Frequently Asked Questions

Translation | Interpreting | General

Translation-Related Questions

Can you certify a translation for us?
Yes, we can provide this service. Read More | Top

Can you translate at a deposition for us?
You appear to be confusing translation (of the written word) with interpreting (of the spoken word). We have a track record of over three decades of providing deposition interpreting. Read More | Top

We are a world-class provider of language solutions. Can you help us with the translation of the attached file?
I am afraid not. We do not work with translation agencies, brokers, or other resellers of language services, regardless of whether they attempt to position themselves as localization companies, "providers of sustainable and globally empowering language solutions," or any other silly buzzword character string designed to disguise their true nature as translation brokers. Our clients are almost exclusively world-class manufacturers and law firms. Top

Can you provide a translation from Japanese into French?
Probably not. Unlike the translation services that claim the ability to translate any language into any language (highly unlikely), we prefer to provide high-quality translations between Japanese and English. Read More | Top

What is your turnaround time for translation?
To answer that question in a meaningful way, we need to see the document(s) you need translated and offer a proper quotation. Ask for Quotation | Top

How many translators do you have?
Many (most?) translation brokers in Japan and elsewhere claim to have hundreds and some claim to have thousands of translators "registered" with them. To the unwary client, this sounds like they can and do call on a good many of these translators on a regular basis. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we will be discussing elsewhere. "Registered" or "we have N translators" generally just means that the translation broker knows the contact information for that N translators, and might not even imply that any significant portion of those translators have ever gotten any work from the particular translation broker. Most translation brokers have not a single translator. In contrast, we were established by a translator and are staffed by only translators. This is extremely rare among translation companies, most of which regularly purchase translations from people they have never met and cannot judge as translators. It would be a better world if more translation providers could be as honest about their "stock" of translators. Read More | Top

We have a translation here that was poorly done. Can you edit it to bring it to the point at which you could certify it?
The answer is highly dependent upon the quality of the original translation. You should keep in mind that the task of editing and/or rewriting a poorly done translation almost always requires the efforts of someone who could have translated the document in question properly from the start. This means that the editing effort might cost as much as we would charge to translate the original document. Top

Do you use any tools such as translation memory in performing translation?
The short answer is no. The type of patent and technical translation we specialize in is not amenable to the use of translation memories, and would in fact slow us down in providing patent translation because of the added burden of dealing with the quirks of the TM software. Translation memory software is to a qualified professional translator what a wheelchair would be to a healthy and accomplished basketball player. Yes, you can play in the wheelchair, but why unduly restrict yourself when you already can play without one? TM software has lowered the bar to getting into the translation field to the point at which people who cannot translate your documents are fooling you and themselves into thinking that they can. It provides a comforting aide to translators who cannot recall those nasty Japanese characters, but the result often just masks the lack of basic translation skills. Top

What languages do you handle?
We specialize in translation of patents and other IP-related documents between Japanese and English only (either direction). This enables us to put in our best effort and excel over translation providers claiming to translate in dozens or even hundreds of languages. Top

Can you translate my wife's family register into English and certify the translation?
Yes, we can. Please be aware, however, that almost all of our business is with well-known corporations and law firms. Before we even start to do a translation for an individual, we need to know the potential client's physical address and true identity, and also need to determine whether a bank-to-bank transfer for the payment is going to be possible. We also reserve our right to ask for full payment in advance. But before anything work can proceed, you need to contact us to get a quotation for the translation you require. Contact Us | Top

Interpreting-Related Questions

Can you provide a court sworn interpreter?
There is nothing equivalent to a sworn interpreter in Japan. That said, at depositions, both parties have presumably agreed to use the lead or check interpreter beforehand, and the interpreter takes an oath to provide accurate and unbiased interpreting before the deposition begins.

We are deposing a Japanese witness. Can you interpreter for us?
Perhaps, but because we are based in Japan and have many local Japanese clients, we might not be able to help you depose a witness from a Japanese firm. Since there are exceptions, you should contact us. Top

Why do we need to pay you a deposit to reserve interpreting services?
Because it is our policy when dealing with interpreting clients outside of Japan. However, this can be avoided very simply, by having us deal directly with your Japanese client. This is no problem for us at all, and will remove any payment burden and responsibility from your firm. Top

General Questions

What is the best way to make contact with you?
Because of the time difference between Japan and the US, the best method to contact us is usually by e-mail. I or a colleague will receive your note to us and respond in a timely manner. Top

We need to reach you by telephone. What is the best time to reach you?
If you are calling from outside Japan, please note the time difference. When the US is on standard time, the US West Coast is 17 hours behind Japan Standard Time. For example, the current time and date in Japan is:

For this reason, calls might come in outside of our normal business hours. We will, however, attempt to get back to you as quickly as possible if you leave us a message (or send email at such times. Top

Can you accept payment by check?
Because checks written on foreign banks are no longer accepted by Japanese banks, the short answer is no, and, alas, there is no longer answer available. Top

Can I pay by credit card?
Since we are a company that does almost exclusively B2B (business-to-business) transactions, we do not accept credit card payments. The payment method is the standard bank transfer to our corporate account here in Japan. Top

Can you provide a quotation in US dollars?
Since all our invoicing is in Japanese Yen, a US dollar quote would only risk having the payment fall short of (or exceed) the billed yen amount due to currency fluctuations. Since the invoice is usually issued only after an assignment is completed and there is often a significant time that passes before we receive payment, you will need to calculate the JPY amount to be sent at the time of payment, rather than to calculate a USD amount at the time of quotation and send that equivalent amount of yen at the time of payment. Currency exchange rates are readily available. Top

For what fields can you provide translation and interpreting?
We have a broad range of experience in translating Japanese IP-related documents and in providing other translations of Japanese technical and scientific texts. In addition, we have a wealth of experience with translations for industry and science. Please contact us with specifics. Contact Us | Top