Did you know there are around 128 million Japanese speakers worldwide? Its economic importance globally – as well as many taking an interest in its fascinating culture – has led to a surge in demand for Japanese translation services. We provide expert linguists capable of accurately rendering this distinctive language into English – and vice versa, allowing clients to engage with the many unique assets this country and its people have to offer. And Japanese certainly is unique: While many languages derive from the same family – such as Romance, Nordic, Germanic or Slavic – Japanese is not closely related to any other tongue spoken in the world. Many theorists have sought to link Japanese roots to those of other Asian languages, but none has been accepted as reliable. This undeniably contributes to a worldwide perception of Japanese as a challenging language for non-natives.
Fortunately, at Capital Linguists our translators and interpreters are experienced in providing high-quality Japanese translation services. They understand the nuances and implications of this complex language, reputed to have the fastest spoken rate in the world. This becomes particularly relevant if you need a reliable Japanese interpreter!
In addition to its speed, Japanese also has many diverse dialects. Despite ranking in 63rd position in terms of country size (it covers an area of around 94% of California), there are seven different dialects spoken – and each has significant variations. The key differences include changes to the way inflections are used; vocabulary choices; and the use of particles. Crucially, formal and informal tones are also constructed differently depending on which region you are in.
The most marked difference in Japanese depends on if you are in the northern part of the country, where you will find the Kyoto-Osaka dialect (京阪式/けいはんしき) in use; or the area around its capital city Tokyo. In more remote regions – particularly those in the mountains – you might well encounter a version of Japanese that resembles Old Japanese! Meanwhile, the Kyoto Ben dialect is widely considered the softest and most refined Japanese dialect – possibly owing to its shared roots in Geisha culture. Head out to sea, to Hachijō Island, and you’ll find a dialect so divergent from Standard Japanese that many consider it a separate language in itself! These islands south of Tokyo speak a dialect that developed differently to Standard Japanese, and is likely related to a much older version of the Japonic language.
When it comes to selecting a Japanese translation service, finding a linguist who not only understands, but also masters, these key regional differences is clearly crucial. At Capital Linguists, we pride ourselves on our experienced and gifted translators. The mastery of such a complex language with so many unique subtleties requires skill. Whether you need linguists to assist with interpretation or translation, our team will ably support you.
At Capital Linguists, we ensure our Japanese translation services retain the very highest industry standards. We regularly incorporate dedicated professional development for all of our linguists – on top of their existing years of academic training. What’s more, prior to each project, our translators and interpreters carry out thorough research. This enables us to guarantee a finely crafted, meticulously precise outcome for our clients.
We provide the following services for Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation and interpretation:
⁃ Document translation
⁃ Website Localization
⁃ Conference Interpretation and Interpreting Equipment
Japanese document translation comprises the accurate rendering of written content in Japanese into English and vice versa. Considering regional variations, our translators also pay close attention to the individual connotations, nuances, subtleties and cultural implications that only a true language master could grasp. It doesn’t end there. Document translation also requires careful editing and proofreading, which is why all projects are worked on by both translators and editors. This ensures a flawless and authentic final product, matching the text’s purpose and type.
Creating subtitles from one language to another is a specialist discipline that requires the linguist to find the most concise way of conveying the original message in the target language – whether Japanese or English. It also necessitates an awareness of the physical constraints on the screen. As Japanese is known for its fast pace, this is no easy feat! Fortunately, Capital Linguists’ translators are equipped with a variety of techniques allowing them to convey the intended message succinctly and with precision.
An art form in itself, transcreation is the process of carefully and creatively transferring the Japanese language and its entire cultural, social and historic world into another entirely different language and cultural world. References that may be obvious to a Japanese audience are transposed into the target culture, so that they are easily recognizable to the new audience in the same way.
In many ways, Japanese culture is a world apart from that of the United States. There are many cultural practices that surprise foreigners, such as intentionally making a slurping sound when eating noodles, or taking a bath in the evening rather than first thing in the morning. Modesty and humility are sacrosanct in Japan, as is the art of saying “no” indirectly; apologizing; not disturbing others; and never asking for favors.
The purpose of transcreation is not only to maintain the core message or story, but to present it in a more appealing and culturally appropriate way, considering the audience to whom the message will be presented.
Website localization and transcreation share many features, and both consider how best to present content to local users. The website should appeal to its audience in terms of layout, tone, design and cultural preferences. This isn’t just for aesthetic purposes; website localization can also have a direct impact on your marketing strategy by adhering to the cultural expectations of your potential customers – and as we’ve seen, these vary enormously in Japan. The purpose of website localization can be understood as not only maintaining the image and goal of your site in both Japanese and English but also optimizing its relevance to the users of that country.
As part of our Japanese translation services, we also carry out many voiceover projects. This work entails recording translations of oral Japanese content in English – and vice versa. This isn’t just for movies; voiceover work can be done in any genre, including interviews, documentaries and newsreels. Instead of merely reading subtitles, voiceovers also enable listeners to hear the recording in their language, whether English or Japanese. Due to the differences in each language’s spoken pace, this requires a skilled, experienced linguist.
Conference Interpretation and Interpreting Equipment
Capital Linguists provides conference interpretation across the world, either in-person or virtually. Conference interpretation is carried out in real-time, whether at a conference, a meeting, a summit, or a training program. Our interpreters use the latest interpreting equipment, enabling all listeners to access the same English or Japanese interpretation simultaneously. Capital Linguists can also provide this service virtually, using a platform such as Zoom. Whether the speaker is Japanese or English, our team of expert interpreters means language needn’t be a barrier to your understanding at a conference or other important event.