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Japanese Translation Services: When “Good Enough” hits you where it hurts most – the pocket!


Have a store on Amazon, eBay or any of the countless other online ecommerce platforms vying for your business?

by Japanese Translation Services
What are the perils of "good enoungh" translation?

Then you’ll want to stick around to the end of this article!

A colleague recently related a story of how she’d ordered a bicycle for her daughter’s birthday through AMAZON JAPAN. A month later, after the bike still hadn’t been delivered, she inquired with the vendor only to be informed that since the store was out of stock the order needed to be canceled. A vendor in Japan delivered the next day with Amazon Prime.

My colleague concluded “And, that’s the reason why I’ll never order from offshore vendors again!” 

Hold on there a minute, I thought. First, there are many excellent offshore vendors active on the AMAZON JAPAN platform. Second, how do you know the vendor that disappointed was an offshore vendor? Below follows my colleague response:

“Yes, it’s true that most offshore vendors are good; however, when the vendor has to ship the order to Japan, it will obviously take so much longer and there’s a greater chance that something can go wrong. How do I know this vendor was offshore? That’s easy – The English Japanese translation of the product description was stilted and unnatural, so obviously it could not have been a local vendor. Japanese vendors would never use ‘good enough’ Japanese translation because they know they’d lose customers.”

That got me thinking about a personal experience. 

A couple of years ago I ordered a laptop battery on AMAZON JAPAN through an offshore vendor with a promised delivery of 10 days. Six weeks later I was forced to cancel the order, after countless emails, calls and getting jerked around. What was the problem? Well, the battery was not shipped the most direct route straight to Japan from China (probably due to cost), but was routed through a distribution center in Western Europe, which I was able to track online with an order number! Like my colleague, I then ordered the same component through a Japanese vendor at nearly 3 times the cost, which was delivered within 2 days.

The lesson on the first point is: 

If you want to successfully do business in Japan, then you need to compete at the same level of efficiency and service as local Japanese vendors. And, if you commit to a specific delivery then you must meet that commitment, regardless.

The second lesson I’d like you to take away from this article is the most important:

You settle for “good enough” English-to-Japanese translation at your own peril! When Japanese consumers see stilted and unnatural Japanese translation they’re immediately thinking offshore vendor and “if this company can’t even do a simple thing such as translation properly, how can we trust them to run their business properly and deliver orders at the same level of efficiency and service as local vendors?”

If you’ve followed this article, then you know that “good enough” Japanese translation services will hit you in the pocket!

Want to increase sales in Japan? Then get your marketing materials translated properly with the help of professional human translation services in Tokyo, Japan



About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK, the owner of Japanese Translation Services Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news on Japanese Translation Services

Copyright (C) SAECULII YK. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this article is permitted with inclusion of the "About the Author" reference as is (including text links, japan-translators.saeculii.com/english/services/japanese-translation-services.cfm), and this copyright information. Articles may not be altered without written permission from SAECULII YK.

Tags: Japanese Human Translations · Japanese Translation Services · Translation Firm Japan Tokyo · Translation quality · Translation Services Japan · Translation Services Tokyo · Web Localization







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