Client Interview

SOAS, University of London - Dr. Nathan Hill

Project Summary

  • Client: SOAS, University of London
  • Service: Japanese to English and Simplified Chinese to English Translation
  • File Description: Articles of a book on Evidential Systems in Tibetan languages
  • Discipline: Humanities
  • Volume: 78,495 characters
  • Timeline: 83 business days
  • Translation Level: Translation + Review + Editing
SOAS, University of London

Could you give us some background on this particular project?

Dr. Nathan Hill

Thank you for having me and it has been a pleasure working with Ulatus as well.
During my research, I thought it would be helpful to make a book about Evidential Systems in Tibetan languages. This required getting several articles translated from Japanese into English. I had been planning to do these translations myself, but it has been a few years since I have lived in Japan and basically I was looking at a big time commitment. Also, since I already had a big grant from the European Union, I decided to have someone else do the translation rather than me doing it.
I had a chance to see your company’s work for Prof. Tsuguhito Takeuchi who had written an article in Japanese and had got it translated into English through Ulatus. He had a note thanking your company in the very first footnote. I had already read the article in Japanese and was just very impressed with the quality of the translation. So having looked at your work for Prof. Takeuchi, I thought you guys would in principle do a good job for me as well.

Thank you Dr. Hill. In addition to Prof. Takeuchi’s reference, what factors made you to choose Ulatus?

Dr. Nathan Hill

I had sent bids to other translation companies. I contacted two other firms. One just gave up saying this is too specialized material. The other one said we will only translate the Japanese and replace IPA symbols and Burmese/Tibetan text with boxes. That would have meant a lot of work for me. So when you came with competitive price, high level service, and agreed to retain the symbols and other scripts, it was very easy to choose your firm. Also, having read the Japanese article before and seeing your English translation for Prof. Takeuchi, I felt that it was really good. It’s a very specific kind of work and made me feel confident to work with Ulatus.

You have expertise in French, German, Japanese, Mongolian, and Tibetan, and have yourself translated in past. This gives you a critical eye on translation produced by others. We would like to know what your overall experience of working with Ulatus was like.

Dr. Nathan Hill

I would be ready and eager to be a repeat customer. Your people were very flexible and sympathetic about the quotation process as well when I was evaluating different translation companies. Looking at the quality of the work that was produced, I could not have done any better. I know Japanese and I know linguistics, and looking at the quality of the work that was produced, I feel like I would not have done any better than this.
I initially thought of you as a Japanese company. Realizing that you also did Chinese was nice because I had one paper that I wanted translated from Chinese. The author of the Chinese article has looked at the translation and is favourably impressed. So as a customer, it is really nice to know that it is just not Japanese, but your Chinese translation is also good.

It’s great to learn that we were able to match your expectations in terms of quality and client servicing. What are the next steps for the book and when will it be available to everyone?

Dr. Nathan Hill

We are in the process of getting the entire manuscript ready. The articles translated from Japanese and Chinese by you need to be approved by the original publishers in Japan. Also, a number of articles which were written newly are going through a peer review process. Next, we have to present all of the papers to the publisher. So we are looking at finalizing the manuscript in the spring of 2016 and hope to publish the book by the spring of 2017.
It’s nice that the translation is done and it’s of good quality. I would have been reluctant to translate the articles myself and then negotiate with the publishers. Now, I can show it to people who I am getting the permissions from. It takes a big burden out of the procedure, which is inevitably complicated. You deserve the credit for the work done. Just like Prof. Takeuchi did, I would like to put your name in the footnote.


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