Universal Translation Services

10 Tips Become a Japanese Translator

10 Tips Become a Japanese Translator
japanese translator
(Last Updated On: April 20, 2022)

Japanese Translator

How do you become a Japanese translator? It needs to be your native Language or called Native speaker. The path to becoming a Japanese translator varies depending on whether you work independently or as part of an organization. Still, there are several steps that are necessary to become one. Here are ten tips for becoming a Japanese translator to help you get started on your new career path.

1) Find a mentor

Many Japanese translators are multilingual and have worked as Japanese interpreters at one point or another. If you’re looking to break into translation, it may be worth finding an experienced interpreter who specializes in translation and asking if they’d be willing to chat with you about how they broke into the industry.

2) Choose the right software

If you’re interested in becoming a Japanese translator, one of your biggest priorities should be making sure you have access to all of the right software. This includes access to translation software that has both Japanese and English as languages (and any other language you’re fluent in as well), high-quality word processing software that lets you translate documents quickly and easily, high-quality hardware so that typing is fast and accurate, and tools that can make accessing remote documents easier.

It may seem like an overwhelming list, but by following some simple guidelines and keeping an eye on quality over everything else. And by setting yourself up with excellent equipment early on, there will be fewer points where things go wrong—which means less time trying to fix broken pieces!

translator japan how

3) Learn Japanese first

You can’t become a Japanese translator unless you know how to speak Japanese. There are many ways to get started with learning Japanese, including online language-learning apps and classes at community colleges. It’s best to start small and not bite off more than you can chew; though it might be tempting to do so, you shouldn’t trouble everything at once.

Before you want to make your career as a Japanese translator, make sure your focus is on conversational Japanese before moving on to reading or writing. Your ultimate goal should be fluency in both listening and speaking—and that takes practice! But don’t worry it doesn’t take years: Learning a new language isn’t about it, it’s about giving yourself time to experience natural immersion.

Don’t underestimate its importance! In order to truly understand what native speakers say and write about, you need to experience Japanese firsthand. Some Japanese translation jobs require knowledge of written Japanese as well; there are plenty of great books out there which will help you learn katakana (Japanese phonetic alphabet) symbols and hiragana (phonetic alphabet used for inflections) symbols quickly. And make sure to use them—to recognize as well as read them out loud regularly until they feel like second nature.

Though Japan is an English language speaking country these days, a large percentage of the people there are English speakers but still, most legal documents are still written in Japanese characters because some aren’t familiar enough with English to interpret them correctly. So even those who can read professional texts may have trouble understanding special terminology or proper names. You never know when you might run into a word that only shows up once every five years, so keep up those skills.

tips become a japanese translator

4) Start translating

You’ve studied enough of your target language, find clients who need someone to translate content into that language. You can get started as a Freelance translator too by checking websites like Contena, MediaBistro, Reedsy, and Upwork. These sites will allow you to set up profiles where you can specify what type of you’re you’re interested in working on.

The freelance translator has its benefits too, you can work flexibly. If you have some samples from previous work experience as a translator, be sure to include them on your profile as well. Use these initial projects as an opportunity to build up good relationships with potential long-term clients. You can also become an ‘in-house translator’. An in-house translator is hired by a specific company to perform translation ”in-house,” or on-site.

5) Keep practicing

It’s said that 1 million hours of practice is required to become an expert at something. The exactness of that claim is debatable it’s certainly true that practice makes perfect. Your translation skills should be up to mark. Make it your goal to put in 10,000 hours of learning (and practicing) kanji before you reach Lit’ll2—it’ll help you be ready for fluency.

You can even turn each day into Practice Day by committing to reaching Level 2 in at least one skill each day. These goals will help you increase your skill level. Can you reach Level 4 today? Set a goal and try! Learn new phrases and words by taking advantage of all those free lessons available on FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons with interactive captions and other study tools.

6) Join communities

The best way to learn more about translation and connect with a like-minded professional translator is by joining communities of translators. Some groups are industry-specific, while others are more general. Regardless, joining a community and contributing is a great way to make connections and get your name out there.

Start by checking out this translator first. Don’t quit your day job: Any money you earn from freelance translations should be considered extra income (or even a bonus). Do not quit your day job until you have already secured several new clients that will help you make ends meet! Getting used to translating as a business can take time, but it is up and running, you can save money in terms of taxes on earned income (in some countries) and reduce reliance on temp work if/when things slow down.

The employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030, so there is an increased demand for patent translators.

japanse translatorr tips

7) Put your best foot forward

One of your first hurdles in the field of translation, as you start looking for work, is finding out what employers are seeking from. Because the translation isn’t an industry with prescribed standards, there are few official qualifications that employers can ask for—however, it’s common knowledge that in most cases, employers prefer applicants who have graduated from accredited schools and have relevant prior experience. Many companies also require you to pass an exam to demonstrate your proficiency in Japanese or one of its dialects.

japanse translator tips

8) Confidence is key

There are few things more important than believing in yourself and your ability to do well as a translator. If you can conquer self-doubt, nothing else should hold you back from translating professionally in Japan.

There are many opportunities for translators out there, It’s jobs as well as business opportunities. Learn about how to become an interpreter and start making money on freelance sites like Upwork and Guru today! It’s not too late to learn a new language; with enough practice, anyone can master it. And while professional translators will already have mastered two or three languages by their career’s outset.

Feel free to reach out anytime if you need help getting started.

9) Don’t be afraid to ask questions

It’s easy to get discouraged as you start working on your translation project. But if you’re feeling stumped, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of ways to get more practice (online forums, google translate, coworkers, classes), and experienced translators will be happy to answer your questions.

10) Prepare yourself mentally

The Japanese language is one of the most difficult languages, grammatically. Though there are some languages that don’t care about subject and object, those aren’t natively spoken by more than 100 million people. In most cases, if you want to be good at translating from Japanese, you should give yourself sufficient time to study both languages well. Aside from your translating brain, you should also give yourself enough time to get used to Japan as a whole.

how to become a japanse language translator


The salaries of Japanese Translators in the US range from $23,160 to $78,520 , with a median salary of $44,190 . The middle 60% of Japanese Translators make $44,190, with the top 80% making $78,520.

Find a mentor first that have worked as a Japanese interpreter or a Japanese speaker. Get your command on the latest software used for translation. Start learning Japanese and get more into advanced language knowledge. You can start taking work from freelance websites like Upwork.

Confidence is the key so make sure to be confident in your every approach. Get strong command of Japanese and its English translations. A wide range of opportunities is there so apply for jobs in a Translation agency and translation company for professional work. Get connected with like-minded people by joining communities of translators.

JLPT level assesses your reading and listening, which is crucial in the field of translation. N2 is the minimum requirement by companies to work in Japan and most will prefer an N1 level holder.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us


Our privacy policy

Keep in touch


Contact Us 24/7

Translation office in Miami