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

Are Translation Services Actually Well Known? I Looked Into What Degree of Recognition Translation Services Have

September 26, 2016

Translation services, Level of recognition

Did you know that there are services that allow you to entrust translations from languages such as English and French to professionals?

These services are essential for doing business or participating in exchange with people abroad. For example, you might have papers translated so that people overseas can also read them, or you might have documents for work translated.

But how many people actually know about such services? I took a survey!

Features of the Vietnamese Language: Origins in Chinese Yet Written in the Alphabet

September 23, 2016

Vietnamese Language

Vietnam has a long history of suffering, first under the control of Imperial China in the pre-Christian era, followed by French colonization, Japanese military control during the Second World War and the more recent war with America. Having developed and become established in Vietnam, the Vietnamese language clearly shows influences of the various countries that have been a part of Vietnam's history. Whilst the influence of China means that the language has its origins in Chinese characters, the alphabet is used for writing. With its complex historical background, there are many advantages for Japanese people learning the Vietnamese language.

The Influence of French on Vietnamese Typography

Before the French exerted their influence on Vietnam, a unique script called "Chu Nom" was used. However, as well as being difficult to understand, over the passage of history Chu Nom has become almost extinct. The alphabet was introduced by European missionaries, and it gradually replaced Chu Nom.

Original Culture, Original Language: Characteristics of the Thai Language

September 20, 2016

Thai Language

The Kingdom of Thailand (Thailand) is the only country in Southeast Asia which has never been affected by colonisation and a kingdom that has a long, unique, dynastic history. A trading hub between East and West located in the centre of Indochina, Thailand has maintained a unique culture and language while absorbing the influence of India and China. Thailand has friendly relations with Japan, and the number of people who travel to Thailand from Japan on business has been increasing year on year. Due to the limited use of the English language in Thailand, translation and studying the Thai language are crucial to doing business. Here we introduce some features of Thai, a language that is commonly known as a difficult language to learn.

Difficulties of Tones

Difficult tones in the Thai language are strongly influenced by the Chinese language. There are five distinctive tones in Thai, and the key to learning the language is how well one can pronounce them. For pronunciation, it is important to hear the differences in tone. First of all, let's acknowledge the differences as knowledge.

Process and Points of Consideration for Translation Publishing

September 16, 2016

Translation Publishing

Translating publications written in different languages in order to publish them as a translated version is a field of translation called "Translation Publishing". Until the translated book reaches the bookshop shelves, a very careful translation process is involved starting with the selection of original texts that are expected to attract high demand in Japan. As well as being an accurate translation, translation publishing requires a high level of translation that including a natural writing ability that maintains the world view of the original. Let's examine this process along with important points of consideration.

What is Translation Publishing?

When publishing within Japan, originals written in other languages are normally translated into Japanese.

Creole English: "Singlish"

September 14, 2016


The multiracial country Singapore is home to various ethnic groups such as Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian, and subsequently many languages are spoken such as Chinese, Tamil, and English, in addition to the native language Malay. Among them, Singapore English known as "Singlish" plays the role of a common language. This article describes the characteristics of "Singlish" that truly is a "creole English" shaped over time to suit people from numerous ethnic backgrounds.

Unique "Singlish" pronunciation that is difficult for the untrained ear

It is reasonable to expect different accents and pronunciations in English in different regions. As American English, British English, and Australian English all differ from each other, Singlish also has its unique way of pronunciation. However, the more the listener is used to American English or British English, the more difficult it is to distinguish Singlish at times. However, it might help you to understand it even when you cannot pick up the sound if you know the Singlish specific pronunciation pattern.

Developing "Global Human Resources" through Compulsory English Activities in Elementary Schools

September 12, 2016

 Elementary school, English education, globalization

Foreign Language Activities have become compulsory for fifth and sixth grade levels of elementary schools since 2011. In anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, English is expected to become one of the subjects in the future. This article discusses how foreign language education in elementary schools may contribute towards developing global human resources.

Foreign Language Activities in elementary schools today

Fifth and sixth graders are currently learning English in Foreign Language Activities every week for an hour based on the Courses of Study introduced since 2011. Although it varies depending on schools and regions, there are a number of cases where English is taught in general learning hours also in other grades. This suggests that the opportunities to be exposed to English have been increasing for many elementary school pupils.

The Increasing Importance of Syllabus Translation

September 5, 2016

 Syllabus, Translation, Importance

As birth rates in Japan decline and the number of applicants for admission to institutions of higher education decreases, universities are faced with the challenge of securing student numbers, providing interesting classes, and retaining engaging teaching staff. The demand for syllabuses--which give an overview of classes and courses--is increasing, since they serve as reference materials when choosing schools and courses. They are also an important resource in helping foreign exchange students to understand accreditations, and thus the necessity for their translation is on the rise. Let's take a closer look at the historical background of syllabuses and their translation.

The History of Syllabuses in Japan

The environment surrounding higher education at institutions such as universities and junior colleges is undergoing major change. Following the end of World War II, the number of universities and junior colleges skyrocketed, accompanied by a rise in student numbers and increased rates of progression to higher education. However, today student and applicant numbers are on the decline as birth rates drop and population aging continues. Amid these circumstances, improvements and reforms to higher education led by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) are in progress, and improvements to curriculum composition as well as enhancement of courses are being carried out, alongside the creation of syllabuses by each educational institution.

September 2016

Japanese Translation Agency Arc Communications

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