The most accomplished writers can make mistakes, even when working in their native language. Proofreading is an essential aspect of document writing and content creation.
As Japanese script presents unique challenges, it is particularly crucial to proofread all copy. Our experts will ensure that your Japanese texts are grammatically correct, error-free and convey their intended meaning.
What is the difference between editing and proofreading?
Editing is the process of revising texts. The aim is to create well-structured and consistent copy that presents ideas to readers as clearly as possible. Editors will consider both tone and style while eliminating repetition and assessing whether the text delivers a logical argument.
Machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is a similar process in that humans revise machine translations to produce a more appropriate result.
Proofreading is the process of identifying spelling mistakes, poor grammar, punctuation errors and typos. Due to the nuances which are unique to the language, Japanese proofreaders must look beyond grammar and spelling to analyse the intended meaning of the chosen words. They must also consider the context in which the copy will be presented as this could necessitate the use of more formal language.
For this reason, there are two words for proofreading in Japanese. Kousei (校正) refers to basic grammar and spelling checks. kouetsu (校閲) refers to the detailed analysis of meaning.
The unique challenges of Japanese proofreading
Our professional Japanese proofreaders are highly skilled specialists. Their work could make all the difference to your documents, marketing materials, manuals and online content. Japanese proofreaders must tackle far greater linguistic complexities than proofreaders assessing copy written in European languages.
Three different character sets are utilised in Japanese script; Hiragana (syllabary characters), katakana (syllabary characters used for loanwords from other languages) and kanji (Chinese characters with multiple readings and meanings).
It is far easier to make mistakes in written Japanese than it is in written English due to the interaction between these characters. It is also much harder for non-native writers to identify errors of meaning.
Japanese is a language rich in homophones (words which sound the same, but which have different meanings). Many Japanese homophones have dramatically different meanings. However, the characters for these words may be very similar, creating even greater potential for confusion.
Native Japanese speakers would usually be able to deduce the intended meaning when errors are made. However, the presentation would appear to be unprofessional.
Typing in Japanese
The difficulties of writing in Japanese are exacerbated by the fact that Latin script keys are used to input copy. The Latin script is rendered on the screen in Hiragana and then the typist must select the Kanji from a menu.
If predictive text is also in the mix, a single erroneous keystroke could produce a completely different word or phrase to that which was intended.
Certain Japanese homophones have very similar meanings but are written differently, according to the context in which they are used. These words are called dokunij.
In some cases, the different characters utilised are visually very similar, making errors much harder to identify.
Sometimes words expressed in kanji may have hiragana appended to them to clarify their precise meaning. These words are known as okurigana. Many such words can be written using kanji alone and still make sense. Others cannot and so removing the hiragana would result in misspellings.
Okurigana can easily lead to grammatical errors as in certain cases, the addition of hiragana identifies whether the word is a noun, a verb or an adjective.
The Japanese language features keigo, a series of formal words and phrases which replace more colloquial words in certain contexts. It is impolite rather than grammatically incorrect to choose the less formal words in those contexts.
Expert proofreaders can identify when keigo should be utilised to ensure that content or correspondence does not appear to be impolite.
Japanese proofreading at Word Connection
At Word Connection, we can undertake proofreading tasks of any size or scope. Our experienced professionals will correct the errors that would otherwise diminish the quality of your documents and content. You will have greater peace of mind knowing that your words will communicate your message correctly, professionally and politely while retaining their meaning. The Word-Connection proofreading process delivers polished copy that will always make the right impression. We understand your business and its unique challenges. Due to that we offer our Translation Services for many different industries. Make sure to check our Japanese SEO Services and complete Document Translations as well. Speaking of Japanese SEO Services, we will ensure that your website receives the exposure it needs, courtesy of improved search engine rankings. Regarding our Document Translations, we ensure that you benefit from accurate, consistent and compliant translations of your documentation. We look forward to hearing from you via our contact form or via LinkedIn.