Swet Columns

A Grammar Book with Personality and Pizzazz

Reviewed by Jay Revelle
It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences, by June Casagrande. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2010. 207 pages. ISBN: 978-1-58008-740-7.


“Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence.” Thus begins grammar maven June Casagrande’s wonderfully witty and practical writer’s guide to the... more

A Delectable Assortment: Translators Showcase Advice, Writing Skills

By Rachael Ragalye

Translator Perspectives (Hon’yakusha no mesen). Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2013. 97 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-09-2.


Of all the things I expected to see in a volume titled Translator Perspectives, advice about what makes for a good udon noodle shop was not one of them. In his essay Oishii kake-udon... more

Hi-ho! Silver Linings

Tales of Old Japanese, by Hugh Ashton, with illustrations by Nikki McBroom. Published by Inknbeans Press 2012. E-book version in different formats from Smashwords, Kindle Store, Kobo, etc. Printed version from Amazon, etc. 79pp, ISBN 978-1-524-3028-7

Reviewed by Mark Smith

Hugh Ashton is well known to SWET members as a successful... more

Bracing Good Sense, Balm for the Tired Translator’s Soul

Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki

Translator Perspectives (Honyakusha no mesen). Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2012. 72 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-06-1.

This slim, concise volume recently out from the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) belongs in the collection of anyone remotely intrigued by what translation really is,... more

Effective Onscreen Editing: New tools for an old profession, 2nd edition

Reviewed by Kay Vreeland

Effective onscreen editing: new tools for an old profession. 2nd edition. 2010. By Geoff Hart. Diaskeuasis Publishing, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Printed version: 507 p. US$34 + shipping from Lulu ISBN 978-0-9783227-4-8; PDF version: 723 p. US$20 outside Canada ISBN 978-0-9783227-5-5

Originally reviewed for the... more

Tidbits among the Triumphalism

Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language, by Robert McCrum. (New York: Penguin Books, 2010). ISBN 978-0-141-02710-4.

Reviewed by Charles De Wolf

Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

Back in the early 1980s, when the weekly magazines here in Japan were publishing stories on the... more