A list of useful resources and interesting articles for Japanese to English media translators.

If you’re interested in books on translation and translation business
then check out Book Recommendations for Japanese English Translators.


– Jump to Resources –

Media Dictionaries
Game Resources
Manga Resources
Literature Resources
Translation Organizations
Freelance Life


Media Dictionaries

Yakuaru — J-E glossary for Media Translators

Terms found in manga, anime, novels, music, hentai and MORE! As well as how they have been translated in different mediums and contexts.


Living Japanese Slang Dictionary

Dr. Wes Robertson (a Japanese Sociolinguist) collects Japanese slang and now he’s compiled it into a slang dictionary!

This focuses more on the meanings of the Japanese and doesn’t always have the equivalent English term. (Although this is a new resource so will probably be updated in the future.)


The Jaded Network – SFX Dictionary

A dictionary of Japanese to English SFX commonly found in manga.


ピクシブ百科事典 (The Pixiv Encyclopedia)

A collection of random Japanese memes and otaku cultural references found in online manga.

There is also an English edition: The Pixiv Encyclopedia. (Not all terms from the Japanese site will be on the English site.)


Numan – 用語集 (Otaku Glossary)

A Japanese online magazine with short articles on the latest slang found in otaku circles, as well as news on the latest anime, manga, light novels, games, and dramas.


Waraeru Japanese Dictionary

Japanese only dictionary of common terms found in comedy. Each entry has in-depth explanations of their meaning and origins.


Punpedia – English Pun Glossary

Ever translating a joke and you need a pun but can’t think of the best word for the situation? This is the website for you.


地名辞典 (The Place Name Dictionary)

A dictionary of place names in Japan. Great if you have an obscure place name that you have no idea how to read!

Here’s a similar website: 全国都道府県地名読み方調べ

Japanese to English Dictionary


Resources for Games

The Game UI Database

An English only database of screenshots from a wide selection of games. Great when translating UI text and want to check commonly used terminology in English.


The Fighting Game Glossary

A collection of terms from a wide variety of Japanese fighting games.


Kakuge – 格闘ゲーム用語事典 (JP Fighting Game Glossary)

A Japanese only list of fighting game terminology with definitions.


Kumahana – Arcade and Fighting Game EN-JP Glossary

This is a short list of common controller terms from English to Japanese fighting/arcade games.

Japanese Fighting Games


Resources for Manga

Comics and Graphic Novel Conventions for Proofreaders

This is a paid for recording of a webinar. It focuses on proofreading for western comics, but a lot of the tips can be applied to proofreading manga translations as well.


Blambot’s Comic Book Grammar & Tradition

A great guide for translators, editors and letterers who are working with manga! Standards and best practices for formatting and punctuation. These focus on western comics but many of these best practices can be applied to manga too.


Lettering Tutorials

If you’re interested in getting into manga lettering then you should check out Sara Linsley’s lettering tutorials.

Sara also offers Indesign scripts to make lettering easier: Indesign Scripts.


Blambot’s Lettering Tips

Blambot’s guides and advice for amazing lettering in English comics!


Manga Fonts

Sara Linsely also provides her own fonts for manga letterers! They’re free but be sure to send her some $$$ for all the hard work she put into making them!

Japanese Manga


Resources for Literature

The Japan Style Sheet, published by SWET

A free online style guide for writing about Japan and Japanese words in English.


Be a better translator: 10 tips to take you to the next level

Ten things to think about when working on your craft.


How to Pitch Publishers

A free recording of a webinar going over the best practices for pitching translation proposals to publishers, including, but not limited to, reader’s reports, sample translations, query letters, and in person communication.

Japanese Novels


Translation Organizations

IGDA – Localization SIG

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is a non-profit group of game developers from all over the world. The localization special interest group focuses on game localization and translation.

Membership: $60/1 year or $100/2 years


Japan Association of Translators (JAT)

Group of Japanese translators working in a wide range of fields.

You do not need to be a member to attend JAT events. (But non-members do have to pay a fee.)

Membership: ¥10,000/1 year or ¥19,000/2 years


Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators (SWET)

Group for writers, editors, and translators in Japan with a focus on literary translation and literature about Japan. This group has been going for 40 years! It includes a lot of veteran literary translators.

You do not need to be a member to attend SWET events. (No additional fee either!)

Membership: ¥6,000/1 year


Resources for Freelance Life

Translation Tests and You

Although written from the perspective of games, this article has some great tips for how to handle translation tests that would be applied to any media translation test.


How to Optimize LinkedIn for Freelance Translators

Tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile so you get more attention from possible clients or connections.


How to Say No

Email templates for politely declining work.


Working from home: 3 amazing secrets to boost productivity

Tips on working from home in a healthy way that maintains work-life-clarity and improves work productivity.

Freelance life surfing while working