First of all, I want to wish you all the best of health and happiness for 2017.
2016 was the year of tea.
I have focused on assembling an assortment of the most reliable, natural and authentically Japanese teas and offered them through my web store.
I have also been active as an instructor in tea ceremony and have taught Japanese residents on a weekly basis, in addition to conducting introductory workshops for foreign travellers and tourists in Dutch and English.
During these sessions, I have experienced that merely translating information from one language to another is not enough. Where this is especially the case with tea ceremony, I have learned that cultural concepts inherent to one language are not evidently understood when translated to another. It takes deep understanding of the matter in the source language, and demands an understanding of cultural concepts in the target language in order to provide an understandable approach or explanation with familiar examples.
I believe that on most occasions the essence of information is not transferred sufficiently between languages, not because of a lack of translation, but due to a lack of understanding about the cultural background of either source or target language.
Especially when the number of foreign visitors to Japan is growing exceedingly each year, insufficient attention is given to localizing translated information. This leaves the target audience oblivious to the message’s central meaning, and thus fails to present an authentic representation of the conferrer’s intentions.
For 2017 I have chosen to grow.
I have rephrased The Tea Crane’s motto to: ‘Japan’s tradition in a cup of tea.’
I strongly believe that tea is at the essence of Japanese culture and tradition. It also allows us a temporary relief from worldly stress and boundaries and provides a moment to relax. Therefore, I will continue to serve you as your main source of authentic Japanese tea.
From this month forward, I will in addition provide translation and localization services to foreign businesses and travellers, as well as to Japanese businesses and nationals looking to reach an abroad audience. In the same respect, I will also offer my services on language education, writing, localized design, assistance with accommodation of services locally, and related managerial activities for the benefit of travellers and businesses to Japan.
It is my belief that your target audience has the right to fully grasp the essence of your message, even when the cultural background or language is different. The services I provide are based on a cultural and linguistic understanding of Japanese, as well as English and Dutch, accumulated and nurtured over the years of study, residence and participation in cultural circles in Japan, and during my upbringing in Europe. Based on a thorough understanding of both cultures and languages, I aim to provide a localized approach to successfully convey the essence of your message.
Would you prefer a mere translation of your word from language to language? Or will you choose to convey your message from heart to heart?
----- Your Japan specialist, Tyas Sōsen
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