When working with the Japanese, it is important to understand their culture and customs in addition to the language – all of which are intricately linked – thus avoiding confusion when conducting market research, during negotiations or when setting up a company.
The Japanese language is probably the biggest obstacle a company will face when doing business in Japan. It is also the key to success.
Japanese is very different from western languages in many ways including pronunciation, grammar and conjugation. Written Japanese is especially difficult as it uses 3 alphabets, each of which has specific uses.
Japanese words have three main origins: Japanese origin or yamato kotoba, Chinese origin or kango, and foreign origin or gairaigo.
Writing in Japanese involves using kanji or Chinese ideograms and two alphabets or kana. The hiragana is used for Japanese words while katakana is used for words with foreign origins, onomatopoeia and certain humorous or literary effects.
There are tens of thousands of kanji. According to the Japanese Education Ministry, 2,000 kanji are widely used and around 1,000 are enough to read a newspaper.
Without the help of native translators, it is extremely challenging for the uninitiated to understand offers, contracts and product descriptions, leading to potential misunderstandings.
In addition, Japanese companies tend to request as much information as possible on the company they are dealing with, their products and services. Foreign companies are expected to provide quality translations of draft offers, contracts and product descriptions to Japanese counterparts.
Japanese translators, just like translators of other languages, are highly qualified and specialised in translation. They require arduous professional training and experience in certain areas of specialisation. This level of qualification can only be achieved by native speakers, although (native) language proficiency in and of itself is not sufficient. Japanese translators at VOVF are linguistic experts who are passionate about language and can guarantee excellent results.
The founders of VOVF lived and worked in Japan for many years and are well versed in Japanese language and culture.
Our Japanese translation services:
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Examples of VOVF Japanese translations:
- Japanese translation of corporate videos for the banking industry
- Japanese translation of presentations for a financial conference
- Japanese translation of marketing presentations for an IT services company
- Japanese translation of product displays for a fashion brand
- Japanese translation of a website on the agri-food industry for a European institution