One word for one world
One word for one world


Professional Japanese translations

Together, our professional translators translate over 200,000 words per day, into and from almost all languages. One of the languages into which we regularly translate is Japanese. Our Japanese translators are experts in their profession, each with additional qualifications which allow them to specialise in particular subjects. We always allocate a text to a translator who knows the most about the document’s subject, in order to provide professional translations with the correct terminology. For example, a legal document is only ever entrusted to one of our specialist legal translators, an IT text goes to one of our technical translators, and a marketing document is translated by a linguist who has a natural and flowing style of writing. Furthermore, we work exclusively with experienced native speakers of the target language.

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General information regarding Japanese

Japanese flag
There are around 127 million people who speak Japanese worldwide. This naturally includes Japan, but also Japanese emigrants who are located in all corners of the globe. Japanese is a so-called agglutinative language and has a complex system of formalities, which express the hierarchical relationships within Japanese society and the relative relationships between internal discussion partners.

The Japanese vocabulary has been strongly influenced by Chinese during the past 1,500 years. The Japanese script is a mixture of Kanji - characters copied from Chinese - and Hiragana and Katakana, which are based on syllables. Japanese is one of two languages in the Japanese Ryukyuan language family - the other language in this family is Ryukyuan, which is spoken on the Ryukyu Islands. We still aren’t sure about the origins of this language family. Japanese shows links and similarities with other languages in many different areas, with these being the most frequently proclaimed theories: Japanese is related to a now extinct language which used to be spoken in Korea and Manchuria; Japanese is related to Korean; Japanese is one of the Altaic languages, which followers of this theory also believe to include Mongolian, Tungusic, Turkish and Korean; Japanese is a Creole language, possibly with Austronesian influences; Japanese is a purely Austronesian language; Japanese is related to Tamil.

The Japanese script

Japanese did not have its own script before the fifth century. After the Japanese had become acquainted with the Chinese culture via Korean monks and scholars, they adopted the Chinese script, in addition to other Chinese cultural aspects. Their own Japanese script developed from this over the course of time. The Chinese characters were used to write Chinese loan words or Japanese words with the same meaning. Word endings and expressions with a grammatical function were also written in this Kanji script, until the two writing systems, Hiragana and Katakana, which were based on syllables, were developed. Nowadays endings and grammatical parts of sentences are written in Hiragana. Japanese students are taught the Kanji script during their first year of schooling. They will be taught the most important characters for the remainder of their time at school, in the canon set out by the Japanese ministry of education.

Nicolette van Neer
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