Swet Columns

Word Wise: More You, But in a Good Way

らしい

by Richard Medhurst

When people advise “be yourself,” they certainly don’t want you to follow your worst instincts. The aim is to become more “you” in a good way, fulfilling the potential within you. There is a similar aspirational idea in 自分らしい in Japanese. You are “like yourself” in a positive manner. It is one of... more

Teaching Translation

SWET Presentation by Susan E. Jones
Sept. 25, 2016
Report by Don Todt

If you’re a female college student in Japan who’s interested in becoming a translator, Susan E. Jones wants you prepared.

In fact, she’s so intent on accomplishing this goal that she’s spent the last ten years developing a course in teaching translation at Kobe College... more

Writing Strategies and Inspiration

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2006, 295 pages. ISBN: 9780316014984

Reviewed by Richard Medhurst

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer is a series of short pieces on becoming a better wordsmith from pepping up sentences to forming habits... more

Word Wise: Etc.?

など、など、等

Richard Medhurst

Apprentice translators from Japanese to English soon encounter the など issue. Lists are typically followed by a など, and they may pop up with alarming frequency. Excessive use of “etc.” in English would be considered bad style, but Japanese follows different rules and we must deal with it.

It... more

Essential Weapon for Your Editing Armory

Reviewed by Clare Midgley

Effective Onscreen Editing: New Tools for an Old Profession. 3rd edition. By Geoff Hart. Pointe-Claire, Quebec: Diaskeuasis Publishing, 2016. Printed version: 518 pages, US$33 + shipping from Lulu, ISBN 978-1-927972-04-5; PDF version: 827 pages, US$28 outside Canada, ISBN 978-1-927972-05-2; EPUB version:... more

Word Wise: Covering All the Bases

by Richard Medhurst

When Japanese companies, politicians, or other authority voices seek to reassure, one word they frequently reach for is 徹底. Sometimes it forms an adjective, as in 徹底的な調査, “a thorough investigation.” Depending what it is modifying, “complete,” “comprehensive,” “meticulous,” or “painstaking” are also... more