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TranslationsinLondon is a London based translation agency which can count on a group of expert translators ready to help you in connecting with the land of the Rising Sun, providing Japanese translation and localization (both to and from Japanese).
1. Understanding the different levels of formal and informal address: localizing the language in the more appropriate way gives you the chance to address to the right target audience.
Japanese uses a wide range of honorifics, particles added to nouns to highlight the importance of a certain word, or added to person’s name, to focus on the relationship among the speakers. Broadly speaking we can have formal and informal honorifics: 様 (sama) is a respectful honorifics, used primarily in business contexts; さん (san) which is the most common and general, used broadly in everyday language addressing to someone with whom a person is not particularly intimate; 君 (kun) among the honorifics, is the more condescending, used primarily towards young male; ちゃん (chan)used mostly with children and young females.
When it comes to differentiate the language degrees, we can list the honorifics in three categories: 尊敬語 (sonkeigo) which is the respectful language, used to elevate the status of the listener; 謙譲語 (kenjougo) is the humble form of the language, used by the speaker to address to himself in order to place his position “under” the addresser; 丁寧語 (teineigo) is basically the standard polite form of the language.
2. Tricky loanwords and three different alphabets: Japanese uses a various range of loanwords, most of which are not directly connected to the language they come from. For instance, words like ファミコン (contracted form of “family computer”) despite their English origin, are not directly connected to this language. The word アルバイト has an extensive use in Japanese (also in its contracted form バイト), it means “part-time job” and comes from the German “albeit” and it could be considered a trans vocalization. What about alphabets, Japanese has three syllabic alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, each one of them with a specific use. Hiragana is the basic syllabic alphabet, used mostly to write kanji’s phonetic content; Katakana is a syllabic alphabet used to write foreign words; and Kanji are the ideograms borrowed from Chinese language.
3. The context is everything: Japanese is a topic-prominent language, so the topic may vary in the translations from and to Japanese. In a sentence the topic is at the beginning, highlighting its importance and putting the verb at the end. Often, especially in English to Japanese translations, the topic can be omitted, making tricky to understand the text, or when performing Japanese translation to English or another language, it could be hard distinguishing among singular/plural forms or the gender of a noun, because Japanese language lacks these are features.
We believe in a strong relation with our clients who, through Translations in London’s database, have a direct access to a group of native-speaker translators specialized in numerous fields , in order to overcome the language barrier with accuracy and expertise, making the communication as smooth as possible even in technical areas. Talk to us about your Japanese Translation needs today.