Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Here’s the reason why Japanese translation rates & prices aren’t as suspect as many folks may believe

Do you find translation quotes a black box, even suspicious?

The Black Box of Translation Pricing

I want to relate a true story (a recent experience we had with a new client), breakdown a translation quote, and show you how to ensure the best price for your project.

True Story 
Recently, a customer was referred to our Certified Translation Services Japan, Tokyo by an existing client. The customer needed personal legal documents translated from Japanese-to-English for a loan application in his home country, same as his colleague (the referring client). The response to our quote was quite indignant and not the least bit suspicious:

“This is 3 times more expensive than my colleague’s quote!”

Well, of course, because the volume (no of pages) you requested translated was 3 times more than what your colleague requested…

Translation Quote Breakdown
Translation services use a pricing structure when quoting projects. The basic structure is generally the same.

1. Languages
Some language combinations are more difficult to translate, such as Japanese English translation, and, therefore, the rate will be higher. Supply and demand also plays a role. English-to-Japanese translation will be priced lower than Japanese English translation because there are more proficient native Japanese translators than there are English.

2. Subject Matter
Do you have a simple finance translation, a technical finance translation, or a legal finance translation? I’m sure you understand that, since a finance translation couched in legalese will be more challenging requiring specialized legal skills, price will be correspondingly affected. (Do we pay lawyer the same amount of money as finance professionals, or doctors the same amount as nurses?)

3. Volume
Volume refers to the number of words or pages. Higher volume, higher project price.

4. Delivery Time
Have an impossible turn-around requirement (i.e. "I need this translation like yesterday already")? That’ll cost you extra! Reason is that translators will need to be pulled off other jobs to meet that tight deadline.

5. Discounts
Translation companies have all manner of discounts – Simply ask!

There you have it. And, if you’re ever tempted to request a quote with “I’ve a one-page document for English-to-Japanese translation – Simple enough, so what’s the cost?”, know that it’s not that simple! Beef up how translation pricing structures work to get the best deal for your translation project.

How to Ensure the Best Price
 Regardless of how or what the translation company quotes for you project, you’re not obligated to accept that quote. However, by getting at least 3 comparable quotes from different Japanese translation companies, you can ensure the best price your requirements.

Still think translation pricing is a black box? A penny for your thoughts! (I will use your feedback to improve this article.)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Professional English-to-Japanese Book Translation – Why Simply Translate?

Get your Japanese translated books & novels ranked and selling!

Japanese Title: 1946年日本回想録: 敗戦を乗り越えた人々

Literature translated by SAECULII YK (Tokyo, Japan) ranks -- In less than 2 weeks the Japanese edition of Memoires of Japan 1946 (A People Bowed buy Not Broken) ranked in the TOP 100 ON AMAZON JAPAN.

"Please pass on my thanks to everyone who worked on the project. I have been extremely impressed with the level of attention that your team paid to every detail of the translation. I'm delighted we chose SAECULII. Feel free to give me name as a reference for future bids if you need one."
- Sakkam Press Ltd

The translated Japanese edition of Memoires of Japan 1946 (A People Bowed But Not Broken) has been selected for and entered into Japan’s National Diet Library, or 国立国会図書館. (The National Diet Library is similar in purpose and scope to the U.S. Library of Congress.)

If the gold standard of endorsement for a work of literature is being listed in a national archive, then it could be said that the ultimate endorsement a professional translator can ever hope for must be that of the author:

“On balance, I would like to leave it to the translators to find the nearest meaning in Japanese. They seem to have very good sense of the situation and made a very good job of it so far.”
- Bernard T. Smith

Contact Japan, Tokyo Japanese Book Translation Service now to get ranked and selling! Or, read the translation case study for this project by clicking the link below


Monday, October 9, 2017

bY Translation Service Japan: Develop a winning translation methodology by sleeping on it!

This post is about professional Japanese human translation.

In this article series you’re introduced to ideas to help you develop a translation methodology of your own, especially one that suits your work style, which will enable you to translate more efficiently and accurately. And, if you happen to glean any pointers that will up your game, all strength to you!

(Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring Japanese translator or a client of English-to-Japanese translation, there is something for you here.)

  1. Read the original document
  2. Research the translation
  3. Now, do the work
  4. Ask the right questions
  5. Compare with the original
  6. Edit (proof) the translation
  7. Sleep on it!

Sleep on it!
Margaret Thatcher, while in office, once said that before making a big decision, she took a shot of Scottish whiskey, and slept on it. Regardless of your political persuasion, choose your own poison and definitely sleep on it -- Without resorting to hyperbole, it’s like the shades have been taken off. You'll be absolutely amazed at the clarity of mind with which you round-off your translation project!

Now, put your thesaurus to work. Identify words in the translated text that can be replaced with alternative, better words. This is where you get to be bold (without going off into space, of course!). Don't be afraid to use words and phrases that make the translated text sound human, make it come alive (i.e. moreover, further, incidentally etc). Where permitting, adopt a conversational style -- It reads better.

This does bear repeating, though; when permitted.

Obviously, the translation style you employ must be appropriate for the task at hand. Here are some types of translation where you should either establish with the client which style is desired, or determine which style is appropriate based on established convention:

  • Business translation
  • Certified Japanese Translation
  • Finance translation
  • Legal translation
  • Marketing translation
  • Technical translation
  • Web content translation

Generally, you want to produce a translation that’s easy to read and natural. Paying attention to this simple task will help you avoid that the translation kiss of death:

This has been translated hue

And, finally, this is also a good place to be creative. For example, when doing Japanese English translation, I have often noticed that Japanese authors tend to stick with a limited repertoire of conjunctive adverbs (furthermore, therefore, however, moreover). This doesn't read well in translation -- Your chance to be creative, seize it with both hands!

Use the advice here to polish your translation style. Most of the advice is simply about making minor changes to your existing style; but, given consideration, will lead to improved results as seen from repeat requests for your Japanese translation services

(p.s. Bookmark this page and keep checking back for new articles in the series.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Does your Japanese Translation Services have the quality guaranteeing processes in place?

What’s not to love about “translation quality” and “guarantee”?

These are magic words in the translation industry, just about everyone who throws up a shingle displays their guarantee prominently promising quality Japanese translations.

But, what exactly does this mean?

Unfortunately, not many translation companies have a sufficient understanding of what exactly Quality Driven Translation Processes entail, or even if they do understand they may not have the will and (or) means to implement these processes. You, however, can, by arming yourself with the right knowledge, ensure the Japanese translation services you select for your projects implements the right quality boosting processes.

Volumes have been written about this subject, which I could never do justice to in such limited space. Below follows a brief summary of the main points to provide you a spring board for further research. Quality Driven Translation Processes:

  • Provide a mechanism to assign the right translator to the right translation job
    Translation companies have, quite literally, access to hundreds and even thousands of translator records. The question you need to ask to ensure the most qualified Japanese translator for your job is: What (IT) mechanism is in place to scan all those records, accurately?

  • Feature full-cycle translation
    Despite all the hoopla surrounding new fangled translation technologies and methodologies coming into the market, there is ONLY one method that consistently produces quality English Japanese translation: full-cycle translation, or TEP (Translation, Editing, and Proof-check) by professional human translators.

  • Include project management infrastructure
    It is not uncommon for translation agencies to handle hundreds of jobs with thousands of documents simultaneously. Does the agency have the infrastructure to track all those documents simultaneously so that you’re project does get lost?

  • Deploy programs for continuous quality improvement
    Is there a program to analyze client feedback and incorporate those results in workflow processes? Are there quality control programs to ensure total quality in client projects? Does the company have periodic reviews & audits with an eye to ongoing quality improvement?
These are the hard questions you need to ask when “translation quality” and “guarantee” crop up in the same sentence! Follow the Quality Driven Translation Processes script above, and translation service in English Japanese will indeed be the magic that make all the difference to your projects.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Translation Services Tokyo – The secret to fast Japanese translation turnaround by industry insiders

Summarized in one word: Preparation

(And, no, it’s not the oft flogged refrain “I need this ASAP”!)

Preparation allows for the seamless implementation of your translation project plan. This article is about all the preparation that you can do yourself. Some points to consider:

  • Focus on quality (the concepts of quality and turnaround are not mutually exclusive)
  • Do the translation quote right (prepare all project materials & information BEFORE requesting a quote or estimate)
  • Establish a robust communications structure (i.e. what is the procedure to follow when arise?)

Essentially, when you adopt a quality first approach to your English Japanese translation projects, you’ll realize translation cost savings through lower rates & prices, and get a faster turn around. Now, I know that may sound like counter intuitive logic; however,

The reason why is because translation turn-around is a function of quality & cost.

Use the points above to kick off your preparations, and you’ll be well on your way to getting that fast turnaround. Still, there will always be some things missed and other things you simply didn’t know about. That's natural, after all, you're only managing a translation project -- You're not a translation professional with years of experience.

So, what's a person to do?

This is where you reach out to the translation professionals. Professional Translation Services in Tokyo will be more than happy to help you by providing useful pointers. The reason being is because they know from experience that the more prepared a client is, the more seamlessly a project will play out. This means quality Japanese translations, cost effective implementation that generates savings (which are typically passed on to you!), and efficient translation turn around.

(Some folks may wonder why translation companies will share their secrets if it means returning cost savings to the client as opposed to keeping those savings in their own pockets. The translation industry is very competitive, and translation companies are always on the lookout for ways to deliver more cost effective translation to clients without sacrificing quality. At least the professional Japanese translators, anyway.)

Speak with the professionals, you can only benefit! Contact the Translation Services Tokyo in Japan

Monday, January 23, 2017

Japanese Translation Services Errors & Lost Revenue – The causes

What kind of revenue loss are we taking about? Generally it includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Lost business opportunities
  • Loss of customers
  • Fines and penalties for non-compliance

And, in case you think these kinds of losses are trivial or the impact on revenue is irrelevant, read the following article: Translation errors in the technology, business & marketing space

(You can also search for “the cost of translation errors” to find many more examples.)

Now, many folks reading this article will be thinking, “Yeah, well, you’ll always get a certain caliber of dufus that totals the Lamborghini right out of the showroom!” Fact is, revenue lost to translation errors happens far more often than we realize. Here are the results of an influential translation industry study done a number of years back:
Translation errors cause lost revenue in 80% of global firms (Source: SDL International Survey)

I’m sure you’d agree with me that global firms are hardly staffed with…dufuses. Quite the contrary, these firms have some of the brightest people that money can buy on their payroll.

So, what gives?

Based on 2 decades PLUS experience delivering professional Japanese translation services from Japan, Tokyo dealing with global firms I have some ideas as to the root cause of this malaise:

  1. Lack of a coherent translation strategy
  2. Poor project management
  3. Excessive focus on cost cutting
  4. Unqualified personnel

All translation projects that bleed money -lose revenue- can attribute the root cause to one or more of the above. Fortunately, no English Japanese translation project need ever lose money for something as mundane as…translation errors.

The secret is realizing that translation can NEVER be an after thought to some other process -- It is a standalone process in its own right. And, just as you would not cut corners on any of the points above on a process such as, for example, manufacturing, so should you not take the back route on the translation process either.