WeDoJapan specializes in Japanese translation, transcreation, and copywriting. Founded in 2013 by Tony McNicol and Yoshie Harimoto, we are based in the South West of England. Please contact us to learn more about our work or for a no obligation estimate.

Naming a Product for Japan

To rename or not? If you’re looking to sell a product or service in Japan, a check on the suitability of your brand name by a marketing-savvy Japanese language professional is always recommended. Language gaffs might be water off a duck’s back to big corporate players, but make or break for smaller companies.Read More »Naming a Product for Japan

Machine Translation vs. Japanese

Machine translation in action. Toshima-ku’s webpage

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 of ‘Slime mold monthly’.Read More »Machine Translation vs. Japanese

KitKat’s Big Japan Break

The opening of the first new KitKat factory in Japan for 26 years made global news earlier this summer. The snack is now Japan’s biggest selling chocolate brand and a cultural phenomenon. But how did this British-born treat get its big break in Japan – a country not short of its own confectionery? Well, it all began with a lucky linguistic quirk, university entrance exams in Japan, and some nifty transcreation.

“Kitto katsutou”

Some years ago, Nestlé Japan noticed sales spiked in Kyushu when students were sitting university entrance exams every February and March. The reason for that, they discovered, was that in the dialect of the southern island of Kyushu, KitKat sounds rather like きっと勝つとぅ(kitto katsutou or “sure to win”).Read More »KitKat’s Big Japan Break