Any company with presence in Japan, or dealing with businesses in Japan is aware of the challenges in translations that must be overcome for smooth and effective communication. Unlike other major languages, the Japanese language poses structural differences from English. For instances, instead of using the alphabets as we know it, the Japanese make use of a complex style of writing called Kanji, that makes it extremely difficult for people who are translating documents from Japanese to English.
We have here compiled a list of 8 major problems that most companies face when working on Japanese to English translation, and the steps you can take to solve them:
- There are no definite or indefinite articles in Japanese.
- There are no plural nouns in Japanese. Also, the way of counting changes every time, even with adjectives and pronouns.
- Verbs come at the end of sentences in Japanese.
- Structural particles, which have no meaning in English, but give nuance, which is so important in Japanese, take the place of prepositions and contribute to the meaning of verbs.
- Sentences do not always need a subject in Japanese.
- No future tense in Japanese.
- Honorific, known as Keigo, is difficult to understand
- Many words and phrases cannot be translated literally from Japanese, making translation of abstract concepts extremely difficult.
The key to get error-free and meaningful Japanese to English translation, it is highly imperative to rely on a translator who offers you both subject expertise and cultural understanding. Make sure that the translator depends on human translations and not on automated translations for your Japanese to English translations
Japanese to English translation often takes at least two passes through a document to achieve a text that is not only free of errors, but also flows and reads easily. Since, one-to-one translation is virtually impossible, translators need to capture content, not form, and use active voice and be succinct with word usage. With this in mind, it’s essential that your translator is completely fluent in both languages to ensure the best possible translation. Finally, in light of complexities, don’t be surprised if the translation work takes longer than normal. After all, accuracy is what matters.