John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?  Are you boggled by the differences between English typesetting and Japanese text layouts?

Here are the links to two excellent resources explaining the challenges English language authors and publishers must face when preparing to have print or online works translated and published in the Japanese language.

The first link is to an excellent 6-page article by Tony Graham:  Layout of Japanese documents posted on www.tcworld.info in July 2009.  Tony uses 11 charts and about 20 paragraphs to summarize the entire problem facing Western publishers who want to publish Japanese language books, journals or high-quality websites in Japanese.

I particularly appreciate Tony’s comment:  “In the Western tradition, pages are designed from the outside in: the page size is decided first, followed by the size and placement of the main text block … [where as] In the Japanese tradition, it is the opposite: the size of the main text block (kihon-hanmen) is determined first … and the size of the page (trim size) is determined based on the proportions of the kihon-hanmen.

The second link is to a 4 June 2009 detailed English language document created by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium, with the accurate but boring title: Requirements for Japanese Text Layout .  This 163-page tome is an excellent primer for software developers and page designers who have already decided to publish something in Japanese, and want a detailed outline of the differences between Western and Japanese typesetting and page construction.  You are still going to need to hire or outsource the work to a fluent Japanese crew, but at least you will now understand why it is taking so long, and why they are charging you so much!

The W3C document will also be beneficial to western marketing professionals who want to adopt their corporate theme to the Japanese market and wonder if the corporate brochures and Annual Report can be easily translated into Japanese.

Tony Graham’s summary on how the Japanese format published pages:  Layout of Japanese documents

The W3C’s Note (and soon to become a standard) on Requirements for Japanese Text Layout

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6 September 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Self Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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