Around 120 million people speak Japanese (Yamato), making it the 11th most spoken language in the world. According to some sources, the birth of the Japanese language dates back to 40,000 B.C., when Japanese-speaking peoples lived in the archipelago of Japan. Like other languages, it was transmitted orally until the 4th century AD, at which time Chinese Buddhist monks developed Japanese writing, inspired by Chinese characters.
There are several writing systems in the Japanese language (click here), but it is not the only aspect to highlight. There are the same number of Japanese and Chinese characters. The Japanese government has registered 2,000 kanji, taught at school, with which you can read, for example, 99% of newspaper articles. The hiragana has 50 characters. The 50 characters of katakana are a kind of phonetic alphabet and the rōmajis represent the Japanese language written in Roman letters.
The hiragana ("smooth kanas") constitute a Japanese syllabary and one of the three types of writing systems, along with the katakana and kanji. They allow writing Japanese words that do not correspond to any kanji, grammatical particles and the furigana, that is, the pronunciation of the kanji.
The Japanese language in the world
Japan is a super-metropolis, with landscapes that attract thousands of tourists every year, and where the Japanese language plays a fundamental role in the export of Japanese values. In fact, Japanese has spread throughout the world and with it, the desire of hundreds of people to settle in the land of sushi, manga, zen and the art of courtesy. Although the language is mainly spoken on the island, it is also spoken in South Korea or Taiwan. Japanese is undoubtedly a vector of Japanese culture: Reading manga and perfecting the language Manga is one of the most economically and socially profitable Japanese export products.
Thanks to the export of manga, Japanese has been expanding from one country to another. Cartoonist Katsushika Hokusai invented the manga, which literally means "ridiculous image". When a manga succeeds, a television cartoon series is made. The most popular ones exceed 200 episodes, with an average duration of 26 minutes per episode.
Japan is currently the third world power in the number of films produced. If you want to learn Japanese and have a good time, watch a movie made in Japan with subtitles.
It is true that we often hear that Japanese is complicated, too difficult to learn. Although Japanese seems complicated, all languages are, especially at first.
In Japanese, there are only two verb tenses: the present and the past. Also, there is a precise vocabulary. As in English, Japanese uses a courtesy word depending on the time of day: morning (Ohayô enjoysimasu), noon (Konnichiwa) and afternoon (Konbanwa).
By the way, Japanese pay a lot of attention to courtesy, even with tourists. So it is important to learn its subtleties to avoid misunderstandings.
Japanese translation services
Professional agencies offer different kind of services related in Japanese. Translation refers to the written work of moving from one language to another, which should always be carried out by native staff of the target language. There are different kind of translations: technical translators, sworn translators, website translations, translation of "Keywords" for positioning in Google and other search engines, patent translation, gastronomic translations, advertising translations and many others.
Other services that professional agencies offer is consultancy. For that, you must hire an agency that knows Japan well, while having a wide network of collaborators there who can help you sell your products. Native Japanese translator can advise you on the Japanese market, search for distributors, etc., as they have great experience in Japanese advertising and are able to offer you the Japanese information you need.
Also, professional agencies have the latest technology on the market in terms of programs and equipment. They have a wide variety of programs in various languages, not only in Japanese (translation memories, terminology managers, CAT programs, design, layout and presentation programs, etc.).
Additionally, the best translation agencies may teach Japanese classes with native teachers, or at least work along with the best language institutes.
Another service offered is interpretation. This refers to the oral work of moving from one language to another, which is carried out by Japanese personnel with extensive experience and professionalism. Within this category, you can find simultaneous interpretation, consecutive and accompanying interpretation, technical telephone interpretation, interpreters for conferences.
Also, the best agency will guarantee you quality as they have ISO 9001 certifications, as well as Japanese interpreters throughout the national territory. These interpreters are familiar with Kaizen philosophy, which means "continuous improvement". This is a work philosophy deeply rooted in Japanese culture.
Professional agencies also offer voice recordings services, which consist of voice recordings with professional announcers for your company presentations, products, etc. Male and female voice phrases are recorded in professional studio by broadcasters with extensive experience in radio and television.
Last but not least, agencies offer text editing and layout services with the most advanced programs on the market.