Document Translation and Apostille

Accurate translation is an essential requirement to submit Japanese documents to overseas governmental organizations. Although the fundamentals of a foreign language can be mastered in a few years of serious study, mastery to a level required to understand legal and financial documents takes much, much longer. The obvious solution is to hire a professional translator.

Z’xent Pro translations are different from the services of translations companies because we don’t outsource your documents. Because of advances in communications and the internet, the translation industry has drastically changed in the last 15 years, and now the vast majority of translation agencies no longer do translations. Rather, it has become the norm to outsource the work to individuals who are willing to work for cheaper rates for sacrificing quality. It has become a race to the bottom, and quality worldwide has suffered. We hope to help reverse this trend by providing high-quality, professional translations of legal, financial, and other documents.

  Price (tax excluded)
Japanese → English / English → Japanese 5,000 yen per page


Why Z’xent Pro for Document Translation?

Offers apostille services
Guaranteed not to be outsourced
Able to consult directly with translator


Can translations of legal documents be used overseas?

For many countries, the answer is yes. In order for a Japanese legal document to be recognized in overseas court the document must receive a certification such as below.

1. Certificate of translation by a professional translator or an administrative lawyer
2. Certificate by a notary public
3. Certificate by the Director of the Legal Affairs Bureau
– To certify that an affixed seal of notary publics is true
4. Certificate by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
5. Apostille

*What is apostilles?
Apostilles are the results of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, aka the Apostille Convention, which as the name suggests, provides a legal mechanism for countries to recognize the legal documents of other countries. Only members of the treaty will recognize each other’s documents, and currently there are 100 member nations, including the United States, all of Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Although it is possible to get legal documents between non-member
countries recognized between each other, the process is more difficult.

Japan’s legal documents can be recognized in most English speaking countries by attaching an apostille certificate.

First the document needs to be notarized (note that notaries in Japan usually charge about 10,000 yen), and the translator must be present at the notary office. Next the document needs to be taken to the local Legal Affairs Bureau to receive their certification stamp. The last step is to take the document to the Ministry of Justice where the document is submitted for the apostille. The whole process takes about two business days. Of course, Z’xent Pro can take care of the whole process for you.

Translation Work Flow

We may contact you mid-way for clarification/confirmation of certain passages.

Except for jobs where the client needs the documents in an absolute hurry, after the translation is finished, the translator puts it aside for at least an hour. This gives the translator a clear head for the final check.

Translations and final proofreading checks are done.

To make the document legal for most overseas jurisdictions, we also offer acquisition service for official documents.

Why not just use computers to translate?

The speed and power of computers continue to advance along with their capabilities. Although this is certainly true, one area that has lagged behind this exponential growth is machine translation (MT). MT posses a difficult challenge to computers for the same reason that computers can’t produce a beautiful painting or song on their own: translation is more of an art than a science.

There are several free services that provide MT such as Google Translate and Babelfish. Their accuracy can even be sometimes surprisingly well, especially between two languages that have similar grammatical structure and vocabulary with similar scope (i.e. most words have the same “narrow” or “broad” definitions and usage). For English and Japanese, however, the problem is more complicated because both aspects are quite different. Japanese has two separate phonetic characters, uses no spacing between words, and at least 2,000 kanji characters are regularly used. Most kanji characters have at least two different way to read them, and there are many examples that don’t follow any pattern at all. But these are all obstacles for humans to become fluent. The greatest obstacle for MT is that Japanese is both more vague and more specific than English.

Japanese speakers often leave out the subject of the sentence, which can only confound computers trying to make sense of this vagueness. In English too the subject is sometimes left out of sentences (think: “Hungry?” instead of “Are you hungry?”), but Japanese does this at an even greater frequency. For Japanese being more specific than English, this can be thought of as a “one-to-many relationship”. One English word often can be several possible Japanese words depending on the context. MT may one day overcome these issues, but the possibility of that is still very far away.

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