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The Japanese Language

Japanese is spoken by approximately 127 million people worldwide, the vast majority of which reside in Japan, where it is the official language.

Brightlines Translation: Mastering the Art of Japanese Language Services

Brightlines Translation is a leading provider of English to Japanese and Japanese to English translation services. Our deep-rooted understanding of the Japanese language, its fascinating history and culture, the regions where it’s spoken ensures our ability to deliver top-tier translation solutions.

Embracing the Richness of the Japanese Language

  • Japanese, spoken by an estimated 128 million people worldwide, stands as one of the most commonly used languages around the globe.
  • Predominantly, Japanese speakers reside in Japan, but you can also find thriving Japanese-speaking communities in countries like the USA, Brazil, and the Philippines due to historical migration.

Tracing Back the Roots of Japanese

  • Japanese carries a veil of mystery around its origins as part of the Japonic language family. However, it has been significantly influenced by Chinese, Korean, and several indigenous languages.
  • The “kanji” or the Japanese writing system borrowed from Chinese characters around the 4th century AD.
  • The modern Japanese language culminates centuries of evolution and includes kanji and two phonetic scripts – hiragana and katakana.

The Global Footprint of Japanese

  • Japanese culture has globally influenced many sectors, such as technology, animation and food, leading to the adoption of Japanese words in other languages. English words like sushi, tsunami, karaoke, and emoji are perfect examples of such adoption.
  • The unique three-script Japanese writing system has also inspired other writing systems, most notably the Ryukyuan languages of Okinawa.

The Current Landscape of the Japanese Language

  • Japanese is the official language of Japan, and even though it’s not officially spoken in any other country, it’s recognised as a minority language in Palau.
  • The language is well-known for its complex system of honour and respect, which is deeply embedded in its structure.

Japanese Dialect Map

Japanese Dialect Map

Our Commitment to Overcoming Typesetting/DTP Challenges

Typesetting/DTP in Japanese brings unique challenges due to its unique writing system and layout. For example, Japanese text can be written both vertically (right-to-left) and horizontally (left-to-right), and characters may require adjustments (kerning) to fit tight spaces.

At Brightlines, we have conquered these challenges:

  • All our translation specialists are native Japanese speakers, ensuring accurate and visually engaging typesetting.
  • They possess a comprehensive understanding of Japanese layout rules and typographical standards, which guarantees the translated document retains the quality and appeal of the original.
  • Each typesetting task undergoes a thorough review by another native Japanese speaker to uphold the highest level of accuracy and quality.

The Brightlines Promise: Exceptional Japanese Translation Services

Our Brightlines Translation team is committed to effectively bridging the language gap between English and Japanese. With our translation specialists, who have been immersed in Japanese since birth and carry extensive expertise in diverse industry fields, we promise high-quality, precise, and timely translations, be it English to Japanese or Japanese to English.

Choosing Brightlines Translation means choosing clarity, cultural insight, and a distinct voice in the Japanese-speaking world. We are here to help you convey your message with effectiveness and authenticity in Japanese.

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Our translation services - FAQ

Do you use native translators?

Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.

How long will the translations take?

The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.

What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?

All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.

Which languages can you translate into?

We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.

I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?

Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.

Does the translation need to be proofread?

Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.

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If you need Japanese translations, get in touch with our team, or get a quick quote.