Monday, August 10, 2015

The devil is in the details – What is Full-cycle Translation?

Full-cycle translation (TEP) process stands for Translation, Editing and Proof-reading.

TEP is a tried and true process of checks and balances that, when implemented correctly, ensures the highest translation quality. Essentially, part of the process is improved upon by the next step in the process (the editor on the translator, the proof-checker on the editor, etc). I’m sure you can see how any slipups are caught before going to print.

Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for if quality translation is your primary objective.

Recent trends in the translation industry see many service providers -in an attempt to boost profitability- substituting the translation element of the TEP process with quality busting software (i.e. machine translation software) and methods (cloud & crowd translation) for experienced, professional human translators. This misguided approach creates a knock on effect in quality. That is, the editor can only improve so much on poor quality before calling for a complete re-translation, as can the proof-checker. The result is a product that’s stilted, if not downright useless.

Of course, it goes without saying that the whole TEP process needs to be staffed with competent language professional to produce quality translation. Click here to find out more about real quality Japanese translation services

Thursday, July 16, 2015




  • 書籍翻訳
  • 書類・ドキュメント翻訳
  • DTP編集と翻訳
  • 旅行業界の翻訳
  • WEBサイト・ホームページ翻訳



お客様のプロジェクトが一段と良くなる高品質な翻訳についてはこちら…英語翻訳サービス →

Monday, June 22, 2015

Translation Article Feedback: A Sign Of The Times?

A couple of years ago we reported on the bankruptcy of a Japanese publishing company, Takeda Random House Japan Co., Ltd.

Long story short, Takeda Random House dabbled in machine translation on a published works leading to a devastating recall. Here’s the complete article Machine translation forces major Japanese publishing company into bankruptcy

Interestingly enough, this translation article only gained traction when it was re-blogged 18 months later, in January 2015. Numerous comments flowed as interest in the article peaked. These comments, in and of themselves, speak volumes as to the tug-of-war going on in the translation industry and, therefore, there is value in reproducing some of them below:

Machine translation should not be confused with computer-assisted translation. Surely, nothing can replace human translators.
Myriam Rozengurt Blankchtein
But in some cases both are intermingled.
Nancy Matis
Crazy story. I can't read the full article in Japanese - but I guess those machine-translated texts were at least post-edited before being published...I can understand the use of MT in some sectors but in this case, I have some doubts...
Nellie K. Adaba
I'm sorry, I meant to say machine or automatic translation, or translation memories cannot replace us human translators. I messed up, made a mistake, malapropism.
Marvin Taylor
We all make mistakes like that. While I think machine translation might be faster and more multichanneled than human translation, it never gets the "feel" of human translation, 'tis true. It seldom gets the nuances as well as human translation when one goes between languages. Therefore we all agree: machine translation cannot replace human translation.
Maria Ortiz Takacs, trad. a./C. Tr.
Wow, it's hard to believe that a reputable publishing company would be so sloppy!
Mohammad Sinaei
I think we should use both human and machine translators. Some time machines translators are useful (for typing faster) but sometime human is the best option.(make fewer mistakes). All in all, I think both have pros and cons.

(comment source:

Summarizing, while there is agreement machine translation can’t produce the natural translation quality of human translators, a number of glaring issues are also revealed:

  • General confusion as to what constitutes machine translation
  • Blame the user (“sloppy”), not the (machine translation) tool
  • Approval of machine translation, having both pros & cons and depending on translation field

While we don’t endorse any of the comments above our position is that machine translation, being a software that is nowhere near ready for prime time, is being irresponsibly pushed by commercial interest as an alternative to professional human translation. I say “irresponsibly” because many folks have come to believe the marketing spin, to their own detriment. For example, a couple of months ago we had a client out of Sri Lanka that needed a machine translated website re-done with professional English Japanese translation services (and the cost was lower by 75%?!).

Your 2cents – Let us know what you think!

Translation Article bY Tokyo Translation Services Japan

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Your Translation Projects Are Losing Money

Plenty of things can go wrong with a translation project; nearly all of them spill red ink!

Have I scared you? Then that’s good because now you’ll be more focused on how to prevent most, if not all, of these things happening! That’s right -- There’s absolutely no reason why any translation project should ever lose money. Whether you’re doing translation in-house or outsourcing follow this one simply rule to ensure your projects don’t lost money.

Losing money refers to the true cost of translation:
  • Cost of the translation project and/or
  • Cost of poor translation quality, including but not limited to lost customers, lawsuits and fees & penalties for non compliance.

First, by way of introducing examples -actual translation projects- you’ll be able to see where potential problems start. These are the problems we want to nip in the bud before they have an opportunity to blossom. My company gets access to these projects from translation directories which we have signed up to. While we don’t bid for these projects, having access to this kind of information provides a pulse on the translation services industry, i.e. how many projects are out there, what kind of projects, who is posting projects, etc. Let’s jump in:
  1. Project
    English to Japanese Translation project of 16,000 words due within 24 hours. Problem: Can only be completed with machine translation, translation crowdsourcing and/or a combination there of -- The results scream Poor Quality

  2. Project
    English to Japanese Translation project of 300~500,000 words due within 72 hours. Problem: Can only be completed with machine translation -- The results…Trust me, you don’t want to know!

These types of projects are surprisingly common. The poor quality guaranteed on these projects through the use of poor translation tools and methodologies such as machines translation and translation crowsourcing is merely a symptom of a much a bigger problem. So, what’s going on here?

The root cause is personnel -- The person, or persons, who erroneously believed they could bring such a large project to fruition while maintaining your quality standards, within such ridiculously short deadlines. These folks are either clueless about translation, or have ulterior motives such as profiting from you regardless of the true cost to you. In other words, the real problem is who’s on your translation team? Whether your translation project is handled in-house or outsourced, follow this simply rule:

Ensure the right professionals are on your translation team.

And, oh, know that there’s no magically wand you wave for instant translation -- Producing quality translation is hard work that requires the skills and expertise of professional Japanese translators, so plan ahead to avoid any ridiculous deadlines that pressure translators unnecessary.

Translation Article bY Japan based Tokyo Translation Service

Friday, February 6, 2015

Professional Translation - What Is

As the name implies, this is translation services provided by professional human translators who work for an organization (translation agency, company, firm etc) or who work for themselves freelance.

Regardless how professional 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 translator. More importantly, professional Japanese translators only translate into their mother tongue (never the other way around).

Translation Article bY Tokyo Translation Service Japan

Translation Cloud - What Is

The translation cloud is a collaborative technique that has been enabled by advances in cloud computing technology, and is a fairly recent development in translation. With cloud translation, multiple human translators collaborate in real time simultaneously in the same workspace with shared resources. (Not be confused with translation crowdsourcing - see post below - which is not a collaborative technique.)

The purpose of translation clouds is to realize improvements in efficiency, communications between project participants, and to minimize or eliminate the managerial tasks in projects.

The introduction into shared resources of computer translation - i.e. machine translation - along with the practice in some translation companies of using novice translators (enhance profit), has brought into question the quality achievable through translation clouds. This is the reason why some professional translation companies in Japan have decided not to roll out a cloud.

I do believe, though, that as the translation quality of the cloud becomes more and more of an issue for customers, more translation companies globally will start shunning the cloud.

Translation Article bY Japan Translation Services Tokyo

Translation Crowdsourcing - You Already Know

Most people are familiar with crowdsourcing, although they may not necessary know it.

Ever used Wikipedia?

This is the same approach used in translation crowdsourcing, where many human translators work on the translation of a source text. Translators respond, for example, to an “open call” for Japanese financial translation with each participant being assigned a different section of the finance document to translate.

Much the same as Wikipedia, since alot of people - a crowd, that is - does the translation, quality issues, such as quality of contributors and final product, are to be expected. In addition, crowdsoucing is notoriously plagued by “Editor Wars” where numerous editors continuously override others’ editing. The benefit of translation crowdsourcing is a faster translation process.

Translation Article bY Tokyo Translation Services Japan