Japanese logogram for translation

Long translation experience in Japanese and Italian for demanding clients

Translation is a deeply inexact science that involves the transposing of meanings (as opposed to simple words) from one language to another, and because the process draws upon a number of cultural and personal factors, it is ultimately accomplished in a somewhat irrational manner, similarly to other creative pursuits. Aliseo Japan™ is a translation studio specialized in Japanese and Italian.

“General translation” — Contents

Since over twenty-three years we have been translating subjects ranging over various domains—including specialized ones. Our Japanese and Italian translations don't like machine translation, therefore they flow naturally, read well, are well styled and are suitable for the target audience. In addition to translation we also offer a consecutive Japanese-Italian interpreting service through all Japan.

Introduction to our Japanese and Italian translation service

Aliseo Japan® is the trade name of a team of two freelance translators (one Japanese mothertongue translator and an Italian mothertongue translator) with many years of experience in international working environments where foreign languages were used regularly for both written and oral communication.

We are not a translation company.

We handle exclusively the following
language pairs:

  • Italian to Japanese
  • Japanese to Italian
  • English to Italian
  • English to Japanese

We also offer technical/specialized translations, website translation and subtitle translation and audio/video transcription.

Proofreading and editing of existing translations (sorry, we don’t do MTPE, unless it's paid at our normal translation rates) is an additional service we offer to clients who desire to have their translations checked by a third party. For further information on our work please also see the questions and answers (FAQ) on our linguistic services page.

Our CAT tools are CafeTran Espresso, Déjà Vu X3, Memsource for Desktop (only offline) and SDL Studio, which besides assisting us to maintain where necessary both term uniformity and the original layout allow us to work directly with the source files in their original format—DOC, Excel, InDesign, FrameMaker, etc. to make post-translation DTP activities easier for the client.

Our strongest asset in Italian and Japanese translation is teamwork

Our Italian and Japanese translations are absolutely mother tongue in both directions and always virtually correct. Since we have permanent access to each other's native language proficiency, we are guaranteed to understand every nuance of the source language (Japanese, Italian and English in our case).

This is how we are able to produce translations that are both accurate and written at a 100% native level, even when dealing with the most vexing of source texts. Our foremost strength is therefore teamwork, namely the ability to immediately seek the assistance of our partner should the need arise. In practical terms this means that with the help of his partner (the Japanese translator), the Italian translator can understand any type of Japanese text; when time is limited, he will not waste too much of it researching the readings of rare logograms (kanj) or less common names of places or people, and will quickly grasp the meanings of the countless and sometimes obscure Japanese slang expressions which may appear.

Similarly, the Japanese translator can better comprehend highly specialized Italian texts with the help of her Italian partner, even those that natives of the language might struggle to parse. Having a native speaker of the source language on hand also speeds up any required research which could otherwise turn into a long and arduous ordeal.

Our translation quality control procedure explains how we tackle together the most difficult Italian-Japanese translation jobs.

Translating into or from Japanese: The importance of experience

Real translation experience in a given domain cannot be acquired by simply translating “some” technical manuals, “some” contracts, “some” court orders, or other relevant material. The level of experience needed to produce professional translations in a field requires constant and prolonged effort at translating that subject matter in all or at least most of its possible forms and permutations, plus some time spent translating texts from other realms.

Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco

Writer, semiotician, and occasional translator

Translation is the art of failure.

In practice, many translations require a solid, multidisciplinary skill set (covering areas which are only tangentially related, such as mechanics, electronics, physics, chemistry, legal concepts, etc.) which takes a substantial number of years to develop in particular for translators of pure linguistic background. This is how it was for us, too—we have been translating professionally in these fields since 1997.

Although linguistic skill is the most basic requirement for any translator, translation experience is also very important and is something which can only be acquired through time and constant practice.

Together with the obvious need to master the target language, translation experience also helps to avoid translating too literally, the worst enemy of good translation and always a present trap especially when translating from Japanese, which due to its substantially different structure compared to Italian and English requires a particular ability of stylistic re-elaboration.

Drawing on our multidisciplinary experiences in the high-tech industry, in 1997 we began offering translations in an array of domains, and over the years we have translated millions of words/characters.

However, we've never found it useful to try to maintain a list of our completed translation projects. Not only the confidentiality agreements we sign preclude the creation of such a record, but it would require constant updating, too—and in the end, the list would still fail to provide any real proof of our overall knowledge in those subject areas or our capabilities in similar or related fields, should it be assessed only through a simple list of titles.

Therefore, on this page we have noted only the primary translation fields we have worked in thus far. Since this list is not comprehensive, we encourage you to check with us to verify that we have the necessary experience and knowledge to translate texts in other fields equally well:

Please note: as a general rule, we do not translate librettos, song lyrics, poetry, religious texts, or highly specialized texts in the fields of chemistry, biology, or medicine.

A few words on the Japanese language

At present, almost 120 million people worldwide speak Japanese. Most of them live in Japan, although there is a small number in other countries that speak Japanese at least as a second language. According to the latest UN estimates, the Japanese language ranks ninth in number of native speakers.

This number does not hold much meaning in and of itself, but it is certainly respectable from the standpoint of economic and international relations and should motivate those who are interested in working with Japanese companies or institutions to invest as needed for communicating in the language.

Regarding translation, it should also be noted that due to various historical and cultural reasons the Japanese as a whole have little familiarity with foreign languages—even English—and this is especially true in professional and institutional settings. The resulting effect is that it is very often necessary to resort to translation even for the most basic of needs.

Nihongo, the Japanese language
The Japanese language

Japan is also a heavy importer of all sorts of goods, which means sufficient consideration must be given to the average Japanese consumer as well. Very often, the websites of many large companies, government agencies, tourism associations and other organizations only offer assistance to foreign visitors in the form of instant machine translation, a technology which is virtually useless and even dangerous when used with Japanese. Even if a human-translated version of the website does exist, it is inevitably sparse and stripped down to the bare essentials. Similarly, few companies and governmental or quasi-governmental entities publish documents in English or other foreign languages, making it a challenge for foreign companies to access the Japanese market and culture.

This means that there is always a substantial need for professional translators specialized in Japanese and Italian, although the consolidation of English as an international language and the ongoing gradual industrial de-localization process in Japan will gradually reduce in favor of translations to and from English.

Standard translation rates

Language pairs Rates
ITA > JAP From USD 0.13/word
JAP > ITA From USD 0.09/char
ENG > ITA From USD 0.12/word
ENG > JAP From USD 0.13/word
Special conditions for translation companies.

Service terms

  • These rates are updated periodically to reflect changes in the JPY/USD exchange rate
  • The rates shown here apply to standard translation jobs. Special rates may apply for specialized texts or jobs that will require extended periods of time
  • The minimum rate per job for direct clients is USD 40
  • Unless different terms are agreed upon in advance, all payments are due within 30 days of the invoice date. (Private individuals must make their payments before translation work begins)
  • Payment method: WISE, Payoneer, PayPal, credit card (via the free PayPal service, account registration not required) or bank transfer to an IBAN/SEPA account.

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