Translation Tools.

Our Japanese translators at Kieffer International introduce some translation tools that they use to produce their work. Feel free to offer your suggestions or add your tools to this list. Send them to us at

Japanese / English Translation Using Memory Tools

At Kieffer International, we DO NOT USE machine translation to produce our translations in any step of the translation process be it English-to-Japanese translation or Japanese-to-English translation. Machine translation is not suitable for the high degree of accuracy required in technical translation. For large translation projects, however, so-called translation memory (computer-aided translation) tools can be useful according to the specific conditions of the job. These products store your translations in an ever expanding database and offer you suggestions graded according to accuracy drawn from this database. Usage of this software requires the source text in electronic form. Wikipedia presents a well-rounded introduction to translation memory and a thorough treatment of the pros and cons of using translation memory.

More as an aid to the actual process of translation, this software helps to ensure consistency of terminology and phraseology, and it helps to improve speed in the input of identical or similar sections.
The most widely used translation memory tools are shown below. These products cost from completely free to $1000 and more.

This is the most widely-used and comprehensive translation memory tool. It includes a host of add-ons for terminology management, memory management, and other functions. Currently, a freelance version (without the networking capabilities) is available for a lower price.
This is a translation memory tool with some unique features for easy accessibility for novices. A 30-day trial is available.
This translation memory tool is available for MS Word on the PC and Mac. The unregistered version has some limitations, but is fully functional. Moreover, support for Japanese has improved noticeably in recent versions.
This is a free translation memory tool that is supported by a base of dedicated volunteers. Its support and functions are growing, and as an open-source software package, it is expected to expand its presence in the translation memory arena in coming years.

A comprehensive list of available translation tools is shown in Wikipedia.

Dictation Software

A growing number of translators are using dictation software to increase the speed of text input. The bottlenecks here are the text itself (long sentences, especially in Japanese translation) and the recognition accuracy of this software. Generally, dictation software is less effective for texts with considerable amounts of formatting. Incidentally, this is where translation memory software can be the most useful since all formatting remains intact. Although the leading dictation software has traditionally been Dragon Naturally Speaking 10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 include version 8.0 of the Microsoft speech recognition engine along with an interface known as Windows Speech Recognition.

File Search Tools

Experienced translators who have a large database of reference materials will find these tools particularly useful.
Google Desktop Search is a free search tool that automatically indexes the data on your computer for giving you instant search results for all the reference materials on your desktop computer.
DT Search is a search tool enables you to search through terabytes of text in seconds. It can read WordPerfect, MS Office (Word, Excel, etc.), HTML, PDF, and other formats right out of the box. This tool also has a wide variety of search options and a built-in file viewer. It is also available in a network version for access to all data over a network.

Computer Systems

Starting from Windows XP, enhanced bilingual (Japanese) capability is possible by downloading of language packs that enables full installation and usage of Japanese-native software.

Dictionaries and Reference Books

We offer a selection of recommended dictionaries and references for use in Japanese study and technical translation. Electronic versions of some of these books are also available.

Mailing Lists

A wide and growing variety of mailing lists are available according to your specific fields and languages. Be sure to follow the published etiquette and posting rules when joining these mailing lists.

  • Honyaku mailing list: This is a high-volume mailing list serving Japanese/English translators. It currently has about 2000 members.

Of course, this short list is by no means exhaustive. We are always looking for better translation tools to streamline our work. Do you have any suggestions or useful products that you use?
Send them to us here at

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Japanese English Translation with the help of Translation Tools.