Translation

Five Reasons to Hire a Professional Japanese Translator for Your Project

Professional Japanese Translator

As the country with the third-largest economy in the world, Japan is soaring as a place of growth and expansion for businesses. Considering the opportunities that are available in Japan, translating your product or service to Japanese will tremendously help your business expand its reach.

However, before embarking on your Japanese translation project, remember that Japanese is a unique language, and translating it requires much more effort than conducting a quick machine translation. Because of the language’s complexities, working with a Japanese translation service is vital to a precise and successful translation.

Here are the five most significant reasons why you should hire a professional translation company for your Japanese translations.

Japanese Varies Greatly According to Dialect and Region

As the native language to more than 128 million people, Japanese is primarily spoken on Japan’s five main islands, including Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Okinawa. The two primary dialects used in Japan are the Tokyo dialect and the Kyoto-Osaka dialect, with each one varying in rhythm, tone, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Within these two dialects, there are several sub-dialects that are based on each specific region, which can complicate Japanese translations. Making translations even more difficult is the fact that there is another native dialect called Ryukyuan that is considered to be its own language by professional translators.

The Language Is Embedded in Japanese Culture

Because Japanese is deeply rooted in its social norms and culture, Japanese expressions often require cultural contexts. As an example, the connotation of some phrases can often be vague and ambiguous, causing a Japanese word’s literal definition to be different than its implied meaning. For instance, it might not be clear whether a Japanese expression is referring to the female or male gender, as well as whether the subject of the expression is meant to be plural or singular. Because of the ambiguity, a Japanese translator would have to understand the cultural context of the text to be able to accurately translate it.

Japanese Writing Includes Four Styles

One of Japan’s main writing styles is Kanji, which is comprised of complex characters that represent ideas and concepts. Rather than depending on words and phrases to depict a meaning, Kanji relies on various strokes that signify their meaning based on where they are positioned in a character set. With more than 2,000 characters commonly used in Kanji and another few thousand characters that are occasionally used, translations from Kanji can be particularly challenging.

Along with Kanji, there are three other writing styles in the Japanese language, which are Hiragana, Katakana, and Romaji, and each one is used for specific purposes that native speakers would understand. As such, working with a company that hires native Japanese speakers would be optimal for your translation project.

Japanese Uses Different Speech for Politeness

One of the many unique aspects of the Japanese language is that it is based on a polite way of speaking called keigo. To properly address business clients, translators would need to know the correct form of keigo to use. The three forms are:

  • Honorifics keigo, which is used when you are speaking to a person in a position of power, such as customers, elders, or supervisors.
  • Polite keigo, which is used to demonstrate respect toward another person by talking in a polite
  • Humble keigo, which is used when talking to someone in a higher role about yourself.

Japanese Grammar Is Quite Different from English

Japanese has numerous different grammar rules than several other languages, especially English. For instance, subjects and verbs are typically placed at the beginning of a sentence in English, while they are positioned at the end of a sentence in Japanese. Additionally, Japanese only has two tenses, which are past and non-past. Therefore, the present and the future would be described using the non-past tense. In English, however, there are three specific tenses, which are past, present, and future. As a result of the differences, some verb tenses in Japanese do not have an equivalent word in English.

With Japanese being one of the top ten languages worldwide, translating your product to Japanese can have a huge impact on your business. To guarantee a successful project, make sure you find the best possible professional Japanese translation service.

Summary

With the third-largest economy in the world, Japan is soaring as a place for businesses to succeed by translating their products to Japanese. However, because of the language’s complexities, working with a Japanese translation service is vital to a precise and successful translation.

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