Why You Need a Japanese Interpreter

With information being shared instantaneously across the globe, goods and services developed, produced and marketed across multiple countries and continents, more and more companies are going global just to survive. Japan has always been, and will continue to be, an important country for US businesses, both as a market and as a partner. However, doing business with Japan means US businesses need to overcome the language and culture barrier that separates the two countries. In today’s post, we will explain why you should always hire a Japanese interpreter if you are conducting business of any kind with a Japanese company.

If you would like to learn more about Tsuyaku America’s Japanese interpretation services, then please get in touch with us to request more information. We have detailed information about our prices for standard Japanese interpretation services on this page, but we are happy to provide you with a custom quotation for projects that do not fit into our standard services. Read on to learn why you need a professional interpreter!


One reason why you should hire a professional Japanese interpreter is that you want your business to be seen as trustworthy and caring. Your Japanese guests are investing a significant amount of time and money to fly to the US and meet with you. You want to make sure the discussions you have go as smoothly and productively as possible. Unless you have people who are fluent in Japanese (most likely not!), hiring a Japanese interpreter to help with the communication will make your meetings much more productive, and will certainly be greatly appreciated by your Japanese guests. Moreover, making an investment into hiring a professional interpreter can go a long way toward showing that you are serious about continuing your business partnership. Showing that you value your business partner’s culture and that you are doing everything possible to make them feel at home will almost certainly help you develop a good relationship with the other party.


When your discussion with your Japanese client become complex and sensitive, and you feel your Japanse client is having difficulty understanding or expressing their thoughts in English, then hiring a professional Japanese interpreter is the best way to ensure that nothing important is “lost in translation.” Even a simple “Yes” or “No” can be difficult to translate. For example, a frequent source of misunderstanding is the Japanese response to a negative question such as “So, Mr. Honda, you cannot agree to a price increase?”

If Mr. Honda answers in the affirmative, then he may well mean that he cannot agree to a price increase. If he answers “No,” then that could mean that he can agree to a price increase. Why? In Japanese, a “Yes” or “No” to a negative question is an acceptance or denial of the negative statement in the question. In other words, when Mr. Honda says “Yes,” he means, “Yes, you are correct. I cannot agree to a price increase.”

Japanese people almost always make this mistake when answering a negative question, and this can cause a lot of confusion. This is just one simple example of the many sources of miscommunication that can occur. An experienced interpreter is well aware of these typical pitfalls and can help you avoid unnecessary confusions.

Cultural Differences 

While precision and professionalism are certainly important, a great Japanese interpreter will also advise you regarding cultural norms and what you should and should not do or say at meetings or in a social setting. Japanese culture has norms of respect and dignity that you may not be aware of, and you certainly do not want to cause any unintended offense. Keep your reputation safe by hiring a professional interpreter who has a deep and extensive understanding of Japanese culture.

Contact a Japanese Interpretation Expert

Whether you are hosting a Japanese business partner here in the United States, or planning a large international conference that includes participants from Japan, we hope that this post will motivate you to hire a professional Japanese interpreter. As our name “Tsuyaku America” (= “interpreter America” in Japanese) suggests, we are a Japanese interpretation service company based in the US. We assist many leading Japanese businesses and government agencies when they need language assistance during their visit to the US. However, we are just as happy to sit on the US side of the table to help US businesses host their Japanese guests. With our extensive experience working with both Japanese and US business, from large global companies to Silicon Valley startups, Tsuyaku America is here to provide you with the high-quality, business-friendly, affordable interpretation service you need. Contact us today to get started!

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