English Japanese translations

A comprehensive, clear and concise guide

General Guidelines

While there are a number of websites and software packages which provide automated translation services, unless the original text is very short, e.g., one short sentence, machine translation generally fails to produce an accurate and natural translation.

The translator should be a native speaker of the target language and should also be a specialist (ideally with suitable qualifications) in the subject area of the text being translated.


Currently rates vary from about USD 5 cent per Japanese character of target text to about USD 22 cent per Japanese character of target text -- the lower rate typically applies to general texts whilst the higher rate normally applies to specialised subjects such as law and finance.

As a general rule of thumb, an English to Japanese translator can translate about five pages of target Japanese text (10,000 characters of text) per day. Naturally, this varies depending on experience and specialisation. As an example, a translator translating a novel will have to consider various nuances, so may well only translate two to three pages a day. The purchaser should keep this rule of thumb in mind when agreeing the deadline for completion of the translation.

Where possible, the purchaser of translation services should provide to the translator a dictionary of technical terms if they are specific to the text that is to be translated.

The translation should be proofread by a second native speaker of Japanese.


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