Top Tips for Japanese Localization

Category: Culture, Marketing Translation

The Acclaro blog entry below is featured today on the Japan Intercultural Consulting Blog. Japan Intercultural Consulting is an international training and consulting firm focused on Japanese business. 

Translating content into Japanese presents a variety of challenges, most notably capturing the natural flow and tone of Japanese sentences. In American business, writing tends to be more informal, yet if translated into Japanese, it would seem too casual and possibly even rude. Translating English content, which is more than likely not in the appropriate tone for Japan, into Japanese is challenging, but not impossible. Read these tips to achieve high-quality, natural Japanese translations when working with a translation vendor. Also refer to our tips for preparing for any translation project, no matter what the language.

Our recommendations for translation into Japanese:

  • Supply approved text samples in Japanese. Before you begin translation, give your translation partner examples of Japanese text that has a tone, style, and voice approved by your Japanese management. This is essential in order to speed up the translation and review process – and should save you time and energy (and maybe even costs) in the long run.
  • Choose a representative section of the entire project and have that translated first. While this is a best practice for translation into any language, this is especially important for Japanese. Once the section is translated, give feedback on the translation to your vendor. You may even want to have a face-to-face meeting or video conference to review the changes together.  The glossary, style guide and translation memory can then be updated with relevant changes. The remainder of the translation can follow, using lessons from this initial translation.

Read the full blog entry at Japan Intercultural Consulting.