Japanese is spoken by more than 130 million people, combined with the fact that Japan is associated with rapid technological development, has turned the country into an international business haven. This in turn has created a demand for Japanese language translation experts who can carry out effective English to Japanese translation, as well as Japanese translations in combination with other language pairs for business, political and cultural content.

Novatia has been providing high quality professional Japanese translation services for a wide number of languages combined with Japanese. We have over a hundred professional Japanese translators who regularly deliver highly satisfying translations to our clients. The following information about the Japanese language has been compiled by our Japanese translators for the benefit of translation buyers and professional translators.

The Japanese Language

The Japanese language belongs to the Japonic group of languages. It is the chief language of the group. However, a number of linguists classify Japanese among Altaic group of languages that also consists of Korean, Mongolian, Turkish and Tungusic languages. Furthermore, according to some theories the Japanese language is quite close to the Austronesian group of languages.

The Script

Japanese writing involves three different scripts; these are katakana, kanji (Chinese characters) and hiragana. The last one consists of syllabic scripts that were created out of modified Chinese characters. One can also find Arabic numbers and the Latin alphabet being commonly used in Japan.

The Vocabulary

Though a majority of the Japanese vocabulary is composed of Japanese words, it does have fragments of Chinese vocabulary. This comes from the early history of Japan. In the recent decades, certain western languages like English have also contributed to the Japanese vocabulary.

The Grammar 

Fortunately for language translation experts, the Japanese grammar is fairly simple. The nouns do not have any gender and they are not declined. The conjugation rules related to verbs are straight-forward and do not include much exceptions if any. Moreover, the grammar does not distinguish between singular and plural forms, and does not contain articles.

Spirit of the Language

The Japanese language stands out for having a prominent system of politeness. Conversations are filled with honorific markers that appear mainly as verbs and adjectives. This is a reflection of the Japanese culture which puts prime importance on the expression of politeness and respect. It is extremely important for professional Japanese translation services providers to take this into account while working on their translation jobs.

Modern Japanese Language

Modern Japanese language originated towards the end of the 19th century. It evolved chiefly from the dialect that was spoken in and around Tokyo at that time. The Japanese people have a long history of internal, as well as external isolation. So the Japanese people across different regions and social classes developed different dialects over time. Though the people speaking varying dialects are mostly able to understand each other, there are some peripheral dialects which might not be intelligible to, say the inhabitants of Tokyo and its surroundings. So English to Japanese translation professionals working on documents that are targeted to people speaking a specific dialect would perform better by gaining an understanding about the unique aspects of that particular dialect.

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