If you're in business dealing with Japanese clients or products, then finding a quality Japanese translation agency or online translation tool may be important.
It's more complicated that you might realize, with many translation options that may blow your budget out.
Here's some advice on getting your Japanese translations done correctly and at a reasonable price.
How do you find the most accurate Japanese translation agency?
First and what should be an obvious point is that you need native Japanese translators. A high level Japanese learner may be able to translate, but they will miss nuances and small cultural cues when translating.
A non-native translator can translate to English from Japanese, but not the other way round.
Make sure that any Japanese translator you hire is certified (JTA, ATA, NAATI, etc.). Each country's certifying body will be different but all are generally recognized overseas.
Also look out for niche specialization (e.g. medical translation) and don't hire a translator with general skills if you're in a highly specialized industry.
Another consideration would be the availability and cost of services.
You can either go to the offices of the agency, or for added convenience, use an agency that is online. As most documents you will wish to have translated will most likely be in electronic format, this may simplify the process significantly.
A professional online translator will have the advantage of having information available to you 24/7, including rates and turnaround times.
Having the job completed may be much quicker for you if online uploading is used to submit your original document, and the translated document can also be sent back to you electronically at your convenience.
Regarding rates, many agencies offer competitive pricing, but you should look for online translation that is both quick and professional.
As there is a time difference of 16 hours to Japan, there is some turnaround time involved, but using online translators will minimize those unavoidable wait times, as the Japanese translator can immediately access your uploaded files.
You should also choose an agency who provides a guarantee for their services.
A reputable Japanese translation agency will guarantee in writing your full satisfaction, and will work with you with edits, rewrites and revised translations if necessary.
At times, you may not need a full document translation but instead, just a few lines of text.
A handy tool to use at a time like this would be a Japanese translation tool that can be used to translate online. With cutting and pasting and a couple of clicks, you will have the translation instantly whether from English to Japanese, or vice versa.
This is best used for a couple of sentences at a time, and not for whole documents, as the continuity of the paragraphs cannot be matched.
With these tools available to you, it is not difficult to find a reliable Japanese translator, whether it is a professional translation agency or an online translation web page.