Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Insisting on the Hard Way

Another delay, but I think next week will see some chance to get a rhythm going.

I just finished this huge project that ate up these last 2 weeks. Not sure how much I can say about it, but I think I can say that I spent many hours reading mostly terrible translations of Japanese phrases into English. There were some really good ones as well, but even those were 99% of the time clearly off the mark.

I really don't know why Japanese businesses are seeking out Japanese people to translate Japanese into English. As I've learned in studying Japanese (and heard from others who are more proficient in the language than I), translating into a second language is a recipe for disaster. There are a few people that can do it without many errors, but there will always be errors. Perhaps in languages with a common root it's not so bad, but when you're going from something as broad as the East to the West or the West to the East, you need native fluency on your side.

I've thought about this a lot lately (especially after reading this article). With all that Japan is doing to prepare for its cosmopolitan debute in 2020, hopefully they'll realize that when they want to communicate with the world, breathe out with Westerners, breathe in with Japanese.