Tag Archives: translation

Machine Translation vs. Japanese

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 […]

The Proverbial Difficulty of Translation

Proverbs are windows into a country’s culture, illustrating its history and its mores. But although the sentiments expressed in proverbs are often universal, context and imagery can be culturally-specific, and require careful translating. Otherwise, a proverb-heavy Japanese conversation might end up like this in English: A: I’m thinking of buying my husband an expensive painting.

50 Shades of Grue

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 […]

Just how difficult is Japanese?

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 […]

WeDoJapan’s guide to English ↔ Japanese translation (for UKTI Export to Japan)

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 […]

Export to Japan

Export to Japan

A quick bit of exciting news to start off 2015. WeDoJapan is now an official business partner of Export to Japan, a not-for-profit project helping UK companies do business in Japan. Through the website, we are offering discounts to UK exporters for our translation, transcreation and other services. Here’s some more information from the site: […]