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Tips for Translating Japanese Business Documents

When it comes to translating Japanese, there are a variety of challenges that the translator faces. One of the most notable challenges is how to capture the tone and flow of the sentences they are translating. Writing is often more informal in American business than it is in Japanese business. Unfortunately, when translating American business messages into Japanese, these messages can appear too casual and even rude. When you are translating English content to Japanese, it is difficult; however, it is not impossible. We have gathered the top tips to help you produce high-quality Japanese translations to know when you use a translation vendor. After you have read these tips, you will be able to properly prepare for all of your translation projects, no matter the language.

The Top Five Tips to Translate Content into Japanese

Supply samples of Japanese text to Japanese translation services beforehand. Before you ever begin a translation project, you want to find a few examples of Japanese texts that show the voice, style, and tone that your Japanese management group has approved. Providing this information will speed up the translation process and the final review. Although it may take some time to gather these examples, it can save time, energy and money.
Choose a section of the text that needs to be translated and ask for a translation of this text before you submit the entire text for translation. This step is vital when you are having a text translated into Japanese. Once the translation of the section has been completed, have your Japanese management team to check the translation. Then, give the vendor feedback. This feedback helps the translator update the style guide, translation memory, and glossary so that the final translation will include these changes.
Trans Creating marketing materials for the Japanese market - The marketing materials that you use often contain word play, cultural references, and cliches that can be difficult to translate into another language. This is especially true when marketing materials are translated into Japanese. Transcreation is much more than directly translating words. A native speaking copywriter must adapt the message of your marketing materials to adapt to the culture and language of the region. This new content should honor the original objectives; however, it may be very different than the original marketing materials. For example, the imperative tone (i.e. "Buy this! or Order now!") is often too strongly worded and can give the wrong impression. Conversely, colloquial tones can appear too friendly if it is literally translated into Japanese.
Be prepared for extensive changes and feedback. The first few translations that you receive will typically require extensive changes. All Japanese translations must be perfect not simply mistake-free and accurate. The tone must be correct. Also, complex phrases require multiple revisions. Once you have worked with a particular vendor on multiple translations, the time and edits needed will diminish.
Budget more money and time for Japanese translations. Because of the need for quality and the unique language requirement, additional steps are often needed for accurate translations. Also, it takes a two-step process to enter Japanese characters. The text must be entered phonetically and then the appropriate Japanese character must be selected from the pop-up menu. Both of these impact the amount of time and money it takes for a Japanese translation project.
These five tips will help ensure your Japanese translations run smoothly with your experienced localization partner.
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