The Kanji Foundry FAQ

Is The Kanji Foundry an agency?
No. It's a one-man translation company which specialises in Japanese to English translations in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. No other languages and no other fields.

Is it as expensive as an agency?
No. It offers a very competitive rate for Japanese to English translations at a level of quality expected from the best agencies.

Do you always carry out the translation yourself?
Always. I never subcontract work to other translators. I do not use machine translation but use my own translation memory and glossary files.

What if I have a general enquiry about Japanese translations?
You can contact The Kanji Foundry with any enquiry at all related to its business. If I can't help you, I will try to put you in touch with someone or an organisation who can.

Other factors to take into consideration when thinking about having a text translated....
Patent Translation - A lot of my work is patent translation for filing or information. Please inquire if you only want a specific part of a patent translated such as the claims or examples or just the bit which mentions how they made compound (4-a) on page 35, for example.

Character Count - Unlike other languages, the cost of translation from Japanese is calculated according to the number of Japanese characters in the source document and not the number of words. This is because there are no spaces between Japanese words and counting the number of words is not really practical. It is not easy to say exactly how many English words there will be in the finished translation too but a ratio of 1000 Japanese characters to 400-500 English word is reasonable. Don't forget also that figures and diagrams in the original text may need to be annotated in a drawing programme. This may add some extra time to the project.

Document Format - The commonest format for documents is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). Other formats are .odt for Open Office, .txt and .rtf for rich text format. Chemical structures are usually drawn in ChemDraw format (.cdx) or as a .png file. I can handle all document formats.

British or American Spelling? - A lot of pharmaceutical translation work uses American spelling. You can select British or American spelling for the translation but I would like to know this at the start of the project. I usually use left-aligned Calbri 11pt font at 1.15 line spacing and US or UK spelling for general translation and, for patent translation, I use justified Courier, 12pt with line numbering in the margin every 5 lines unless requested otherwise.

Other Points - Reference materials and glossaries are always useful particularly if you have preferred terms you would like me to use.
Many documents require pre- or post-translation processing, that is, conversion of a bitmap PDF to editable text before translation and the addition of tables, figures and graphs which often don't need to be translated but can be copied and pasted from the original document into the final translation. This may take some time, so please bear this additional time requirement in mind when thinking about the deadline.

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