Translators Associations Asia Pacific: JTF

A federation relying on strong committees

Translators Association Asia Pacific: JTFThe Japan Translation Federation (JTF) was founded in April 1981, as a voluntary group. It was considered as a “public interest corporation” by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in September 1990. It is a professional organisation comprised of translation companies, organisations and individuals who are engaged in commercial translation.

JTF is a professional translators association, involved in the “growth and development” of the industry which surrounds the professions of translator and interpreter, always “in line with the trend of times”.

According to the Japanese federation, it is “a reliable” organisation, which is committed to raising the status of the translation industry, at the same time as it promotes loyalty, cooperation and friendship between members. It is with them in mind that the people in charge of JTF are eager to broaden the range of opportunities available. Moreover, they wish to enhance the brand image of the translation association, in these fast moving times of globalisation.

JTF’s main objective is to make its contribution towards promoting the economic development by encouraging the business of translation. To achieve its goal, the translators association intends to conduct several surveys, researches, as well as organise seminars and promote human resource development on translation business. For this in particular, JTF has established the conduction of tests that shall evaluate the progress of its members. At an international level, JTF wants to attend as many translation-related conferences as possible.

The association’s main activities comprehend the above-mentioned surveys and researches on translation business, but also the organisation of lectures and meetings to discuss the subject, the collection and provision of information on translation business to everyone who needs it, particularly those whose access to these tools proves more difficult. The translation association stresses the need to communicate and cooperate with both domestic and overseas professional organisations.

For JTF, it is imperative that intellectual properties involved in translation are protected.

The Japanese organisation also wishes to reward its members for the quality of their work. For that purpose, JTF gives awards on translation business.

Japan’s economy suffered from an unparalleled recession as a consequence of the dramatic alteration of global economy in the second half of 2008. However, JTF’s president, Hikuo Igashi, says that “due to both the government's economic stimulus measures and cost reduction efforts by individual companies, the economy has been showing signs of a gradual recovery since the latter half of 2010”. Mr. Igashi is optimistic for the future and foresees that corporate performance and business activities will back on tracks soon.

As far as Japanese translation industry is concerned, it had been said to be immune to the state of the economy but the president of this translators association disagrees by saying it “was severely impacted by this unprecedented recession”. Hikuo Igashi says that JTF is “proud” of the industry’s “long history in contributing to the needs of both Japanese and foreign companies by translating documentation necessary to support their globalisation strategies”. They believe the importance of translation will go on increasing.

The Japanese federation has been growing “in a unique setting, where translation customers, translation companies and individual translators coexist, and where all are represented”.

JTF has two types of membership: Corporate Members and Support Members.

The committees

Other than the Board of Directors, the translators association is comprised of several committees. There is one concerning “ Translation Industry Research”, which contributes to the enhancement of the industry’s social status by conducting research on the field, providing information to the public after studying the actual results. The “Translation Seminar Planning and Management Committee” is in charge of analysing the environment that surrounds the industry and suggest its ideal status in the future. This committee shares common problems that occur between translators, translation companies and customers and looks for solutions.

The “Translation Festival Planning and Operation Committee is responsible for holding an annual event attended by everyone involved in translation. Its aim is to activate the industry of translation by promoting exchange and friendship between members and businesses “regardless of each status”. The translation association also has a Kansai Committee, responsible for five seminars a year, in Osaka, which seek the enhancement of the translation ability and expertise in science and technology, information technology, finance and security, patents, pharmaceuticals, etc.

As far as translation tools are concerned, JTF has a Translation Support Tools Committee. This particular group “enlists the support of developers, users and related organizations on translation tools” and “collects information and reviews their effective utilization”. There is also the Examination Committee, the Journal Committee, the Homepage Committee, the Public Relations Committee and the Risk Prevention Committee. The latter provides the association’s members who are in trouble with advice on how to find satisfactory solutions to prevent similar occurrences.

Keep in mind that Japanese is spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese immigrant communities all over the world. This language is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages.

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