Swet Columns

Word Wise: Appealing to Your Better Judgment

魅力 Miryoku

by Richard Medhurst

Among the versatile words that Japanese copy writers reach for most, 魅力 and the adjectival form 魅力的 are seen particularly in tourism texts. Depending on context, translators could talk about “the appeal of traditional ryokan inns” (旅館の魅力), “the charms of Hakodate” (函館の魅力)... more

SWET 2018 Member Survey Report

Report by Winifred A. Bird

This February, as SWET approaches its 38th anniversary, we conducted an online member survey to get a better sense of your interests, your relationship with the organization, and your hopes for its future. Seventy-nine of you filled it out, a response rate of about 50 percent. A summary of the results follows.... more

Worth Waiting For

Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki

Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence. By Lisa Cron. 272 pages. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2012.  ISBN-10: 1607742454; ISBN-13: 978-1607742456.

Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story is the writing guide I was searching for during years of buying... more

Word Wise: Making Assessments

評価 Hyōka

By Richard Medhurst

Japanese words with distinct, similar meanings can be troublesome. This is especially true when they have small but crucial differences. The primary dictionary definitions of 評価 tell us that this word is used to decide the value of something or someone. This suggests English words like to “assess” or... more

Word Wise: Focusing on Translation

を中心に o chūshin ni

By Richard Medhurst

When choosing how to translate を中心に, there are two basic sets of options I regularly consider. If a product is described as 女性を中心に人気, this could be translated as “particularly popular with women,” “mainly popular,” “especially popular,” “primarily popular,” and so on.... more

Collect These Jewels

Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki

Translator Perspectives: Honyakusha no mesen 2015. Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2015, 137 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-11-5.
Translator Perspectives: Honyakusha no mesen 2016. Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2016, 59 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-13-9. 

“The essays are to inform and inspire... more