Client’s Voices

Here at DNA Media K.K., we proudly support the localization activities of numerous companies of varying sizes. Our client base includes a large number of Japanese businesses, as-well-as many well-known international companies. Through systems that are able to handle multilingual requests, we can quickly deliver high-quality localized content. Thus, we are fortunate in that we have come to be greatly trusted by numerous clients.

Major Clients: Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd., Nokia Solutions & Networks, Tivoli Co., Ltd., Dassault Systèmes, Intel, Shogakukan Inc., NetAdvance, Inc., NHK Educational, Fuji Television Kids Entertainment, Inc., NEC Corporation, etc.

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Client Interviews


Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.

Ms. Aya Wajima, Office Business Headquarters

microsoft1Wajima-san, in terms of your business relationship with DNA Media K.K., I believe that initially we did some translation work for you, and we possibly also did some video production?

That is correct. Since those first jobs, I’ve been asking you to do projects for perhaps six or seven years now.

And what about the quality of the translation work we’ve done for you over the years?

I believe it has been of a very high quality. I believe it has been of a very high quality. Moreover, if on one occasion we give you feedback as to how a certain term should be translated in the future, it is my impression that from the next translation project onwards, what we have suggested will be incorporated without fail. It is almost as if you have a translation study group within DNA Media K.K. which picks up such feedback and makes sure that everybody knows. Furthermore, when it comes to the translation and representation of tables of figures, I get the impression that you put a lot of effort into ensuring that the translations delivered convey the underlying meaning in a manner that is both very easy to read and understand.

From our own perspective, for the purpose of developing a store of knowledge, commencing with the frontline translators who work on client projects, here at DNA, as much as possible, we try to assign team members and keep them working with clients on an ongoing basis. Of course, we also try and do this for members of the quality-assurance team as well. Moreover, so as to increase the scale of work that we do together with clients, we take steps to add both additional top-quality translators and support staff as required.

Yes, I do appreciate that there is a quality-assurance flow at work. Although there are some occasions when we forget to clearly instruct you to “make sure that any corrections are registered,” in that before we start a new project, DNA Media K.K. is always very careful to confirm and respond to all the different issues including the one I just mentioned, the net result of such an attention to detail is that our own burden when managing translation projects as clients is greatly reduced.

What about your communications and interactions with DNA Media staff members?

It is always my impression that they are people who are easy to work with. What particularly impresses me is both the attention they always give in advance to any points of concern and also their ability to make suggestions. Thinking about past interactions, I can remember instances where they alerted us to issues of which we were unaware. Being able to work with such people really helps us out.

microsoft2What sort of people within Microsoft Japan often read the content that we localize and translate for you?

Concerning the Microsoft Office-related materials that you translate for us, it is not just the case that the finished texts end up in the hands of employees within our IT divisions. Indeed, on many occasions we ask you to translate documentation that is targeted at our administrators or the top management within our company. When translating for us, your translators don’t just resort to using the vocabulary of the IT industry. Rather, they take care to explain the content of documents using terms more familiar to our senior management. They also sometimes add context to assist the reader in their overall understanding of what is being discussed.

So what about the future?
What expectations do you hold regarding your future dealings with DNA Media K.K.?
Are there any areas in which you would like us to try harder? Do you have any requests?

Going forward, I believe the ability to be able to offer greater agility will become stronger and stronger. To express this in greater detail, there are some times circumstances where we need to be able to request a translation on one day, and then make a presentation based on that translation the next. As a client, we would be very grateful if a system could be created between DNA Media K.K. and ourselves which would allow for such flexibility. Indeed, in the future I believe that the frequency of such urgent scenarios will continue to increase. As to the reality of such situations, I am inclined to believe that your ability to respond would be very much based on each and every individual incidence. However, as a client, we would like to be able to call on DNA Media K.K. each and every time such circumstances occur. Finally, it is our hope that in the future you will continue to be able to deliver top-quality translations to us that in turn help us reduce our own burden.

Tivoli Co., Ltd.

Mr. Muneya Takai

What led you to first order work from DNA Media K.K.?

Within our company we have an export division, and within that unit there are members of staff who are very gifted in terms of their English language proficiency. However, during busy times of the year, those people become preoccupied with other duties, and it was for such a reason that we initially considered using a translation company. Furthermore, due to the nature of our business, there are occasions when we need to translate materials whose content is rather specialized, and for that reason as well, we started to search for a translation company who could help us.

To go further with my story, in these days of the Internet, we at one point dabbled with using the services of a very cheap translator. However, the employee within our company who was in charge of the project became rather worried about the differences between their own English understanding of the source text and that of the native translator. Moreover, there was also some concern that the translations we received were not capable of resonating within the hearts of the overseas customers who we hoped to target. Thus, a decision was made to request the services of a reliable translation company, and in that I personally knew and trusted DNA Media K.K., we decided to approach you.

I believe the first job that DNA Media K.K. did for you involved the translation of some marketing copy or catch-copy for some of your cookie products?

chibori2

That is correct. We had you translate some phrases that introduced our cookies. While saying that, however, it is important to realize that people here in Japan and those in the United States perceive cookies differently. Moreover, there are also differences in the images that people draw from cookies.

This difference in perception is not something that Japanese people like myself can readily discover. Furthermore, it is not merely an issue of paying a translator more money to get the job done. Rather, we wanted to work with somebody who understood the culture and customs that lay behind the words and phrases that we used.

I believe the translator we decided upon was somebody who had a background in the translation of poetry?

Yes. It is perhaps relevant to realize that products such as confectionery are sold differently from functional products such as home appliances, automobiles or computer software, etc. Confectionery and similar products are sold based on dreams and how consumers are made to feel about them.

It is not simply a case of describing cookies as “delicious,” rather using the evocative aspects of the English language, the nuance needs to be conveyed to consumers that eating cookies will induce feelings of happiness within them. As such, in the project we have been discussing, I feel that your translator was able to thoroughly understand the poetic aspects of our original text and convey them accurately in English. Both the employee within our company who was responsible for this project and our customers were very pleased with the quality of the translation. I personally felt that DNA Media K.K. was the only translation company capable of delivering such quality work.

I believe that you sell items of confectionery in a number of different countries?

That is correct. Currently, we are very proud to be selling our products in some 13 different countries. Furthermore, that is a number that will increase in the future. Concerning the buyers in those countries where we intend to sell, many of them will also be able to understand English. Thus, they will appreciate the beauty of the catch-copy statements that DNA Media K.K. and its translators prepared for us.

Being forthright, I would say DNA Media K.K.’s prices are rather expensive, however, such expense is compensated by the high quality of the translations delivered. I think that point needs to be realized.

I seem to remember that there were a fair few exchanges before we settled on a final translation.

Yes, I remember asking as to whether or not certain English phrases were unsuitable for the purpose we had in mind. When they were, your staff actually took the time to tell us why they were unsuitable. Such thorough communication helped us greatly. Concerning translators who merely offer a “competitive rate” for translation, it is my impression that they don’t bother with such specifics. They will not tell you in detail why a certain phrase is wrong.

Having such a communicative process with respect to translation provided our company with peace-of-mind, and that peace-of-mind in turn gave us confidence when shipping our products overseas. This is something for which we feel very grateful. There is the sense of DNA Media K.K. having done a very professional job for us.

Going forward, I would assume that being able to develop a multilingual business will become very important for your company. What are your ideas regarding such strategies?

As mentioned earlier, currently we are shipping our confectionery products to some 13 countries worldwide. At the same time, however, within our industry, there are already competitors who are exporting products internationally to 30 or more destinations. Thus, to remain competitive as a business, we have to greatly increase the volume of our overseas shipments. Viewed accordingly, compared to how we once felt about translation companies, in the future such businesses shall be perceptually positioned much closer to both this company and the strategies that we hope to pursue overseas.

Until now, the conventional way of requesting the services of a translation company was to call on them after a website had been created. However, when the close communication that I just discussed becomes necessary, we will probably request the services of translation companies who truly understand our products. If we can call on such companies, then the nuances created for our products in overseas markets will be unified. For this company, the creation of such a unified approach is also very important for our brand.
While on one hand the nuances created in the English translations were very soft and flexible, if there is a hardness in the nuances created in other languages, it will be difficult to become a global manufacturer.

From our perspective, I feel it is very important that translation companies are able to maintain an understanding of the big picture and what we are trying to achieve. If they can support our endeavors through the vehicle of language, we will be very grateful. When companies are intent on becoming global businesses, the ability to offer such services will become very important.

In terms of your future development, what languages will become more important?

Firstly, I would say Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese. Looking further into the future, I would possibly add Burmese to that list. English is fine as the language of negotiation when discussing business possibilities with overseas buyers. However, we cannot necessarily rely on it once we start shipping products to different countries. As a matter of fact, we are already shipping products to Russia. Thus, we need the ability to be able to respond in Russian.

I also remember that you asked DNA Media K.K. to record some narration sequences in Italian?

Yes, the video in question was required for us to move forward with a very important project at the time. In that it was so important, I have to admit that I felt uneasy. Then again, the company who delivered the high quality we required was DNA Media K.K. That video (and its narration) allowed us to move forward with the project while feeling a sense of confidence.

It is also my impression that there are few translation companies like DNA Media K.K. in that they possess such thorough internal checking systems.
To draw a parallel with my own company’s creation of confectioneries, there is the sense that you put a great deal of thought into each individual word and its associations before you decide to “ship” it to your translation clients. Such a great attention to the details greatly helps companies like ours.

To comment for a moment on the packaging of confectionery products, the costs involved are very high. Moreover, once a product has been put on sale, it is very difficult to change the catch-copy featured on the packaging once the packaging itself has been created. Viewed in such a light, from our perspective as a confectionery manufacturer, we have to work with companies whose translations we can trust. As such, I strongly look forward to continuing our relationship with DNA Media K.K. in the future.