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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Professional Japanese Translation - What Is

Many of us bandy the term “Professional Translation” around liberally; truth of the matter is, thought, not many folks have a clear idea what it means exactly.

Read on, and gain the knowledge to ensure your English Japanese translation projects are brought to fruition by real professional translators who in-turn will ensure the success of your projects, every single time.

As the name implies, Professional Japanese Translation is translation services provided by qualified & experienced professionals using professional translation methodologies. In order to produce professional translation, at a minimum the following 2 elements must be present in the translation equation:

  • Full-cycle Translation (TEP: Translating, Editing, Proofing)
  • Qualified & Experienced Human Translators

Full-cycle Translation
Full-cycle translation is essentially a methodology of checks and balances by qualified and experienced language professionals.
At a minimum, 3 professionals are involved - translator, editor and proof checker – each checking the other’s work to ensure errors are eliminated. Implemented properly, full-cycle translation produces the highest Japanese translation quality possible.

(Please be aware that many so-called professional outfits skimp on one or the other -for example, translators check their own work- in order to boost profits. However, this is a classic case the fox guarding the chicken koop.)

Qualified & Experienced Human Translators
Professional human translators -who work for an organization (translation agency, company, firm etc) or who work for themselves freelance- are the other essential ingredient of the professional translation equation..

Regardless how translators choose to deliver their translation services, professional translators are:

  • Bilingual
  • University Educated
  • Trained and Experienced in Translation
  • Skilled in Translation Tools
  • Subject Matter Experts

As you can see from the definition above, being bilingual by itself does not qualify a person as a professional translator. More importantly, professional Japanese translators only translate into their mother tongue (never the other way around).

As with most disciplines in life, there is, obviously, quite a bit more to professional translation. However, the information above will give you a leg up in finding the right translation services that will ensure the success of your projects.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

bY Translation Services Tokyo: Computer Translation - What Is?

This term is the stuff of no small amount of confusion!

 Stick with me here - We'll clear it all up

But first, since you’re reading this article it means that you have a need for English-to-Japanese translation. You are also probably wondering what type of translation option is best for your requirements. Different types of translation:

  • Computer Translation
  • Post-edited Machine Translation (PEMT)
  • Translation Crowd-sourcing
  • Translation Cloud
  • Human Translation

Getting back on track, computer translation is a generic term that actually refers to 2 completely different types of translation using - no surprise - computers: Machine Translation (MT) and Computer Assisted Translation (CAT).

Machine Translation
A human translator supports the machine. That is, a computer program, or software, translates the source text, with the result then edited by the human translator (if it is edited at all). Google Translate is an example of machine translation most folks are familiar with.

In terms of translation quality possible, machine translation is a thoroughly discredited technology. It does, however, have limited utility (i.e. subject matters, such as weather reports, with rigid sentence structures and little in the way of creativity).

Computer Assisted Translation
A machine supports the human translator. A human translator translates the source text aided by a software program. The heart of this technology is what’s called:

  • Terminology base
  • Translation memory

Used appropriately by experienced translation professionals, CAT can improve efficiency. However, quality is not at the same level of a professional human translator, such as Japanese legal translator. And, the utility of CAT translation tools vary according to the type of source language. That is, a Spanish English language combination is more likely to realize the promised efficiencies than say Japanese English translation.

Your project. Unless you have material that is rigid and lacks creativity, Professional Japanese Translators using the Full-cycle Translation Method (TEP) are the only way to ensure quality Japanese translation.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Professional Japanese Translation: Quality, Efficient, Competitively Priced

It can all be yours - In other words, you get your cake AND get to eat it!

Ordering professional translation is more than simply placing a call to your Japanese translation company.
How you approach this task will determine if you have an incredibly frustrating and disappointing experience. Or, if you get the best English Japanese translation project results on your own terms -- Efficiency, competitive pricing and high quality.

For example, almost all translation companies have a guarantee or warranty of some sort, designed to secure your business. But what exactly does that guarantee mean? And, more importantly, is it worth anything? Therefore, before jumping in, you’d definitely want take that guarantee apart piece-by-piece.

Here’s a short teaser:
One of the best ways to ensure you get quality translations every single time is to scrutinize the translation services company’s guarantee. While a simple, clean cut “Complete Satisfaction or 100% Money Back Guarantee” is ideal, you’ll want to take a hard look at the details of that guarantee on offer. After all, getting your money back for a flubbed job is nice; however, you don’t want to waste your time dealing with incompetence, right?

Read the complete translation article here, and ensure the best results for your professional Japanese translation requirements