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

The Spelling Alphabet -- A Solution to Spelling Mistakes Over the Phone!

August 29, 2016

 Spelling Alphabet

Miscommunications of spellings are a common occurrence when giving information such as e-mail addresses over the phone. With e-mail addresses, misinter-preting just a single letter can lead to a transmission error resulting in your message failing to deliver to the intended recipient. This is a problem that occurs between Jap-anese people also, but how can we deal with it when speaking over the phone in Eng-lish? The spelling alphabet is a means of preventing miscommunications like these when spelling over the phone. Let's master this technique and get rid of our apprehen-sions about phone calls in English!

So what is this method of correctly communicating English letters, the spelling alphabet?

A spelling alphabet is a method of accurately communicating English let-ters in situations where visually checking the proper way of writing something is not an option, such as during conversations over the phone. For example, the spelling of "ARC" is conveyed like "A for Apple, R for Russia, C for China." Even in Japanese, "9" and "Q" have the same pronunciation and a distinction between the two is made using phrases like "the number 9" and "the English Q". The similar-sounding and easily-misheard numbers "1" (ichi) and "7" (shichi) are clarified by using "ichi" and "nana" (an alternative pronunciation of seven) instead.

See the Difference! American English and British English

August 22, 2016

 American English, British English

It is no surprise that differences exist within the same language depending on the region, just as with Japanese, where standard language and regional dialects differ. As Japanese, the more English we learn, the more curious we become about the differences between American English and British English. At times, these differences may even cause us to feel that something is off-key with a conversation. Simply being aware that variations exist within the same language makes a difference to our communication. Let's take a look at the fundamental differences between American English and British English.

Differences in Vocabulary

American English and British English sometimes adopt different words, despite the fact that they express the same meaning.

Using Without Knowing!? Spanish Language Familiar to Japanese People

August 15, 2016

 Spanish, characteristics

Spanish is spoken in not only Spain but also several countries in Latin America. As a matter of fact, Spanish words are adopted in parts of Japanese and many use them without even knowing where they come from. For example, Spanish-originated words include "pan", "karuta" and "kasutera". We guess that many of you have heard greetings such as "Adios" and "Como estas". Because pronunciation as Roman letters is OK and word order is relatively loose, Spanish can be one of the easiest languages for the Japanese to learn.

Spanish? Castellano? Espanol?

Spanish is a language inherited from "Vulgar Latin," which is the colloquial language of Latin used in the Roman Empire. In the region where Spain is currently located, there used to be a number of small realms. Among those realms, the Realm of Castile turned dominant, and its language became the standard language in Spain. For this reason, Spanish is also known as castellano. Or, it is sometimes called "espanol," which originated from the Latin name of the Iberian Peninsula.

IT & Communication Fields - Key Points in UI Translation are "Users' Viewpoints"

August 8, 2016


A user interface (UI) provides a bridge between an operating system (OS) or software and users by showing operation menus, buttons, messages and other elements. It plays a significant role in making an OS and software easier to use. For translation in the IT field, UI translation may be what ordinary users most frequently see. Here we will introduce you to some of the key points in UI translation.

Impression of Software Depends on UI!?

You may call UI the face of software. Whenever you work using a PC, you will see messages or menus such as "OK", "No", "Save" and "Edit". No matter how sophisticated software's design and functions are, however, a UI that is difficult to use can prevent the functions from being fully leveraged, resulting in the software being lower evaluated. Therefore, it is safe to say that a UI determines your impression of a software.

What is "Canadian French"?

August 1, 2016

 Canadian French, Quebecois, Quebec French

Canada is called a "mosaic nation" where various ethnic groups reside as the country accepts a lot of immigrants. In Canada, immigrants from approximately 100 countries are accepted by, in particular, the Province of Quebec, located in Eastern Canada. Residents in Quebec speak a version of French called "Quebec French" or "Canadian French." We will introduce you to what you should know in business development in Quebec as well as the history and characteristics of Canadian French.

Why French in Canada?

Generally, it may be considered that Canada belongs to an English-speaking region. Actually, various cultures and languages originating from a wide variety of regions exist in Canada, which actively accepts a large number of immigrants from countries around the world. In particular, immigrants from approximately 100 countries are accepted by the Province of Quebec, which is five times as large as Japan. A large number of people emigrated from France to Quebec in the 1600s, causing French to be used as the official language in Quebec even now.

August 2016

Japanese Translation Agency Arc Communications

For urgent needs, call:

Back to Top