It can be hard to find the right translation for certain words. Fortunately, there are many online resources for translators available free of charge.
I’ve compiled this list of 10 useful online resources for translators working from Japanese into English and vice versa. Click on the screenshot to go to the resource.
Here they are in no particular order:
Weblio is an online dictionary. It offers various example sentences as well. I probably use Weblio more than any other online dictionary. The results aren’t perfect, and there are occasionally cringeworthy example sentences, but for the most part, it’s very useful. It’s especially useful when looking up proper nouns.
2. Japanese Law Translation
This is an excellent resource if you need to find the name of a Japanese law or need to quote sections of one. More often than not, you’ll find the entire law translated, and this can come in very handy for understanding the document you’re working on, even if you don’t need to translate the text of the law itself.
3. Eijiro (ALC)
Eijiro is another useful dictionary. There is a mobile app, too. It used to be my go to dictionary, but in recent years I’ve found Weblio to be more useful. Can’t really put my finger on why.
Linguee is a collection of translations from websites. It works like a concordance. The quality of each result varies depending on the quality of the translation on the site that yields the hit. Sometimes it’ll give you a hint on how to approach a certain phrase.
5. Japan Post
Ever wondered how to translate an address? Look it up on the Japan Post website, and it’ll give you the hiragana for the address. As an aside, I’ve never understood why some people insist on translating 県. I don’t live in Johnson City, Tennessee State. It’s just Johnson City, Tennessee. You never see Ontario Province (Canada) or New South Wales State (Australia), either. So Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture should just be Nagano City, Nagano if you ask me.
6. The Ultimate Sushi Glossary
No explanation necessary for this one. It is what it says.
An IT dictionary. This one sometimes has IT terms that you won’t find in Weblio or Eijiro.
Converts Japanese measurements into the metric system and vice versa.
Thesaurus.com is a great tool for finding the right word once you know what a Japanese word means.
ProZ has a pretty large database of terms that people have asked about in the past. If you can’t seem to find a good translation for a certain word anywhere else, you can ask fellow translators, and they’ll give you some ideas.
I use these online resources regularly, so I hope it helps. If you have any others you find useful, leave a comment below! And if you’re looking for a Japanese to English translator, contact me for a quote!