The thoughts reflected in this piece stem from over 10,000+ hours of Japanese-language E-Discovery related projects based in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Washington, DC. As a lawyer licensed to practice in the United States, I’m also culturally and linguistically fluent in English and Japanese. I work directly with legal counsel, litigation support teams, paralegals and various E-Discovery software systems, including machine translation software. Most importantly I am deeply embedded within the multi-language review teams that carefully sift through the voluminous records that make up the corpus of electronic evidence that assist counsel in developing their factual understanding of their clients’ case posture. Read the article here
Before I joined The CJK Group to organize foreign language document reviews in response to US-based electronic discovery, I often heard that the western world gets confused when it comes to the Japanese language. As a native Japanese speaker, this was initially hard for me to process. But now, after having spent several years in the E-Discovery industry, I understand why. In this article, I will examine two perplexing Japanese terms with a rich and convoluted history. It will not discuss any client-specific information but is rather an analysis of key Japanese terminology and its use in history and across time. I find this fascinating not only as it relates to linguistics but also as it intersects with advanced machine learning tools used in the E-Discovery industry.
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The Dawn of Machine Translation
Machine translation (MT) has come a long way since its inception, from an obscure technology whose shortcomings nearly caused it to be dropped, to its use in thousands of communication applications worldwide. It has enabled the globalization of businesses on a scale and at a speed that could never have been envisaged even 30 years ago.
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