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FAQ

About Samurai Translators

Why choose Samurai Translators?

High quality translation
Fast Delivery Option
Low Price, No hidden fees
Do Not need original files
Accredited Japanese translators
Experience in translating all kinds of documents
Delivery by E-mail and Post world-wide
Personal, friendly service
5 reasons why clients choose Samurai Translators >

Who are Samurai Translators’ clients?

Samurai Translators is a translation company providing individuals and organisations with professional translation services.
Samurai Translators provides for a wide range of translation requirements including marketing translation, business and legal translation, migration translation, technical translation, medical translation and academic transcript translation.

Clients We Translate For:
Visa applicants
Migration agents
Employment agencies
Tourists, travelers
Real estate offices
Property developers
Construction companies
Design and digital agencies
Government offices
Embassies and High Commissions
Teachers, Researchers
Large corporate, SMEs
Travel groups
Diplomats
Law firms etc.

Placing a translation order

How do I place an order?

Fill in all the required fields on our “Online Application” attaching all the original data you need translated and send it to us.
For more information, go to our “Ordering” page.

How do I send the original files I need translated?

You can send us your files as scanned data (PDF files), photographic images or send them by FAX.
* Please ensure that you send us a clear copy of your data in which words and characters, etc. are clearly legible.
* If you are applying to have your translation notarized, you will need to provide us with the original document. In this case, please send us the original/s by post as soon as you have made your payment to us. If the original cannot be used for notarization (such as in the case of diplomas, insurance cards, drivers licenses, etc.), please send us a clear color copy of the document.

What should I do if the original data comprises more than one file?

You can attach up to 5 files on your online application. Please send any additional files to us by email to info@translators.jp.

What should I do if I have a large volume of original data?

Compress your files before sending them to us or use a large file transfer service such as “Taku File Bin”.
(Any messages which exceed the mail server maximum message size setting will be returned to sender as undeliverable so please make sure not to exceed the user mailbox maximum message size.)

I don’t know which documents I need / I can’t read the Japanese (or English) document I received from the institution I intend to send my documents to and would like it to be read for me.

Being that we are a translation company, we are only involved in the translation of documents and are not with finding out and confirming the requirements and policies of each institution to which each individual client intends to submit their documents to. Please check with your destination institution yourself.
* We of course will be happy to translate any notices or letters received from your destination institution for an additional fee.
* Ultimately it is up to you to decide which documents you need translated.

Can I use my family register as proof of birth (or marriage)?

In Japan, a birth (or marriage) is formerly recognized once a notification of birth or marriage is submitted to and accepted by the relevant government office.
1. Certificate of Family Register Description (Birth or marriage)
2. Certificate of Acceptance (Birth or Marriage)
3. Family Register
To find out which documents are required to be translated please contact the institution you intend to submit the document/s to directly.

I would like to receive a receipt (ryoshusho)

Please state this when you place your order with us. We will deliver a receipt to you together with your translated documents.

Do I only need to translate the part of my family register (or resident record) that pertains to me specifically?

Unfortunately, we do not accept requests for partial translations. If you obtain an extract of your family register rather than a transcript, we will be happy to accept your request.

How does your company handle personal information?

For information on how we handle your personal information, please refer to our website “Personal Information Policy” at https://www.translators.jp/company/privacy-policy/.

Delivery

What are your delivery times?

Standard delivery takes 5-6 business days from the date we receive your payment.
(This may be extended if your documents need to be notarized or you have a large volume for translation. We will provide you with more specific details when we give you our estimate.)

I need my translation ASAP….

Express delivery and same day delivery are available for an additional charge. This will vary depending on the content and volume of your translation so please contact us to find out the exact details. (Please note that in some cases we may not be able to comply with your request.)

Fees / Payment Method

How much does a family register translation to English cost?

The price for translating a family register depends on whether the family register is in the new format (horizontal writing) or the old format (vertical writing).
Have a look at our “Family Register Translation” page to find out more.

How do I pay?

You can pay by credit card or bank transfer.
1. Bank Transfer: To MUFG Bank, Ltd.
2. Credit Card: Restricted to VISA and MASTERCARD
*For more information, please visit our “Payment” page.

How much does a Certificate of Translation cost?

A “Certificate of Translation” and “delivery within Japan” is included in the prices listed in our price list.

Can you redeliver documents you have translated for me in the past?

We can redeliver documents within three (3) months from the date on which we previously delivered them. The standard price is 3,300 yen per copy. However, in the case of Company Registers and Articles of Incorporation, the price is 5,500 yen per copy. Please note, after three (3) months, this will be treated as a new order and you will have to pay the price of having your document/s translated again.

I have 3 documents which are exactly the same. What about the price?

A The second and subsequent documents of the same content are charged at 2,200 yen per document. However, in the case of Company Registers and Articles of Incorporation, the price is 5,500 yen per copy.

What are the translation prices for documents not listed in the price list?

Our estimates are made on a case by case basis factoring in the content, type, specialty, nature and volume of the document as well as the desired delivery date, the format of the original document, our translators’ schedule and the timing of the request, etc.

Our Translation Services

I was told I need the translator’s signature and company seal.

Our translations are printed on company letterheaded paper and each page is stamped with our company seal. We also deliver all our translations together with a “Certificate of Translation signed by the translator in charge of your translation”.
(Certificate of Translation Sample: Certificate of Translation (Sample) https://www.translators.jp/download/certificate_of_translation.pdf

I would like to have a Certificate of Translation with my translated document/s.

It is standard for us to provide clients a Certificate of Translation with any translation of a source document which is a hard copy of a certificate stamped with an official public seal (namely in cases when there is a understandable necessity to attach a Certificate of Translation). In cases other than this we do not issue Certificates of Translation.

I have translated my document myself. Can you check it and issue a Certificate of Translation?

Unfortunately we cannot help you. (We cannot issue Certificates of Translation for documents that have not actually been translated by us)

I want my files delivered as Word or Excel.

This will cost the same as if delivered with a Certificate of Translation; however, a Certificate of Translation will not be attached. The files will be delivered to you by e-mail.

Can you make overseas deliveries?

Overseas delivery is available for the translation fee plus the EMS delivery charge which starts from 4,400 yen.

Can you make Certificates of Translations in French?

In France there are translation companies authorized by the French Embassy to undertake visa translations and certification documents translated from Japanese to French are not accepted. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Do translations have to be by certified translators or sworn translators?

Unfortunately, a certification system (national qualification) for translators does not exist in Japan.
Our company is a member of the Japan Translation Federation (JTF) and Japan Association of Translators (JAT) which are translation bodies in Japan.
We operate as a translation company duly incorporated in Japan and satisfy all the necessary legal requirements but we are not licensed by any other country.

We do not represent ourselves “a certified company/translator”. We are a translation company incorporated and registered in Japan and operating under the Japanese jurisdiction. Japan has no official translator certifying system.

Are you an authorised English translator?

We do not recognize what is an authorized English translator as we operate our business under Japanese jurisdiction and there is no translator certification or authorization system in Japan.

I live in Canada. If your translation Company translates my documents will they be accepted?

Our Company is a Japanese company which provides translations in compliance with the laws and regulations of Japan. We cannot guarantee that translations of certificates delivered to people residing in Canada will be accepted. Please bear this in mind.

Are you a certified translator of the Government of Canada?

We are on the list of translators of the Candaian Embassy in Japan but we are not sure exactly what this means. Please contact the Canadian Embassy directly.
(See URL) https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/japan-japon/consular_services_consulaires/translators-traducteurs.aspx?lang=eng

Do you have any NAATI accredited translators?

Unfortunately, we do not have any NATTI accredited translators, but any documents issued by our company should be sufficient even without NAATI accreditation. However, if you have any concerns please search for an NAATI certified translator. (Our Company is a member of the Japan Translation Federation (JTF) and the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) which are translation organizations within Japan.)

Documentation in a language other than Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English must be translated by a state-authorized translator.

There is no state-authorized translator system in Japan, consequently we are not a state-authorized translator.

The translation must also have apostille / legalization.

That can be done, if notarization is also ordered. Fees are as listed in our website.

My immigration consultant has asked me to provide a document containing the translators qualifications or to enter information on the qualifications of the translator on the Certificate of Translation. Can you do that for me?

You can view our company’s Certificate of Translation at the URL below.
https://translators.jp/download/certificate_of_translation.pdf
We are a translation company operating in Japan under the jurisdiction of Japan. We are a member of the Japan Translation Federation (JTF) and Japan Association of Translators (JAT) which are translation bodies in Japan.
Despite what your immigration consultant told you, in the case of translations required for immigration purposes, our Certificate of Translation may be sufficient. If you need to have your translation notarized, we can handle that for you for an additional fee.

Do you offer a service where you simply check documents that we have translated ourselves from Japanese to English, and then provide a certificate of translation?

We are sorry, but we do not provide that service.

I am sending my documents to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia and I need my document to be translated by a certified translator.

Our translation company is a Japanese translation company which provides translation services under the jurisdiction of Japan.
We unfortunately do not know the requirements of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia and as such we cannot guarantee that our company complies with your requirements.
We do, however, have many years of experience in delivering translations of transcripts of family registers to clients from all around the world including Australia.
I understand that they have a website providing its citizens with the relevant detailed information.

I want a translation of my Japanese driver’s license so I can get a driver’s license in the United States. Have you done this before?

We mainly translate driver’s licenses for visa application purposes. We have delivered numerous English translations of driver’s licenses but our clients do not inform us about what country they are submitting them to and what their purpose is.
Primarily, we translate driver’s licenses for visa purposes.

Notarization / Authentication

What does notarization mean?

We have included information on notarization on our “Notarial Service” page at https://www.translators.jp/kosho/, but just to briefly outline, notarization is when a person presents “documents” to a person with the required authority such as a notary public or consul and swears before them that “the documents are true and correct to the best of my knowledge” and subscribes his/her signature to that effect.
The notary public or consul will then confirm that the person has subscribed his/her signature and subscribe his/her own signature underneath to attest that “the person who presented the documents has pledged before me that the documents are true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge”.
Generally, in Japan, the authority to notarize documents is held exclusively by notary publics, however, when submitting documents to foreign governments or private institutions overseas such as schools, etc., documents notarized by the embassy (or consulate) of the destination country will also be considered to be valid.
* Please check with your destination institution as to whether you require your translated documents to be notarized.

Does my translation need to be notarized?

We cannot answer this question as it is entirely up to you depending on the requirements of the institution you are submitting your translation to. Please contact the institution you are submitting your translation to directly to find out whether it needs to be notarized.

If I have a few translated documents and I ask you to have them notarized, do you have all the documents notarized as one set or do you have each document notarized separately and how does this affect the price?

It is entirely up to you whether you want to have your translated documents notarized as a set or separately and this will depend on the requirements of the institution you are submitting the documents to. Check what the requirements are and then instruct us accordingly. We will give you an estimate based on your instructions and attach a notary certificate/s as per your request (If you wish to have your documents notarized, enter your requirements in the “Notarization Application” sent when requesting an estimate.) For more information on notarization, we suggest you contact a notary public office directly.
Note) Even when translated documents are being sent to the same place, some clients have the documents notarized as a set and other separately.

What is the difference between the notarial service provided by the notary public office and that provided by the “Embassy (or consulate)”?

“Notarization” in the case of translations is where the person who prepares a translation, etc. swears before a third party (notary public) that s/he is professionally qualified to translate the document in question and that the translation executed thereby is true and correct after which s/he will subscribe his/her signature in front of the notary public and the notary public will subscribe his/her own signature to attest that s/he was a witness thereto.

In Japan only civil servants called “notary publics” have the authority to notarize documents and as such, when submitting documents in Japan, only documents which have been notarized by a notary public at a notary public office are considered to be notarized documents.

Documents to be submitted to institutions overseas or foreign institutions in Japan (embassies, etc.) are not subject to Japanese law and may be notarized by the consulate, etc. of the applicable country.

When having documents notarized at an embassy (or consulate), the person who prepared the translation swears that the translation is true and accurate as described above but in this case, a consul will be the notary public whereas when having documents notarized at a notary public office, a civil servant will be the notary public.

Both will have the same legal effect (as long as the document is submitted to the relevant country), however, many of our clients submitting documents to institutions within the United States and Canada request for their documents to be notarized at the embassy (or consulate) due to the price, etc. if the embassy (or consulate) will accept to undertake the notarization.

I was told by the institution I am submitting my documents to that I should have the documents translated by a translation company notarized in front of a notary public prior to submitting it. Who should I ask about notarization?

Under Japanese law, only notary publics at notary public offices are authorized to provide notary services, so notarization is only obtainable from notary public in Japan.

However, some consular sections in embassies or consular officers working at consulates provide notarization services and documents to be submitted abroad notarized by the appropriate consular officer in Japan will as a general rule be considered to have been notarized.

If you have the option of choosing whether to have your documents notarized by a notary public or a consular officer, confirm all the details yourself first and then place an order with us once you have made your decision.

Apparently, I need to notarize documents you previously translated for me. Can I go to the US Embassy for exmaple to have the documents you delivered to me last time notarized?

Often documents to be submitted overseas need to be translated by professional translators other than ourselves.

If this is the case, in order to have the translation notarized, the translator (in this case, one of our translators) must take an oath in front of a notary public and on that basis, I would say that it would be impossible for a customer to go to the US Embassy and have the translation notarized under the pretense of “being one of our translators who translated the document”.

Who can notarize documents varies from person to person so we recommend that you contact the insitution you are thinking to notarize your documents such as the U.S. Embassy directly.

Can you notarize documents at the Australian consulate?

Unlike other countries, Australia, generally accepts translations submitted with a Certificate of Translation issued by a translation company and currently the Consular Section at the Australian Consulate is moving away from providing notarial services. (As the Consular Section is moving away from providing notarial services being that they are not really required, in many cases, the Consular Section will refuse to notarize documents unless there is a real need.)
If you obtain an Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a document which you have had notarized at a notary public in Japan, the document will be considered to be valid in Australia without it being authenticated by the consulate, however, we recommend that you check again with the destination institution yourself

I want to get Apostille on the birth certificate issued by the municipality.

We are a translation company. If ordered, we can get, after we translate your documents, our translation and our affidavit (certificate of translation) notarized and appostilled. However, we are not in the business of arranging having Ministry of Foreign Affairs affix Apostille stamp on Japanese official documents you have.

Terminology / Content used in Translations

When checking over the original after receiving my translation I found that “ん” in Japanese was written as “M” in English. Can “ん” be read as “M” rather than “N”?

Our Company uses the Hepburn System. Under the Hepburn System “ん” is ordinarily represented by “N”, however, there are exceptions where “M” is used instead for example when “ん” precedes the letter “B”, “M” or “P”. (However, saying that, this exception does not apply in the case of proper names and place names and the spelling of such names conforms to the general rule using “N”.)

I want amounts shown in Japanese currency to be changed to foreign currency amounts (dollars, euros, swiss francs, etc.).

If you let us know when you place your order, we will be happy to convert these amounts to a different currency. We will include the currency rate used in the translation. If you want amounts to be shown in a currency other than yen, be sure to let us know when placing your order.

I want dates to be shown using the “British format”.

Unless specifically instructed, dates are shown as “MM/DD/YY”, however, if you specify in advance that you want us to use the British format, we will show dates in that order “DD/MM/YY”. Please let us know when you place your order.

Why is it that when translating Japanese addresses “-ku”, “-cho”, “-machi” and “-gun” are simply translated phonetically into English using English letters whereas “-shi” in Japanese is translated as City?

There is a reason for this. Administrative divisions are specific to each country and as such the administrative divisions may not have a corresponding division in English. Some of our clients specify how they wish their addresses to be written in English because “they want addresses to remain consistent with the address format used in other documents they have already submitted” or because there are various ways of rendering a specific address. Many clients want “-ku”, “-cho”, “-machi” and “-gun” to be written phonetically into English using English letters. “-cho” or “-machi” may refer to an administrative unit or may simply be part of a place name. “-shi” on the other hand, is generally consistent with the meaning of city and there are are few cases in which it deviates from this meaning leaving little room for debate which is why it is rendered as City in addresses relatively frequently. However, there are clients who prefer us to also translate “-shi” and “-ken” phonetically into English using English letters and you will often see this in addresses too. If you have a specific way in which you would prefer addresses to be rendered, please specify this when you place your order.
(Note) At Samurai Translators, we generally render addresses as in the example below.
福岡県福岡市早良区西新4丁目8-30 is rendered as:
4-8-30 Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka

Why is “ku” only rendered as “Ward” rather than “-ku” when used in the case of a Mayor or Head such as “Head of Kawasaki Ward, Kawasaki City”?

“-ku” in the case of a place name such as “Kawasaki-ku” may be translated phonetically into English as “-ku” without any problem, however, “-ku” in for example “Mayor of -ku”, refers to a person’s title and if translated as “Head of Kawasaki-ku” it might not be exactly clear to English readers what position this person holds. In consideration of this, we render “-ku” as shown below.
・When used for the 23 wards of Tokyo (special wards): Mayor of -Ward
・When used for the other 1,000,000 cities in Japan: Head of – Ward
* Other than for the reason explained above, there is no reason why “Head of -ku” can’t be used and there is no problem in changing to use that title. If you prefer us to use “Head of -ku”, just let us know when you place your order.

Why is it that “-machi/-cho” is rendered as “-Town” when used with Mayor such as “Mayor of -Town” but rendered as “-machi” or “-cho” when used as a place name?

This distinction has been made intentionally because we feel each is better suited to the purpose of its use. We are happy to comply with any preferences you have to conform to one or other of the renderings. Just let us know when you place your order.

“Hakase” when used in degree certificates (doctoral or medical) is translated as “Doctor of Philosophy”. Is this the generally accepted term?

There are academic degrees and professional degrees, however, “hakase” in Japan when referring to academic degrees is rendered as Doctor of Philosophy not only in the case of disciplines that fall under the liberal arts but also other disciplines such as the sciences and this is because all academic disciplines, although technically not philosophy, are thought to be able to be traced back to the study of philosophy.
Many doctors add the title PhD on their business cards because this is the abbreviated form of Doctor of Philosophy. (The reason this is abbreviated to PhD rather than DPh is because it is abbreviated from the Latin term Philosophiae Doctor and Latin historically had a strong influence on English.)
Doctors who do not hold a doctorate/PhD use the title MD and not PhD which is the abbreviated form of Doctor of Medicine (again the letters in the abbreviation are in reverse order in English for the same reason given above) and this is the professional degree of a doctor which is equivalent to an academic masters degree or lower honors. (In Japan as you probably know, “gakushi” is “Bachelor”.)

How to you translate the seal on a document?

Our company types in (seal) or (official seal) in the position where the seal is on the original document.
To clarify, if the seal on the original document is located next to say the name of the mayor then we will type in (official seal) in exactly the same position on the translated document. If the two documents are compared it will be clear that the seal is that of the mayor based on its position on the translated document.

Others

Execution of Non-Disclosure Agreements

We are happy to execute Non-Disclosure Agreements with you if you wish, however, generally we do not do so during the quotation stage of the process.
If you are concerned, please send us the documents you want translated ensuring that they do not reveal any confidential information such as by covering names and other information pertaining to the concerned parties.
Another option is to tell us the name of the document you want translated and the number of characters/words it contains which we will use to give you a (rough) estimate.

I have been asked by my bank to provide a notarized translation of the document that contains:
– The translator has seen and compared the original document verifying the identity and residential address of the applicant;

I, a professional translator, is not licensed to make that kind of statement under any appropriate laws or regulations.

I have to submit an “official English translation” with my visa application. If I place an order with you, will I receive an “official English translation”?

An incorporated translation company engaged in the translation business such as ourselves will issue a Certificate of Translation clearly stating the name and address of the company, signed by the translator in charge of your translation and stamped with the company seal. We have prepared and delivered countless translations of official documents for submission to numerous institutions in various counties which clients have used with their visa applications.

Do I need to translate my graduation certificate into English if I want to study in the United States? If I place an order with you will I receive an official translation?

Based on our past experience in translating documents to be submitted to government agencies and private institutions in the United States, the following generally apply.
・If submitting to the Embassy of the United States in Japan:
→ You can submit either a translation prepared by yourself or a translation prepared by a translation company with a Certificate of Translation.
・If submitting to government agencies or private institutions in the United States:
→ You are required to submit a translation which has been notarized by the U.S. consulate or equivalent organization.
Our translations and Certificates of Translation fulfill all existing requirements concerning documents issued by private translations companies.
If you need to have your documents notarized by the Embassy of the United States (or U.S. Consulate), we can undertake the notarization application process for you so be sure to let us know.

If I order a translation from you, will that translation be recognized as an official translation?

As we are a “private company”, the documents we translate are “private” documents. So for example, in the case of a family register, the original family register which the translation is based on is classified as an “official” document because it has been issued by a government office while our translation is a “private” document.

There is an option to have documents translated by a private translation company notarized at a notary public office (and after that, if you need to, you can obtain an authentication of official seal or an apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is an authenticated copy. Ordinarily, institutions which keep original copies will issue a copy stating that the copy is identical to the original and this is what is referred to as a certified copy.
Your family register is an example of a certified copy. If the issuing institution does not issue an certified copy or you are unable to obtain one, you will have to submit the original and a copy to an authorized third party and have such third party confirm that the copy is identical to the original and use this as a certified copy. There are restrictions on what individuals or institutions are authorized to authenticate documents and which documents they are permitted to authenticate. You can have a copy of your original document certified by the consulate of the country to which you are submitting your document.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A certified copy is a copy of an original document which has been verified by someone who is specifically qualified to verify documents and who certifies that the copy is a true and correct copy of the original document.
The person certifying a copy will generally be the person or department who issued the copy (e.g. in the case of a family register, the mayor will certify that the copy is genuine) or the owner of the document or in the case of outside party, a person authorized to certify the document (such as a consular officer).

I have been asked by my employer to obtain an English version of my family register in order to acquire a working permit. Would a translation into English of the family register issued by the public office by a translation company such as yourselves constitute an English version?

Yes. Of course. Not many municipalities issue family registers in English. To apply for a working visa, you need to attach an English translation to the family register obtained from the public office in Japan.
We have handled countless family register translations. Our translations are reliable and accurate and we can have them ready for you in no time at all.