- Japan is a key player in technology - strong in applied R&D.
- Critical information is often available only in Japanese:
- Much "hot" info is exchanged verbally and in Japanese.
- The Web is an increasingly important medium - a dynamic environment where material is not always translated into English.
- Much patent information is available only in Japanese.
- Japan remains an important market for the United States in key high-tech industries such as software, biology, and aircraft.
- Communication is key in conducting successful business with Japan.
- In on-going ventures, lots of communication is involved, so effective communication is essential.
- In new ventures, an understanding of Japanese culture, its standard business protocols, and legal and patenting systems is critical.
- Currently, with the lack of trained, non-native Japanese-speakers, communication is ineffective. This causes misunderstandings, inefficiencies, and conflicts. Business opportunities and $$ are lost.
Imagine this: what would you do if you could only use English? If there were no bilingual technologists?
- Do everything in English.
But: This way you would miss lots of pertinent information. You risk losing business opportunities.
- Use translators and interpreters.
But: Interpreters are expensive and don't usually understand the subject matter, nor are they familar with the business situation.
- Use machine translation (for written documents).
But: This requires post-editing, and only highly-skilled bilinguals knowledgeable in the subject matter can do that. And, what if machine translation is not 100% reliable? One mistake could be fatal in a technical or legal document.
- Hire native Japanese residents in the United States.
But: There aren't many of these.
- Hire foreign nationals (native Japanese-speakers) in Japan.
But: Most of them cannot communicate well in English.
|Solution: The only long-term winning approach is to train non-natives in Japanese.
A Brief History of the Technical Japanese Program