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Japanese Document Translation

Japanese document and text translation refers to the translation of printed materials such as user guides, medical inserts, financial information, and more. This process may include Japanese desktop publishing, which involves maintaining the formatting specifications of the source documents.

Different industries generate different types of documentation, and each presents unique challenges when translating. For example, software translation often involves translation of associated collateral including user guides, packaging, and marketing materials. The medical industry on the other hand, requires multilingual inserts and labeling which must be meticulously translated and formatted ensuring accuracy and compliance with international regulations.

The first step in Japanese document translation is to review the source documentation for the number of words, subject matter and formatting requirements. Then the source document should be imported into a translation memory tool such as Trados, which the human translation team will use in order to a) manage terminology b) facilitate consistent translation across all documents and c) leverage cost savings by utilizing the translation memory on 100% matches and repeat text. After translation, if formatting is required, the Japanese text is imported into a desktop publishing application in order to be formatted to match the original source document.

The company you choose for Japanese document translation will require various files and information before proceeding. You should provide all source desktop publishing files (e.g. .qxd, .tif, .doc, .fm), fonts, and graphics used in the documentation. Indicate which graphics or text are not to be translated, if any (e.g. logos).

Whether your project is simple (such as a short, single-language fact sheet) or complex (such as a frequently updated, multilingual user guide), your localization company should have solid experience and a comprehensive process which includes at a minimum:

1.      Source file review, analysis and preparation

2.      Project kick-off meeting

3.      Format, edit and proofread all text

4.      Format, edit and proofread all graphics

5.      Client review and approval

6.      Final QA

Japanese Character Translation

Japanese character translation is just one service provided by Globalization Partners International (GPI). We provide translation into Japanese language. GPI offers culturally appropriate Japanese to English AND English to Japanese language translations.

A few definitions which you will run across if you are doing Japanese translations:

Hiragana: One of two Japanese syllabic scripts typically used for native Japanese words and grammar particles.

Kana: The name for the two Japanese syllabic scripts (Hiragana and Katakana).

Kanji: The Japanese name for the ideographic characters used in their language.

Katakana: One of two Japanese syllabic scripts typically used to spell foreign words.

GPI utilizes Japanese native speaking translators, desktop publishers, software and website engineers who have extensive experience in translating documentation, software and websites.

These translation teams utilize Trados, Catalyst and a variety of other translation memory tools and localization tools to assist in providing quality services throughout all projects. The translation teams specialize in certain fields such as medical, legal, manufacturing, internet and information technology.

Japanese Translation projects are completed by professional, native-speaking translation teams utilizing state-of-the-art translation memory tools such as Trados, Catalyst or client specified translation memory tools. All projects are assigned a dedicated GPI’s Globalization Services Team (GST™) consisting of a project manager, base translators, editors, proofreaders and localization engineers. All teams utilize GPI’s Globalization Project Management Suite (GPMS™) to handle all aspects of Translation Project Management.

GPI’s Japanese-English AND English to Japanese teams are equipped with the latest dictionary and terminology databases and in addition develop client-specific glossaries which are the proprietary properties of our clients. Japanese Translation Memories are created as well, and they store all of a client’s previous translations. This ensures translations remain consistent from project to project.

Check our Document Globalization Guide Book for more information.

Japanese Certified Translation

A Japanese certified translation is a written document that has been translated into Japanese to be used for official purposes; the certification constitutes a legal record attesting to the accuracy of the Japanese translation. Certified translations are most frequently required by governmental organizations and agencies, as well as legal and medical entities.

Translation certification is necessary in situations where it is critical the translation did not in any way affect the original intended meaning of the source document. Documents that may require Japanese certified translation include: Academic Records, Adoption Papers, Birth and Death Certificates, Wills, Customs and Immigration Documents, Marriage and Divorce Certificates, Legal Contracts, Medical Records, Financial Records, Real Estate Deeds, Leases, and Contracts, Police Records and more.

When searching for a company that provides Japanese certified translations, be sure to learn what level of certification services they provide. Because any translation company or translator can claim to certify a translation, it is important to understand the different methods of certification, listed below.

    Some translation companies simply add a statement to the Japanese translation, which affirms the translated text is accurate and complete.
  • Others provide translation by a sworn translator, who has been authorized by their government to translate and notarize documents themselves.
  • For some translated materials, including divorce proceedings, you must have the translation certified by affidavit; the translator must declare in writing and on oath before a notary public that the translation is accurate and complete.
  • Japanese certified translation by apostille is required by government departments (such as the State Department or Foreign Ministry), in order to authenticate certain documents for use in Japan.
Japanese Medical Translation

Japanese medical translations must be executed by highly skilled and experienced translators with a thorough understanding of specific medical fields. Japanese medical translations must be an accurate rendering of the source content into the Japanese language, and must be adapted to the target Japanese reader, whether it is a doctor, patient, employee, student, or consumer.

Japanese medical translations are required by a wide variety of medical fields, including:

    Japanese  Pharmaceuticals
  • Japanese  Dentistry
  • Japanese  Biomedicine
  • Japanese  Medical Equipment
  • Japanese  Diagnostics
  • Japanese  Public Health
  • Japanese  Anesthesiology
  • Japanese  Environmental Health
Each field makes unique demands on medical translators: not only must they have a facility for the appropriate terminology, they must also understand the basic science behind the terms. Effective Japanese medical translators should be highly-credentialed individuals with certifications, accreditations, or advanced degrees as appropriate to the field for which they are translating. They should have solid experience in the chosen medical subject area(s) and be equipped with the latest English-to-Japanese dictionaries.

Increasingly, medical translators are responsible for providing accurate documentation in Japanese and other languages in order to comply with international regulations for selling and distributing medical products. Legal requirements governing labeling, product sheets, and health and medical advice mandate that translation teams adhere to strict quality control processes when completing their translations.

Should you require a Japanese medical translation, look for a translation company that recruits highly-qualified, proven medical translators. Additionally, they should be equipped to supply notarization and consent of translations as needed, and should have in place appropriate non-disclosure policies and practices.

Japanese Technical Translation

Japanese technical translations must be executed by experienced translators with a thorough understanding of specific technical fields. Japanese technical translators carry the responsibility of communicating complex information with absolute precision ensuring an accurate and concise rendering of the source content into the Japanese language.

Japanese technical translations are required by a wide variety of technical fields, including:

  • Science and Physics
  • Engineering
  • Automotive Production
  • Machinery
  • Information Technology
  • Military
  • Legal
  • Patents
  • Telecommunications
Each field makes unique demands on technical translators: not only must they use the appropriate terminology, they must understand the basic concepts behind the procedures, science, laws or regulations as required by each technical translation project. Whether they are translating a scientific report, operation manual, patent application, or other technical information, they must translate the information using clear, understandable language.

Effective Japanese technical translators should be credentialed with certifications, accreditations, or advanced degrees as appropriate to the field they are translating. In addition to appropriate education, Japanese technical translators should have solid experience in the chosen technical subject area(s) and be equipped with the latest English-Japanese dictionaries for the work.

Many technical translation projects are quite large, and therefore contain many instances of similar or identical phrases or terms. In order to ensure consistent, accurate, and efficient translations in such projects, Japanese technical translators should utilize translation memory tools (TM’s) such as Trados. In addition to the translation memories themselves, client-specific glossaries and terminology databases are key features which need to be leveraged when working on technical translation projects.

Following are some of the critical skills that translators must possess in order to execute successful, accurate Japanese technical translation:

    Complete understanding of the source technical material
    Japanese technical translators must have a background in the field in which they are working; this can be demonstrated by possessing appropriate education, certification, and working experience in the field. For especially timely and complex topics of technical translation, Japanese technical translators may have to conduct independent research in order to understand the material fully.
  • Proofreading and editing skills

    It is important that the Japanese technical translator has the ability to check the original text for inconsistencies, errors, or other issues. While proofreading the source content is not always part of the formal translation process, technical translators should recognize when there are problems with the source material; their subject-specific knowledge thereby serves as a quality control step before and during the Japanese technical translation.
  • Japanese-specific technical knowledge
    Japanese technical translators are responsible for adapting the technical material for the Japanese market. This can include altering number, currency, and date formats, adapting information for local regulations, adhering to Japanese industry standards, and ensuring the style is appropriate for the Japanese audience.
  • Terminology management skills

    Utilizing translation memory tools such as Trados is one element in ensuring consistent and accurate use of terminology. However, before they are stored, the Japanese translator must first determine what terms will be used; this can be a challenge when there are multiple acceptable technical translations for a term, or if a word has been newly introduced in an industry. The best translators will share information about terms in question with their project manager or the client.
For more information on The Japanese Language, please see our Japanese Quick Facts Library.

Find more Japanese translation and localization resources in our translation blog:

For information on The Japanese language and translation, please see our information on Japanese Translation services.