Language Specialist, Japanese

Job post summary
Location Asia
Team Marketing and Growth

About the role

Shopify is a leading commerce-enablement platform with ambitions to grow our brand globally, requiring multilingual content efforts that can support this effort at scale. As a Language Specialist, you will work with our localization program managers and intl. content managers on projects spanning multiple product, channel and content verticals. You will be responsible for all linguistic aspects, elements and decisions for your language in collaboration with your language content manager.

International content and localization efforts at Shopify are centred around linguistic excellence, teamwork, and cutting-edge technology. We are responsible for the translation and cultural adaptation of a broad catalogue of customer facing content, from performance-based marketing collateral to original training programs and international brand awareness campaigns. We operate with the mandate that hyper local content, innovative marketing campaigns, relevant product communications, and press releases that appear in the biggest media outlets around the world are the mediums through which we can grow the Shopify business at scale globally.

Our work is not just about translation and localization; it is about providing our users with an experience that feels locally and topically relevant and fuels international growth with an ever expanding base of empowered partners and merchants.

A successful candidate for this role is a highly detail-oriented language professional who works autonomously in a fast-paced environment. You have a demonstrated ability to manage priorities and projects with the right mix of organizational and communication skills and the ability to nurture relationships with a broad set of internal stakeholders and partners. You have experience working as a member of an internationally dispersed team, and hold a high bar for exceeding customer expectations. You navigate ambiguity with grace and dive deep to resolve blockers. 

As a Language Specialist, you will work under the guidance of the Localization Programs Lead & your Team Lead, as well as in collaboration with Localization Program Managers, Content Managers, the Vendor Manager and our external vendors to ensure that our content in your language represents the Shopify brand perfectly in the target market/s. 


          Language Quality

  • Act as the center of excellence for your language quality, voice, style, tone and brand localization & internationalization..

  • Coordinate the creation (if needed) and maintenance of linguistic assets (term bases, style guides, translation memories, reference material) for the language/market of expertise, and in collaboration with the LPMs and the terminologist on our team.

  • Work with the rest of the growth marketing localization team, the in-country team, the integrated and growth marketers and other stakeholders to develop a Shopify brand in the target language that resonates with Shopify's overarching brand in English, while feeling local in the target market.

  • Conduct quality assurance for all localized content and product to ensure consistent messaging and proper functionality.

  • Conduct staging review in context (this includes our homepage, various landing pages, paid ads in text or multimedia form on platforms such as Celtra, and other types of assets).

  • Report issues to the Language Service Provider/s and/or fix issues.

  • On occasion, translate/localize/transcreate Shopify's website in the target language.

  • Ensure all website content is on brand in terms of style, quality, tone and terminology

  • Work with the SEO team to ensure that website content is optimized for SEO to maximize performance. Approve keywords.

          Relationship Building

  • Develop and maintain key relationships with external vendors and in collaboration with our Localization Vendor Manager

  • Assist with the onboarding of external vendors, regularly communicate with them to align and calibrate language, style and terminology, and maintain strong working relationships. 

  • Train and coach linguists, if and when needed.

  • Clarify quality expectations and maintain/optimize quality control processes. 

  • Develop and maintain key relationships with internal Shopify teams.

  • Work with various Shopify departments/groups to gather context on initiatives, events, new features & product changes that will need to be translated, in collaboration with our Global Enablement Manager and her team.

          Vendor Management

  • Answer daily/weekly linguistic queries from vendors

  • Monitor translation feedback from merchants, partners and internal employees 

  • Act as our vendor's escalation point of contact for translation feedback. The vendor in conjunction with the language specialist would be responsible for fixing the feedback reported

  • Liaise with developers, designers and content strategists to fix reported non-linguistic issues in collaboration with the Localization Program Managers 


  • Native language skills in the Japanese language;  preferably located in Japan but not a must

  • Fluent verbal and written English, ability to write clearly and concisely in both your mother-tongue and English

  • Proven experience (minimum 5 years) translating, transcreating, copywriting, localizing and reviewing content that transfers the original intent and meaning of the source material without necessarily coming across as a translation

  • Good understanding of localization, translation and terminology management processes

  • Working knowledge of industry-standard localization tools

  • Experience with TMS and/or CAT tools; Memsource preferred

  • Highly collaborative and innovative with well-demonstrated flexibility and adaptability

  • Keen eye for detail

  • Ability to prioritize & meet commitments under continuous deadline pressure & changing priorities

  • Ability and willingness to work independently, in a geographically dispersed environment

  • Ability to explain linguistic challenges, cultural questions and concepts to diverse stakeholders

  • Understanding of basic SEO concepts; more advanced knowledge is a plus

  • Boundless enthusiasm, appetite for learning and the ability to manage projects, expectations, and your own time

  • Knowledge or experience of Shopify as a platform is definitely an advantage

  • Must be able to travel globally on occasion

We’re always on the lookout for people who are excited to work on hard problems at a global scale in a friendly, collaborative environment. If this sounds familiar, we’d love to hear from you.

Shopify is now permanently remote, and working towards a future that is digital by default. Learn more about what this can mean for you.

Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity & inclusion enables us to truly make commerce better for everyone. We encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with disabilities, people from gender and sexually diverse communities, and/or people with intersectional identities. Please take a look at our Sustainability Reports to learn more about Shopify’s commitments to our communities, and our planet.

At Shopify, we understand that experience comes in many forms. We’re dedicated to adding new perspectives to the team - so if your experience is this close to what we’re looking for, please consider applying.

How we hire

At Shopify, we put a lot of care and time into who we hire. We believe that in order to build the best products, we need to build high impact teams. Our recruitment process centres around what we call the Life Story interview, a conversational-style interview where we get to learn more about you.
Learn more about our hiring process 

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