Most accurate Japanese translator for business
It is very hard to find the most accurate Japanese translator when it comes to business. Freelance platforms, such as Upwork or Fiverr, are the go-to places to find affordable and quality human translators in Japan or Japanese living overseas.
You can find multiple Japan-based translation companies online. To name a few, the following is a short list of companies:
Brainwoods Corporation, Ltd
Honyaku Center Inc
Crimson Interactive Japan Co., Ltd.
SunFlare Co., Ltd.
When we search for actual Japanese in a location like Japan, the current trend is that the cheaper, the better. The question then becomes, how cheap or “reasonable” should these translation services be?
It all comes down to how much you can afford, and what you want to achieve with the translation.
It’s a very generic form of pricing.
High quality: JPY30-40/word (USD0.24-0.32: USD/JPY as 125)
Middle : JPY20-30/word (USD 0.16-0.24)
Low: JPY10-20/word (USD 0.08-0.16)
So, if you want to get a high quality output and you go under USD0.10 per word, that is not going to happen, and you demand a bit too much of it. Translation is done by humans, so it’s very difficult to choose the right company or even the right person to do the actual work.
How the translation works
In order to understand the quality of the translation, you need to understand the process that is taking place. Once you get the idea, you will understand where you should go to get the translatio work done.
The translation company works as a team, which sounds fair enough. There is a director assigned for the project, and depending on the quantity and delivery date, they will assign the right number of people who will actually do the translation. The actual translators are sometimes the company’s full-time employees, and if they are short of resources, they might source them from outside the organization. This is a common practice in the industry.
The actual translator needs to get paid, and the director needs to profit from it. There are multiple layers of margin compounding, so the overall cost is even greater.
You might think, “That’s why we use Upwork and other freelance sourcing platforms in the first place”, and we get it. There is no director involved, nor the company itself as a middle man, so the fee is reasonably lower than what a firm offers.
The answer is yes and no.
When you get the same quality output as a freelancer, that’s great, but chances are lower than what an organization provides. It’s like betting on a big, safe stock versus betting on a risky stock from an emerging country.
Just to remember that we are in the business of capitalism. Meaning that the bigger the company is, the more money they can afford to keep the best talent in the market. So, technically speaking, if you have a nice enough budget, you can get a good deal from a big company.
You might think, well, human resources are limited, but why do we have so many solutions and companies that provide translation services? The answer is what we call “machine translation” — a kind of translation system.
Machine translation, it’s like Google. You could say that, and that’s an easy way to put it. The idea is that once the original text has gone through machine translation, then people will edit it to finalize it.
It’s also known as Post-Editing Machine Translation (PEMT). When you put those words into Google, you get a whole bunch of lists about it for translators. While PEMT sounds very advanced and fancy, it’s a bit controversial. It’s controversial because of its quality. Human’s bain is way more creative than that of machine translation, which consits of bunch of text data. When humans do post-editing after machine translation, humans get distracted by what has already been translated by the machine and kills the original creativity.
We experienced it for ourselves too. It’s easy and fast to go to google translation or DeepL. Then, when you try to edit it in a natural manner and authentic way, you are distracted by the translated text already there. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not us criticizing PEMT, we are saying that if you don’t care about quality that much, you should definitely go that direction. It’s reasonably priced, fast, and it has the lowest possible human interaction.
But if you are looking for quality output, that is something you should be aware of. Generally speaking the intermediate range of translation pricing of around USD 0.16-0.24 is done by PEMT, or some higher price ranges might apply. If you want to avoid that, you need to look at the translation from a different angle. This is called transcreation.
Transcreation is the coined term combined with “translation” + “creation”, as you might have guessed. If you do the translation work between western laugnages, meaning English to Spanish, Spanish to French, or Italian to English, that is not necesarrily true. Unlinke western world that only uses 26 alphabetical combinations, Japanese does with 180,000 kanji combinations. Of course, we use around 3,000-5,000 kanjis, but they are still around 200 times larger than alphabetic languages.
How do we really translate those two completely different languages? No, we don’t. That’s where the human creative mind comes in. You take the original text, background, context, terminology, cultural background, current trends, and all other circumstances into consideration. By understanding the original message value, you can recreate the same message value across different languages. That’s a lot of creative work, and few can actually execute it.
Those who can practically execute it are the ones hired by big companies as in-house translators.
In any case, if you want to get that quality, you should ask companies by saying, “Do you provide translations without PEMT?”. The cost might not be something that will motivate you, but if the process guaranteed, worth trying. If you haven’t tried it yet, you will get a totally different result.
Translation itself is typically considered to be the cost center of marketing, sales, and perhaps even the entire business. That’s one way to look at it. The other way is to look at it as a business foundation to respect and engage with the audience that sits in the target country.