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Japanese Era vs Christian Era in official documents
Thread poster: Yumico Tanaka

Yumico Tanaka  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 03:16
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jul 23, 2008

Hi all, I am translating English birth certificates into Japanese and came across these three questions.
1) Should I convert the Christian Era into Japanese Era?
2) Also should I convert initial alphavet in a person's name into the sounds in Japanese (eg. "R Brett" into "アール ブレット" or "R  ブレット")?
3) numbers into Kanji numbers?

Please share your ideas.

Thank you

Yumico


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Names Jul 24, 2008

Let me say up front that Japanese is not one of my working languages.

It seems to me that if the source document is in the Roman alphabet, it is logical to leave the name in Romanji, since a) it's an alphabet that is commonly used in Japanese texts, and b) that is the only way to match up the person's identity with other documents. In other words, if you transcribe the name syllabically, no one reading the document will know how the person's legal name is spelled.

If the original name is written in a different alphabet that is not widely known in Japan (such as Hebrew or Cyrillic), preserving the original alphabet may not be as practical.

Again, this is not my area of expertise, but it seems a logical solution.

[Edited at 2008-07-24 01:43]


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AniseK  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 01:16
Japanese to English
+ ...
I think I see your problem Jul 24, 2008

Because in the English birth certificates, there is no Furigana columns.

IMHO, use Romaji for names. It is their legal names. And just add the furigana as footnotes.


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casey
United States
Local time: 12:16
Member
Japanese to English
Can only say what I do Jul 24, 2008

When I'm translating from Japanese to English, I always use western years. I consider it part of the localization process. On the other hand, Japanese people also use western years, so I don't think you have the same problem going the other way.

My suggestions would be:
1) Use western years but put Japanese years in parenthesis
2) Leave it in English letters (katakana can vary from person to person based on preference. For example, I prefer ケイシー although Japanese people invariably write my name as ケーシー). Also, if you put the name in katakana and it doesn't match the person's other documents it will likely be rejected by the anal retentive government agencies.
3) If it's the norm to use kanji numbers, I see no harm in using them.


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Haluk Levent Aka
Local time: 20:16
Japanese to Turkish
+ ...
Tanakasan Konnichiwa Jul 24, 2008

Yumico Tanaka wrote:

Hi all, I am translating English birth certificates into Japanese and came across these three questions.
1) Should I convert the Christian Era into Japanese Era?
2) Also should I convert initial alphavet in a person's name into the sounds in Japanese (eg. "R Brett" into "アール ブレット" or "R  ブレット")?
3) numbers into Kanji numbers?

Please share your ideas.

Thank you

Yumico


I don't translate to Japanese, however, please note that my gaikokujin touroku shoumeishou includes my name in kana, i.e. Aka Haruku Eru (Aka, Haluk L.). So I guess name in birth certificate should be "アール ブレット". Also, birth date is also japanized in gaikokujin touroku shoumeishou.

Kind Regards,
Haluk


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Yumico Tanaka  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 03:16
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all. Oct 20, 2008

Sorry for delay in replying.
Haluk, Casey, AniseK, Steven, all your thoughts are much appreciated.

I came to a conclusion after much thought thanks to you guys. When I translate official/legal documents into Japanese, even if I use alphabet (R for instance) the officer is the final person who puts it in the record so he/she can change it to アール. So as a translator I don't have to worry too much about it as long as it is correct in my understanding.

Thank you

Yumico Tanaka


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Japanese Era vs Christian Era in official documents

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