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Machine translation forces major Japanese publishing company into bankruptcy


We said it before here -- In machines translation you get what you pay for!

Takeda Random House Japan Co., Ltd has been forced into bankruptcy with 930 million yen in liabilities. Although the company has seen falling revenues for a number of years due to lackluster performance of the publishing industry, it seems the use of machine translation in a publication was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Machine translation bankrupts major Japanese publisher

Here's a Japanese English translation of that news article on News 47:

Publisher Takeda Random House Japan Co., Ltd Bankrupt, Liabilities of 930 million Yen

It was reported on 17 December that Takeda Random House Japan Co., Ltd was authorized by the Tokyo District Court to enter bankruptcy proceedings. According to Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd the ruling was handed down on 12 December. Takeda's total liabilities are 926 million Japanese yen.

Random House Inc and Kodansha Ltd established Random House Kodansha Co., Ltd through a joint venture in 2003. The joint venture was dissolved in 2010, and the company's name changed to Takeda Random House Japan Co., Ltd.

In August 2011, the discovery of numerous unedited machine translation passages in a biography of physicist Albert Einstein lead to a recall.

Read the article in Japanese here


The company’s spiraling economic fortunes over the last couple of years -- and no doubt the marketing hype of machine translation vendors -- almost certainly provided the impetus to forsake professional Japanese human translation for cheap machine translation. Any savings Takeda initially achieved have been totally wiped out, as has the company itself!

Unfortunately, too many realize too late that machine translation (MT) is never a credible solution for professional translation.



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

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Tags: Translation Services Tokyo · Translation Articles · Translation Services Japan · English Japanese Translation · Machine translation (MT) · Japanese Translation Services · Professional







1 &DISCUSS response(s) so far ↓

  • 1 » Vincenza Frioli (2015-04-25)

    I thank you for having shared this article Ivan. TM, CAT & Co. can be precious and useful working tools to linguists and translators only and cannot be substitute for them at all. Furthermore, their successful and efficient use still demands expertise, linguistic and intercultural competencies. Otherwise, they are mere expensive and useless toys to anybody else. Linguists and translators are no insignificant and obsolete professionals in the translation industry now and in at least the next ten years to come. When will they ever understand that?

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