Articles

Kanji Core Meanings, Software Lexicons

by Lynne E. Riggs

Launching “SWET on Saturdays,” Jack Halpern told how one student of Japanese wound up creating a Japanese-English character dictionary and massive Chinese, Japanese, and Korean lexical databases now used to aid Internet search engines.

Starting with an encounter with a Japanese language textbook on an Israeli... more

Reading Japanese Advertising

by John L. McCreery

What does it mean to understand an ad? And what specifically does it mean to understand a Japanese ad? The ads we examine are more than an opportunity to learn about Japanese advertising; they are also an opportunity to learn something about the society in which those ads were produced.

When asked if I might be... more

The Heyday of Culture Books

by Lynne Riggs

Kim Schuefftan’s claim that he has been in Japan from Jōmon 3 is easily betrayed by his youthful smile and ruddy complexion. A few gray hairs and stories of books now considered classics in the world of publishing on Japan advise us that he is a senpai par excellence. Actually, he came to Japan in 1963. Starting out as a... more

What’s in a Page?

by Lynne E. Riggs

FAQ corner
Setting Your Units of Charge

What’s in a page? 250 English words, 350 words, 200 words, 25 lines, 2000 characters, 400 characters, 200 characters, 1200 characters . . .

All of these, and others, are commonly encountered “standard” pages, by one measure or other. Translators, editors, proofreaders,... more

How Splitting Wood With an Axe is a Lot Like Translating

by Richard Sadowsky (professional translator living on Awaji Island)

  • Thin pieces don't have to be hit hard, just in the right spot.
  • You get thirsty after doing it for a while.
  • Some wood is soft, some is hard.
  • It helps to know which is which.
  • A piece has to be stood up and positioned for each swing.
  • If you've... more