Languages › Japanese Japanese Translation Learning About Translating From Japanese Share Flipboard Email Print Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated November 29, 2017 Choosing the right words for a translation can be difficult. Some sentences are translated literally, word by word. However, most sentences can be translated in many different ways. Since Japanese verbs have a formal and informal form and there is also male and female speech, the same sentence can sound quite different depending on how it is translated. Therefore it is important to know the context when translating. Being able to translate can be fun and rewarding when learning a language. After you learn the basics of Japanese, I recommend you to try to translate a sentence yourself first before asking for help. The more you practice, the better you get. Dictionaries You might want have a good English-Japanese/Japanese-English dictionary. Electric dictionaries and online dictionaries are also widely available nowadays. Although standard dictionaries can’t compete for content with an online dictionary, I still like to look up words the old fashion way. Learning about Particles You also need to have a little knowledge about particles. They are an important part of Japanese sentences. Sentence-ending particles are often used to distinguish male and female speech as well. Online Translations Online translation services like Google Translate and Bing Translator are not always reliable, but you can get rough idea of the meaning in a pinch. Translation Services If your translation is something bigger or beyond your knowledge, you could seek professional help form a translation service.