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Japanese Document Translation
Before heading to Japan, it’s always a good idea to review any printed documents you may want translated for your upcoming meeting. Often times, these are PDFs or product description sheets which can really emphasize that you are serious about doing business in Japan. This guide has been setup to assist you with items to consider when translating articles into Japanese
What to Translate?
This is highly subjective as the answer to this largely depends on your exact business or industry. If there is something as serious as a contract or formal agreement between two companies or parties, these items need to be translated. However, certain items such as PowerPoint presentations, charts, figures, tables, etc., can often be left as-is in English, provided that the meeting is made up of Japanese business partners who understand your product. If this is a new client, or a bid on a job, it’s never a bad idea to have the majority of your materials translated by a professional translation agency. This will show that you’re serious about the project, and helps to get your message across any potential language barriers.
Always remember that translation costs are usually based per English word. The longer the document, the more cost-prohibitive the translation costs will be. Thus, many clients use an editing approach to create customized documents for their Japanese meetings. This means trimming down the English word count so that the final Japanese document really conveys the exact message with little fluff. Lowering the English word count of the original document, will in-turn, create a project that lowers any translation costs.
Do You Need Japanese Typesetting?
Unlike Western languages such as French, German or Spanish, Japanese uses a series of characters that are unlike the English alphabet. For example, for translation projects in French, one can easily just receive a Word file via email and be fairly confident that the language will display and print correctly, even if one doesn’t speak French. However, Japanese is different. Japanese uses a combination of different writing styles and characters known as Hiragana, Katakana and even the more complex Chinese Kanji. These Japanese characters may or may not display or print correctly on your computer based on a variety of factors such as language support, fonts, your operating system and so on. Thus, it’s always best to have minimal typesetting and formatting created by a professional translation agency to avoid character corruption or incomplete Japanese font display, etc. Translation agencies can often create a small PDF file which contains all Japanese fonts and formatting, and ensures perfect printing.
Even if you know "some Japanese," do you really want to risk an entire project on your non-native Japanese skills? For this reason it’s always best to use a trusted Japanese translation agency with native-language speaking professional translators on staff. There are horror stories from companies that tried to use translation software or worse yet, free online translation services to translate complete documents. This is a terrible idea and one that will likely ruin your chances for a successful meeting. Always seek out a professional translation agency that has been in business for years. English to Japanese document translation is something that many companies offer, but very few due well. A company with longevity in the industry is one you can trust.
English to Japanese translation takes time, especially any project that uses more than one high quality native-language-speaking Japanese professional translator. Be sure to factor in turnaround times into your project as you will need an adequate amount of lead time for any translation agency to do a quality job. Obviously each project’s turnaround time varies based on the material’s length and complexity. So be sure to factor in times of a minimum of at least one week for even small jobs that may require typesetting, etc. When selecting any professional Japanese document translation agency, be sure to confirm all turnaround times will work before your upcoming trip to Japan.
Trusted Agency for Japanese Document Translation?
The guidelines listed above should help you setup parameters for any documents you may need translated from English into Japanese. View the following link for a trusted partner in English to Japanese Document Translation & Printing.