid bean sprouts.”
Those issues are alleviated by transcreation, which is the technique of adapting a message from one language to another while maintaining the intended style, tone, and context. Companies like Coca-Cola and Red Bull use transcreation to ensure their message is received by international audiences in the correct context.
Taking the right step forward
The influence of Japanese culture on the West—and vice versa—is steadily growing. Over the last several decades, since the dawn the digital age and rapid exchange of information, translation services have become essential to international businesses as they expand into the Japanese market.
All this might sound a little overwhelming if you’re just starting to market your business to Japanese consumers. But with a partner agency like TranslationServices.com, your translated marketing content can reach Japan with its meaning—both literal and contextual—fully intact.
Get in touch with us for more information about our Japanese translation services.