Japanese voice-over production made simple
As an established Japanese International voice-over agency, Matinée Multilingual has been providing a professional Japanese Voice-Over Service and Japanese Subtitling Service for over 25 years. We offer a selection of the very best Japanese voice-over talent, at a price you can afford.
Whether for documentary, advertising, eLearning, or IVR, we’ll help you select the best Japanese voice-over talent for the job. We can record wild or sync to picture, and deliver the audio back in the file format of your choice, same day, via FTP. We can also lay-back the audio onto your video, and re-work the captions where necessary.
To check the availability of our voice-artists and to confirm costs, please contact us using the quick Quote form opposite, and we'll respond within one hour. Or you can email email@example.com or call on +44(0)118 958 4934.
Featured Japanese Voiceover Talent
Japanese voice-over selection and quick quote in just 1 hour
1. browse the voice-over demos below and click PLAY to audition each casting sample
2. choose the voice(s) you like and click ADD to your Quick Quote, or DOWNLOAD a copy
3. complete the Quick Quote and we’ll check availability and costs, with a response in just 1 hour
A short history of the Japanese language
Experts are unsure about the early origins of the Japonic language family. Although written Japanese has been heavily influenced by Chinese, the spoken language isn’t related to any other languages. The most popular theory is that it is part of the Ural-Altaic family, along with Turkish, Mongolian and Korean.
The development of the language is usually split into the following periods:
Old Japanese (up to 1000 BCE) – during this time Japanese was considerably influenced by Chinese, through the spread of Buddhism.
Middle Japanese (1000 – 1700 BCE) – while the written language became more standardised, different dialects developed throughout the country. After the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1292, the Tokyo dialect became the spoken standard. Contact with the Portuguese at the end of the 16th century had a significant influence on the language; the Portuguese also compiled the first Japanese dictionary.
Modern Japanese (from 1700 BCE onwards) – when the American Admiral Perry visited Japan in 1868, he introduced the Japanese to English and other Western languages, and so began a flow of new loanwords. Read more
Which countries have Japanese as a national language?
Japanese has no actual official status in Japan, but is the country’s de facto national language.
How many people speak Japanese as their first language?
Around 130 million people speak Japanese as their first language, making it the ninth most commonly spoken native language in the world. The vast majority of these live in Japan, although there are significant communities of people in the United States, Brazil, Canada and Australia who speak Japanese as their first language.
It is spoken widely as a second language in Korea, Taiwan, parts of China and the Philippines – a hangover from Japanese occupation of this region during the Second World War.
Did you know…
- The Japanese writing system uses three different character sets: kanji (Chinese characters – around 40% of modern Japanese characters are based on these), hiragana and katakana. The latter two together are known as kana, and consist of 46 characters each.
- There are still many different dialects spoken in Japan. Some of the dialects used in the more isolated regions – such as Kagoshima – can be unintelligible to speakers from other parts of the country. The language spoken on the Ryūkyū islands is considered different enough by experts to be a separate branch of the Japonic language family.
- Different words and expressions are used in different social contexts, to reflect relative social positions (eg jobs, age), depending on who is speaking to whom. An honorific form of the language (keigo) is still commonly used in very formal situations.
The Japanese economy
The Japanese economy is the third largest in the world by nominal GDP. Japan is the world’s third largest manufacturer of automobiles, and has the largest electronics goods industry, with a focus on high-tech products.
Japan has few natural resources, so most of the raw materials necessary for its manufacturing industries are imported. Japan has one of the lowest rates of food self-sufficiency of all industrialised countries, importing around 60% of its food. Rice and fish are notable exceptions.
Japan is a member of the G8 and the World Trade Organisation.