Japan Translation Association

Message from Miyoko Yuasa

Miyoko Yuasa, Japan Translation Association Representative and DirectorMessage from Miyoko Yuasa, Japan Translation Association Representative Director

I would first like to take opportunity to express my gratitude for all who support the Japan Translation Association (JTA).

It is well-known that the world has become intricately connected following the introduction of the Internet in 1994. Information Technology (IT) has been a driving force in transforming the world into one global market system. In the past seventy years following World War II, there has been a shift towards a global market. During this period, industry has changed from manufacturing to commerce. It has been this advancement in commerce and market globalization that has given rise to the current translation industry.

Through the widespread adoption of the Internet, which emerged after the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy, conventional financial systems have been transformed to IT systems. This transition became even more apparent following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, or “Lehman Shock”. After the Lehman Shock, the world has felt the effects of this closely-knit global market and realized that finance in and of itself is yet another type of information. This transition to an information-driven market has continued, leading to the expansion of Internet journalism and other Internet businesses.

Internet use has also shifted from computers to smart phones and other cellular devices. Due to this shift, the number of those accessing the Internet has increased exponentially and it is anticipated that millions of new users will access the Internet in the years to come.

It is easy to speculate that changes will be brought about in technology, circulation systems, and the commercial environment due to the continual transformation of IT and the growing global market. This will also have an enormous impact on the translation market. That is why now is the time to understand just how these markets are evolving in order to provide even higher quality translation. Furthermore, it is important to rethink how the translation market is addressing current needs, and how it plans to address these needs in the future in order to respond effectively to rapid changes in the global market.

The translation business has evolved into a diverse, large-scale market. Translation is no longer limited to document translation for businesses and foreign-owned enterprises but has expanded to the translation of books published worldwide; movies and animation; websites, digital books; university training and learning publications; documents for international marriages and living abroad; and information regarding patent, financial, proprietary rights, and overseas travel.

Obviously these various demands for translation cannot be met solely with current conventional translation systems. Current issues concerning business and language in various countries also must be considered. That is why the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has worked for the past ten years in an effort not only to maintain, but also to improve quality in translation worldwide. It is this increased awareness of the need to 1) set common international standards for quality and 2) strive to improve quality in translation. This has led to the development of translation programs at the graduate university level.

Since it’s establishment in 1986, JTA has strived to increase the competency of translators as well as the quality of translation. JTA has offered its translation competency test in efforts to establish a professional competency certification system and to assist in improving standards for translation in Japan. Furthermore, in an effort to adapt to current and future global needs, in 2008 JTA partnered with graduate universities in the US in order to offer an Internet-based testing system accessible from anywhere in the world that provides an accredited translation certification test for translators. JTA has seen impressive results from this testing over the past years.

Due to these advancements, anyone, regardless of location or country, can utilize the JTA distance education system to attend seminars or speak with advisors online. In addition, JTA makes it possible to take the translation competency certification test and become a certified translator through JTA from any location in the world.

We are face with a new and borderless transnational translation profession. The Japan Translation Association strives to evaluate and help equip future translation specialists in this new age of translation.

JTA is working worldwide to offer an approved translation profession certification test and to produce new translation specialists that actively contribute to the global market. These new translation specialists are equipped with exceptional translation skills, and with their IT and business skills complimented with flexible lifestyles conducive to translating, they are able to be active in various translation specialties worldwide.

In order to meet the needs of this new translation age, JTA will continue to work with translation specialists to further improve translation skills, and through improvements in translation quality, to develop translation specialists renowned for their professionalism while encouraging their independence, development and growth as translators. In doing so, translation specialists worldwide will be able to work together in this new age of translation.

JTA continues to strive to work with translation specialists emerging all over the world to encourage international cultural relations and smooth business communication. JTA looks forward to your participation, support and cooperation in this new future of translation.