Globalization has increased the translation needs in a wide variety of fields. Translation process not only needs translators to understand the source language but they should be able to accurately express the Japanese and the content written in the original language. Translators either working independently or with translation agency cannot produce accurate translation unless they possess a thorough knowledge of the language. There are some key points highlighted that would be beneficial for translators while translating content into Japanese.
Japanese is Rich in Vocabulary
The Japanese language requires the speakers to use a variety of vocabulary in usual communication as compared with any other language. The vocabulary of 5000 words would be enough to enable people through 94% of daily conversation in English 96% in French. While in Japanese, the same sized vocabulary would be enough to manage only 82% of the words used in usual conversation. For having 90% coverage of the daily conversation in Japanese, you will have to acquire a vocabulary of 10,000 simple words.
That does not mean that languages having high coverage percentage are easy to learn for those who are not native speakers of that language. These languages have a number of words with different meaning. Japanese, on the other hand, can also be described as the language having a large vocabulary with words which are concrete in meaning. While translating from French, English or other languages which have a higher degree of ambiguity in the vocabulary and words, translators would have to understand each word separately with respect to the context and then use appropriate words for translation purpose.
When you try to understand the meaning of foreign words with a high level of ambiguity, do consider the points given:
Primary Meaning: This is the core meaning of a word. As an example, the primary meaning of “good” is “correct or proper”, “of high quality”, and “approved or to be desired of”.
Context: Some words have different meanings in different contexts. Words that mean the same are used according to the situation or occasion. For example, consider a word “magnitude”. The word is normally used to express the extent or size of something, in terms of mathematics; it is used to mean the absolute value. The word”debtor” means a person or company that owes some money referring to a sinner when used in business context. Moving on towards, phrases, “to put up with” normally used in casual meanings. In some formal institutions, “tolerate” is used.
Figurative Meaning: There are many words which are being used in their figurative meanings which is much different than the traditional meaning. The business and mechanical science field have many terminologies and words which have figurative meaning. For example, “niche” means recess in the wall, but in business, it means a profitable section of the market.
Implied Meaning: Some words have implied meanings along with their original meanings. For example, while describing a person with no regular or fixed house, use the word carefully, as the word “vagrant” seems much negative, but “homeless” is much better. Always remember negative connotations because some words can have different meanings depending on the context. For example, “black”, “blind”, and “handicapped”.