If you think this website is a language service provider, translation agency, or a publisher, then I am afraid you are sorely mistaken.

This is an educational website!

This is an educational website—for Japanese to English translators and editors, game developers, and anyone interested in the entertainment localization industry. Or at least that’s the intention. Welcome!

I am Jennifer O’Donnell

I am Jennifer O’Donnell, a Japanese to English translator and localization director. I live in Osaka, Japan and work for a Japanese video game company.

I have worked in game localization since 2018 and was a freelance translator and interpreter for 2.5 years prior, working with manga, anime, light novels, marketing, websites, tourism, and business.

When I started as a translator there was practically no guidance or information on how to be a good translator or the industry in general.

My mission is to educate businesses, publishers, game developers, aspiring translators, and the general public, in order to improve the entertainment localization as a whole.

You can contact me here.


– My Lectures and Workshops –

Translation Is Not Just Words | Jennifer O’Donnell | TEDxWasedaU

I had the honor of being invited to speak at TEDxWasedaU in 2022. My talk was on how translation is more than two languages, but also about how you can learn a skills from the people around you and doing the thing you’re learning.


MSU Japanese Pop Culture and Transmedia Workshops

I’ve been a guest speaker at Michigan State University two years in a row in 2022 and 2023.

2022: Persistent Pitfalls in Media Translation and How to Avoid Them

2022 MSU Japanese Pop Culture and Transmedia Workshop Translator Roundtable [YouTube]

2023: Effective Self-Editing for Terrific Translations

2023 MSU Japanese Pop Culture and Transmedia Translation Workshop Roundtable [YouTube]

The recording of the Translator Roundtable is available on YouTube though!


Let’s Get Down to Business: Finding clients, writing cover e-mails, and readying resumes

This workshop from 2020 was for an online community on how aspiring translators can get their foot in the door, focusing on the freelance-side of “freelance translation”.


Education for Literary Translation with NOTIS

This talk was an in-person event with myself and Tim Gregory, an Arabic literary translator.


– My Articles –

The Japan Times

I write for the Japan Times newspaper since January 2022. These are mostly articles for Japanese-English bilingual people, but I also sometimes write about important translation topics, such as crediting in entertainment.


IGDA Articles

I volunteer and write for the IGDA (International Game Developers Association), specifically the Localization SIG (special interest group). Mostly writing articles aimed at game developers to educate them about game localization to help them make the right decisions for their games.


J-En Translations Articles

You might or might not have noticed, but I’ve written over 170 articles on entertainment translation on this website alone. My articles cover everything from tips for aspiring and experienced translators to develop their skills, surviving in the translation industry, interviews with other localizers, and general thoughts.


– Podcasts I’ve Been a Guest On –

J-EN Translations: Chatting About Learning Japanese, Translation & More w. Jenn O’Donnell | Japan Station 86

March 1, 2022 – I discussed my career in general, finishing with some discussions on translations I really like and why.


Krewe of Japan Podcast – Careers in Japanese: Translation & Localization ft. Jennifer O’Donnell

May 29, 2021 – I talked with Doug & Jenn about my career, challenges I had to overcome, and how Twitter played an interesting role in my journey to becoming a video game localizer.


How to Japanese Podcast – Jenn O’Donnell – Mindful Study, Translating/Localizing, Job Hunting in Japan

May 16, 2021 – An in-depth interview about how I studied Japanese and became a translator.


Jennifer O’Donnell and Cassiel Merricat | Translator Tea Times Two Podcast

May 20, 2020 – Cassiel (someone I greatly admire in the industry) and I discuss how we got into translation and about misconceptions about the industry in general.