New to freelance translators?

If you're not here for business reasons—for instance, if you found your way here through gaming forums etc.—paying for translation might be unfamiliar to you. People post translations of things they like all the time, right? Why pay for translations at all, then, even if the rates are really low?

Unless you personally know a Japanese speaker with a good command of English, there are two alternatives to paying for translation: machine translation, and asking others on the internet.

Machine translation

For one thing, machine translation can't generally handle images or audio. That aside, though...

In Japanese, certain things that are always included in English sentences (e.g. pronouns; singular/plural; subject/object distinction) are left out once they are obvious in context—obvious, that is, to anyone who understood the previous sentences. But a computer has no understanding; it just guesses at translations based on probability. When Japanese doesn't spell things out, machine translation makes a huge number of errors.

If you try machine translation with Japanese, you are very likely to get translations that are completely nonsensical or flat-out wrong.

Try putting one of the Japanese example texts into a machine translator and comparing it to my translation.

Asking others on the internet

Japan is cool in the West. Many popular video games are made in Japan, and anime and manga have soared in popularity. As a natural consequence, many people have started learning Japanese.

A large proportion of people who translate Japanese on the internet for free/fun are at intermediate to beginner level—often translating carelessly, often not investing in a good dictionary (instead relying on EDICT), and often not doing enough research. (Of course, there are exceptions.)

Songs in particular are a real problem. Beginners often translate songs, because they are short and appear simple—but in truth, songs can be like poetry, and full of hidden meaning. Even highly-respected translation groups sometimes fail to recognize meaning in songs, resulting in disconnected nonsense.

Allow me to promise you that I care deeply about producing faithful translations. I go above and beyond to make sure that my translations are the best I can possibly make them. I recognize when readability should take priority, and when I should preserve fine details, and when there can be a good compromise. I edit and re-edit. I research until I am completely convinced and satisfied.

My services are deliberately priced so that people like you can use them. If your text is quite short, it may be no more than the cost of a song on iTunes. Please consider asking me.