Translation-related know-how, examples and latest news.

Challenging Factors to Consider when Translating for Films like Disney's "Frozen"

January 25, 2016

Frozen subtitles, Frozen voice-over, Frozen translation

The Disney film "Frozen" was localized the world over, including in Japan, where it drew a huge audience. The title tune "Let It Go" became a megahit here, the English original and the Japanese-adapted version alike, even to an extent that non-viewers of the film can hum the song. In fact, many people in Japan reportedly watched "Frozen" at least twice; they saw it in both Japanese-subtitled and Japanese-dubbed formats, a testimony to the great quality of the localization of the film.

The success of "Frozen" in Japan cannot be explained without reference to the superb translations made for the film. Let's take a look at the hard work and effort dedicated by the translators.

Film Translation is Different from Document Translation

All films, including "Frozen", have a script written in the original language. So you might think that all you have to do is to translate the script, but things are not that simple, because film translation requires an approach different from that for document translation.

Hanako Muraoka: Pioneering Female Translator Re-spotlighted by "Hanako and Anne"

January 18, 2016

Women and Translation, Female translators

NHK's much-loved morning drama "Hanako and Anne" featured Hanako Muraoka, the translator of "Anne of Green Gables", a lively account of the sensitive red-haired heroine Anne and Canadian rural, everyday lives. The Japanese translation gained immediate success upon publication after WWII, and has since remained a favorite of many readers, especially females.

Hanako was one of Japan's first female translators. Let's take a look at her life to explore the secrets behind her fascinating works.

Secret 1: Deep Understanding of Culture and Religion

The most important factor contributing to Hanako's convincing translation of the "Anne" books was the fact that she lived communally with Canadian teachers when she was a high school student. She learned from them Canadian lifestyle and ways of thinking in the dormitory and the subjects like music, knitting, dressmaking, physical exercises and cooking in the classrooms. That the high school was a missionary one was also influential, deepening her understanding of Christianity.

Tidbits on Brazilian Portuguese

January 12, 2016

Brazilian Portuguese, Why Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, Bura Poru

In Brazil, the FIFA World Cup took place in June, 2014 and the next Summer Olympics will be held in August, 2016. When these kinds of international sporting events are held in Brazil, people around the world travel to enjoy them. For the next summer Olympics, Japanese supporters will also go to Brazil to cheer for their national teams. However, when you go abroad, you may be worried that you will not understand the local language. In Brazil, people speak "Brazilian Portuguese" which is different from the Portuguese language that is spoken in Portugal. Now, let's focus on "Brazilian Portuguese" (which, incidentally, is commonly referred to as "Bura Poru" in Japan).

Why is Portuguese Spoken in Brazil?

In Brazil, the official language is Portuguese. People speak Spanish in other Latin American countries and only Brazilians speak Portuguese. Why are only Brazilians Portuguese speakers? To find the reason, we must go all the way back to the age when Spain and Portugal, two once-powerful countries, were fighting over the lands in Latin America.

"Transcription" is the First Process of Audio Translation

January 4, 2016


As businesses have become more global in recent days, in addition to English, many other languages have been spoken in various business contexts. Also, there are the growing needs that convert voice, such as speeches made in English or conferences with staff from overseas branches, into text and then translate it to keep as a written record. This article explains about transcription - a process that a native speaker for a voice recording listens to the recording and represents it in written form -and efficient ways of ordering it.

You Need "Transcription" in these Occasions

To keep speech or voice at a conference, an interview, a business talk or an inspection tour in written form, "transcription" will be required. Since currently smartphones provide you with high functionalities, recording voice or taking a video is no longer difficult.

January 2016

Japanese Translation Agency Arc Communications

For urgent needs, call:

Back to Top