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English-Japanese translation 2021/7/3 06:51
It was here on japan-guide that I discovered jisho.org which has been so handy for me to translate words or kanji. Now I am more often finding myself wishing that I could translate sentences instead of just words. I know there are many I could google up, but my question is what do japan-guide forum members personally use/ feel are the best.
by Menj (guest)  

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/3 16:01
Personally I am lazy and just use google translate. But I totally admit that it gets translations wrong nearly all the time. Specially work emails it can’t really handle.

So yes, interested to hear what other , less lazy people use.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/4 03:34
I am not trying to defend google or other translation apps that don't work well on Japanese-to-English translation, but a lot of errors happen because of the poorly written original Japanese texts. I used to work as a translator, and I spent more time debating whether to translate ACCURATELY a poorly written Japanese into a poorly written English, or interpret-rectify-and-translate such that the intent of the original text is conveyed AND I won't be accused of not knowing how to write English. I ended up interpreting more than translating.
by ITO (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/4 04:38
Google Translate did not exist before I started learning Japanese. Or at least if it did, I wasn't aware of it, and wasn't aware of any other machine translators. When I did find out about it I tried it out, and wasn't impressed. Not reliable and it made some errors that would be downright embarrassing if you used them in conversation. In short I think it's bad.

From my own testing, DeepL is far, far superior for translating both J>E and E>J. Of course, it is still not 100% reliable, machine translators just aren't at that point yet. But it is freely available to anyone just like Google, so in my opinion there is no reason not to use it.

Naturally, the only truly reliable way to get accurate and reliable translations is by having someone who is proficient in both languages do it for you manually.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/4 09:02
Thank you for the suggestion about DeepL. So I looked at DeepL on the playstore and it says "easy voice translation" and "press the blue button to translate."

However, after downloading the app, there doesn't seem to be any blue button or any way to translate by speaking. Does anyone else have that problem?
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/6 16:16
I've only used DeepL on my computer as opposed to a smartphone, but all you have to do is to access to the following website
https://www.deepl.com/home

Then click the 今すぐ翻訳 icon you see on your left, click ダウンロードしない if you don't want to download anything, and copy & paste the sentences you need to have translated over the box that says 翻訳するにはテキストを入力してください。

Then it would automatically be translated. You can chose different languages to be translated to, by clicking the arrow located toward your right.

I'm a professional translator between Japanese and English, and I feel that DeepL is amazingly reliable. No automatic translation can be 100% accurate, and the translation that DeepL provides is not good enough to be printed as real literature, but it's good enough to let you understand the gist of what a long article is trying to tell you. In fact, DeepL is so smart that if you copy and paste something stupid, it would only give you giggles instead of a translation.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/6 17:49
Good to know DeepL is quite accurate.

Could it be that I am using a smartphone that it does not have a feature to translate by speaking into it? Is that feature available only on a desktop?
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/7 00:11
So, are you saying that you're looking for an automatic translator you could speak to instead of write into? Do you think you could use a different app or something that would transform your speech into written form? Then you could copy and paste that written form into DeepL.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/7 08:45
When I saw the "easy voice translation" on the DeepL app, I thought that would be even more convenient than having to type out the sentence. (Although having both options of typing or speaking would be the most ideal.)

Come to think of it, I do recall a previous experience when a store clerk used his smartphone to translate by speaking into it. So I know there are apps out there. I'd just like to know of a good one.

Maybe it's just something gone wrong on my smartphone when I downloaded the DeepL app since that one also says it can translate by voice. I tried to download it twice with no luck :(
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/7 11:38
There are a lot of automatic apps like Pocketalk that are convenient for carrying on everyday conversation. Perhaps your country has its own.

Meanwhile, DeepL is more suitable for translating longer written material, such as paragraphs.

What is suitable depends on what your purpose is.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/7 11:46
Let me add some examples.

For example, let's say you're having trouble reading Japanese news articles about Covid-19. You can copy and paste the whole article on DeepL using your computer at home.

On the other hand, if you're having trouble communicating with a Japanese friend, shop clerk or a city hall personnel, use a mobile conversation app as you speak and listen.

Note that DeepL (as well as any automatic translator) is more suitable for something already written accurately in correct grammar. Meanwhile, daily conversation can be spoken in broken language, except that they're shorter.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/7 12:18
I see. I didn't realize that. Thank you for the explanation about that. In my case, I'm looking for daily conversation. So I'll try PocketTalk.
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/9 07:04
When it comes to translation, something that I see people do that causes problems, is not using simple sentences. They will try translating what is very convoluted, complex, or grammatically incorrect. There is a saying, "Garbage In, Garbage Out". If more care is taken in the type of sentences used or simplifying input, a person might see better results.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/26 00:15
Hi!!! First, you should know that there are three levels of possibility:
Use "probably" to say that something has a high chance of happening - 50% or greater.
Use "possibly" to say that something has a low chance of happening - 50% or less.
Use either "maybe" or "perhaps" to say that something has an equal chance of happening or not happening.
Bye
by savcar76 rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/7/26 20:07
@Menj

I'm on the side that Google Translate and Pocketalk are only temporary or even lazy solutions. Such solutions are better suited for occasional tourists or business travelers who are not that interested in Japan, their visits will be years apart, or not that interested in dedicating time to learn. If that's not the case, and the person is indeed interested in Japan and the culture, then they will usually want to take the time to study the language and be able to communicate effectively.

In most situations, you don't want to be fumbling around with some odd device or making people wait while you are looking up something. A lot of people will just tune you out, if you have to do that. It's best that you remember and know what you want to say, just like you do with your primary language. You want to become bilingual, but that means taking time to study.

Usually the issue with studying Japanese for people born without exceptional linguist talent or who weren't studying multiple languages since childhood, is forgetting. It can be quite hard for adults to pick up a new language, especially when that isn't what their job or past experiences are about, and they are busy. Maybe they heard or read the foreign word once or long ago, and when it's time to use it, they forgot. They simply haven't been studying or practicing, because to do so is inconvenient or expensive.

In my opinion, the best solution to the forgetfulness and convenience issue (in terms of personal and independent study) is quiz software. It's relatively cheap to use. You can refresh your memory, about the words you want to use. What has worked well for me is using Japanese Language Decoded (https://www.zenpowerstore.com/p/japanese-language-decoded). I tip my hat to those guys, because it made learning Japanese a lot easier.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: English-Japanese translation 2021/8/6 19:54
Thank you for the suggestion about DeepL. So I looked at DeepL on the playstore and it says "easy voice translation" and "press the blue button to translate." However, after downloading the app, there doesn't seem to be any blue button or any way to translate by speaking. Does anyone else have that problem?
by peter991 rate this post as useful

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