09 Oct Japanese Language – A cultural language known all around the world
Respect for culture
When it comes to dealing with Japanese language and culture, it is important not to cross the line between respect and cultural appropriation. For that, one needs to know how various faucets of the Japanese culture came to be and how the Japanese language relates to them. English to Japanese translation is a job that requires the same cultural sensitivity and awareness that can only be gained through continuous studies and experience, preferably acquired via immersion in the culture and the industry in which that translator specializes.
Who can help?
A professional provider of English to Japanese translation service knows that the services most in demand in English-speaking countries are literary translation, localization, and technical translation. The three are no surprise, given Japan’s respect for the written word, as well as its economy. It is important to verify, when hiring a translation agency for English to Japanese translation, that their translators specialize in different industries and have relevant experience. This is because Japanese language and culture are quite distinct from Western. If one hires an amateur English to Japanese translator that claims to be fluent in Japanese but doesn’t have any other experience, it’s very easy for them to make mistakes in translation that can easily lead to the Japanese’s failure to understand the text and even cause offence. An experienced professional translator would know how to avoid such consequences.
Translating English literary works into Japanese means adapting them so that a native speaker would read them as though they were written in Japanese and not be confused by various phrases with which they aren’t familiar. Such adaptations require an English to Japanese translator to take into account various particularities of Japanese language and culture. For instance, in Western history and literature, black cats have been considered a sign of bad luck for many years. However, in Japanese culture, it is the other way round – black cats signify good luck and prosperity. Therefore, if an English written work features a black cat viewed as a bad omen, it would confuse a Japanese reader unfamiliar with Western customs. A professional translator would know this and many other cultural differences, and would take them into account when providing English to Japanese literary translation service.
Like all other languages, Japanese constantly evolves, together with its speakers and culture. Therefore, modern Japanese used on the Internet (such as sales websites) is quite different to that of Ueda Akinari. A provider of localization services (translation of websites, games and the like in a way easily understood by native speakers) is essentially adapting English websites into Japanese, which not only requires a degree of creativity, but also an awareness of modern developments of Japan and its language.
For the reasons specified above, a professional provider Japanese translation services would not only be fluent in both languages, but would also know the culture very well, and would constantly keep up with ongoing linguistic developments of both the English-speaking world and Japan.Other posts you might enjoy: