Document Translation

When conducting business in Japan, it is wise to break through the language barrier and create a situation that minimizes the potential for communication issues. These issues have the potential to hold you back from achieving your objectives. Unlike Japanese translated business cards, document translation is not always a mandatory process in Japanese business etiquette. Even so, it makes a lot of sense to be proactive and take steps to increase your likelihood of success.

Some documents are traditionally translated into either Japanese or English such as contracts and agreements. Other items such as charts, graphs, brochures, and pamphlets are not usually translated. The basic idea behind document translation is that you have the ability make sure that your message is being understood. Any material that you leave with your host will be in a format that they can easily interpret. An added benefit of Japanese document translation is that the Japanese host will surely be impressed. They will very much appreciate the effort that has been put fourth to make it easy for them to understand your content. This form of over delivering will have a real impact on your business relationship with your Japanese counterpart. Relationships are heavily emphasized in Japanese business etiquette and culture.

There are a few things to consider when having your documents translated into Japanese. The most important of which is quality. The quality of your Japanese translation is what makes you come across powerfully. It literally makes all the difference in your hosts opinion of you and your company when you are not present. Poor Japanese translation takes away from your reputation and image. Image is very important in Japanese Business etiquette and culture. Poor Japanese translation also causes your message to be distorted. Having quality Japanese translation gives you a world class image that can pay real dividends when doing business in Japan.

To ensure that you have quality translation you may want to search the internet for reputable companies that have been in business for at least 10 years. Japanese and English document translation companies that have been in business for a long time are likely in existence because they provide a legitimate service. You can also contact your nearest Japanese consulate to see if they may have some referrals for Japanese translation services. Freelance Japanese translators may work also, but there is a lot of risk that is involved with having freelance people translating your documents. There is not the same level of quality control that a legitimate translation company offers.

Reputable Japanese translation companies also have the added benefit of localizing your documents to the specific region that you are traveling to. There are a few different dialects of the Japanese language spoken throughout Japan, particularly in Kyoto and Osaka. Localizing a brochure that is heading to a specific region can improve its visibility and result in a higher success rate.

When dealing with a Japanese translator, be sure that you inquire about the turnaround time. There are many instances where Japanese translation services were requested too late and there simply was not enough time to complete the requests before the trip Japan. Give yourself a minimum of 4 weeks for your Japanese translated documents to be completed. The translation work itself may take up to a week depending on how much material there is. If printing is involved in your Japanese translation work it may take another 3-5 days. If there are any revisions involved, expect another 3-5 days as well.

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