Our language professionals use their wealth of expertise and experience to enable you to communicate clearly with your intended audience, no matter the situation. We consult with each of our clients to provide language solutions tailored to the scope and objectives of each project.
- Leeds, United Kingdom
- Stephen moved to Japan after graduating from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom in 1997. Captivated by Hokkaido, Stephen established North Star Language Services in Asahikawa in 2006 before moving the company’s office to Sapporo in 2021. In addition to providing translation and interpreting services for companies and communities throughout Japan, Stephen gives talks on topics such as the style of hospitality that appeals to overseas tourists, and works to promote Hokkaido and contribute to regional vitalization.
He has overseen many initiatives to multilingualize the tourism industry, including reconnaissance, multilingual translations of signage and creation of guidelines.
- It’s been over 23 years since I moved to Japan and fell in love with the language and culture. And yet, I never run out of new discoveries in Hokkaido. It’s an amazing place.
I want to share all the things that make Hokkaido so great with people around the world, in a way that correctly represents those things and shows the world how incredible this place is.
When you’re expanding your business into territory with unfamiliar languages and cultures, it can feel like you’re fumbling in the dark. At North Star Language Service, we are committed to illuminating the process like the star we’re named after.
- Asahikawa, Hokkaido
- An avid English student since her high school days, Makiko studied English in the British and American Studies program at a university for foreign studies in Chiba. To hone her English even further, Makiko spent a year in Melbourne, Australia after graduating. Keen to find a role where she could use English in Asahikawa, she began working for North Star Language Services in 2015. As a project manager, Makiko oversees and facilitates translation projects and edits the final drafts.
- In our work, no two jobs are the same. Every client has a different request, a different purpose and a different reason why they need a translation. I talk with each client and find out exactly what they need, and then suggest the process I think is best for their project. While there have been tremendous advances in machine translation in recent years, there’s no substitute for the human mind when it comes to capturing the message people want to get across and conveying it in other languages. All of us at North Star Language Services strive to provide services that make it easy for you to communicate your message to speakers of other languages.
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Julie began learning Japanese at high school in New Zealand, where Japanese is a popular school subject, and knew early on that she wanted to visit Japan and work in a profession where she could use the Japanese that she had learned. After teaching English as an ALT in a small town in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, she began working as a translator at North Star in 2012. She now works remotely from New Zealand. As the head of the Japanese to English translation team, she handles translations in a wide range of fields and trains new translators.
- In translation, a lot of different aspects need to be considered in addition to the words. You have to be aware of the style of language and common phrases that are used in each different field. You have to be aware of meanings of words that might not appear in the dictionary—I once visited a shop in Japan and saw a product name that is crude slang in English. You have to be aware of cultural norms and taboos and the current state of society in the country or countries you are writing for. And you often need to understand the psychology of the people who will read the text, so that you can sell your product or service, ensure that your explanation is understood or build strong relationships. These are things that machine translation cannot replicate, and this is the value our translation team provides.
- Aberdeen, United Kingdom
- Craig studied interpreting and translation from French and Spanish to English at university, and studied in France, Spain and Switzerland. After graduating, he moved to Hokkaido and was captivated by it. A huge fan of cycling, Craig once cycled all the way from Kagoshima to Sapporo, and found this to be a valuable opportunity to experience the unique culture and history of each region and meet amazing people.
To Craig, his interpreting and translation work is about providing clients with an in-depth understanding of an unfamiliar language and culture.
- While machine translation has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years, this technology ultimately cannot do more than taking words in one language and replacing them with their dictionary definitions in another. It cannot pick up the implications and intent behind those words. When you’re interacting with overseas countries, whether you’re a businessperson or a tourist, there are so many situations where communicating with people requires more than machine translations can provide. Our team uses its extensive skills and experience to make communication smoother and open up new possibilities for you.
- Okayama, Okayama Prefecture
- Sawako lived in the United States for three years as a child, and spent her high school years in Oman. This experience left her with a keen interest in a role that would connect people from different cultural backgrounds, so she sharpened her language skills by studying interpreting at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies. After graduating in 2012, Sawako initially worked for a company in Kobe, but wanted a slower pace of life to raise her children, so she moved to Asahikawa to work for North Star Language Services in 2018, first as a part-time employee and then as a full-time employee from 2019. Her main role is to check English translations.
- There are things I notice and phrases I use because of the fact that we have people from different cultural backgrounds. At North Star Language Services, we are here to convey your message accurately and impactfully in other languages. No matter the size of your project, multiple people work together and discuss various points of view to give you the best translation possible. I enjoy being able to be a part of a team providing services that machine translations cannot offer.