At WeDoJapan we are often asked to help translate business letters and emails, or to communicate with Japanese companies on behalf of our UK clients. But while we in the West might think our short, to-the-point missives are efficient, they can seem abrupt and clinical to the Japanese. Luckily, there is a way to create […]
Tokyo’s Toshima-ku district, like most metropolitan municipalities, provides an automated Japanese to English machine translation service on its website. Click on the English option, and you are warned ‘content may not be 100% accurate’. If you then click on ‘Procedures and Notifications’ (so far so good), the eye is immediately drawn to this link: ‘Information […]
Idioms and proverbs are windows into a country’s culture, illustrating its history and mores. Context and imagery can be culturally-specific, and require careful translation. Otherwise, an idiom-heavy Japanese conversation might end up like this in English: A: I’m thinking of buying my husband an expensive painting.
In translation, sometimes even the simplest looking words can be a more than a shade tricky. For example, if you look up the word blue in Japanese, you might be confused to find it means not only blue and green, but also white, grey and black depending on the context. The grass is always bluer […]
People assume Japanese is a difficult language, but just how difficult is Japanese? Well it is hard to learn and translate, but not just in the way people typically think. They usually have in mind the task of learning thousands of kanji characters (not to mention the two phonetic writing systems, hiragana and katakana). In […]
Our guide to Japanese ↔ English translation can now be downloaded from the Export to Japan website. One recent study of English language proficiency among nations ranked Japan at number 26, between India and Italy, and behind countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. While it is true that many Japanese people can understand […]
Japanese business cards are an absolute essential for anyone doing business in Japan – as basic as a business suit in most situations. You will be naked without one. Here are 10 quick do’s and don’ts for translating your business cards into Japanese and using them. DO have a business card translated into Japanese. It […]