Japanese Language Translation

World class Japanese language translation from qualified professional linguists

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  • Number of Japanese native speakers globally: 125 million
  • Number of countries where Japanese is an official language: 2
  • Approx. percentage of world trade conducted in Japanese: 8.1%

As the official language of Japan, Japanese is an East Asian language with a complex grammar system, based on three scripts. Its history is shrouded in mystery and many varied theories exist about its early years. We do know that Chinese had a big influence over the first form of written Japanese, known as Old Japanese, with many characters and vocabulary being borrowed from this language. Two more stages then followed (Early Middle and Late Middle Japanese) before Modern Japanese came into being in the 1600s.

Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana are the three writing systems used to create Japanese characters. Kanji are traditional Chinese characters, whilst Hiragana and Katakana are both alphabets that were introduced at a later stage.

The use of so-called English “loan-words” has become more commonplace in Japanese. However, you may be surprised to learn that some common English words are actually borrowed from Japanese: for example karaoke and tycoon. The largest Japanese community outside of Japan is in Brazil, with significant minorities to be found in the US (Hawaii in particular), Canada and Australia.

We offer professional Japanese to English and English to Japanese translations - and other language combinations including Japanese.

A tip to bear in mind is to allow flexibility in the layout of your documents. The contraction rate when translating from Japanese into English can vary wildly between 10-55%. When translating out of English into Japanese the expansion rate is even higher, often between 20-60%. Note that Japanese uses characters whereas English is word-based.

We work to the following ‘golden rules’:

  • All translators work into their mother tongue
  • All translators are qualified and experienced professional linguists
  • We ensure that the translator has sufficient understanding of the subject matter
  • We use the latest translation technology sensibly to provide an accurate and prompt service

Please contact us for more information on Japanese language translation.