Swet Columns

Kyodo: Reuter vs. AP

by Doreen Simmons

Lovable Aunt Eva once again unsheathes her kindly old claws to tackle something on your behalf.

Dear Aunt Eva,

I am a Japanese translator with a doctorate in communications from an American university. Although I know that it is preferable to work from a foreign language into one’s own, I am often not able to... more

Locally-invented Idiolects at Work

by Doreen Simmons

Once again kindly Aunt Eva is here to cluck over your problems and give you a shoulder to cry on. You take her advice at your own risk, of course; only you can gauge your own situation.

Dear Aunt Eva,

My native tongue is U.K.ish, not U.S.ian—that much I will grant. But after fifteen years in Japan, nine of... more

Repetition in Japanese vs. English

by Doreen Simmons

Once again kindly Aunt Eva is here to cluck over your problems and give you a shoulder to cry on. You take her advice at your own risk, of course; only you can gauge your own situation.

Dear Aunt Eva,

Writers of good English eschew repetition, but writers of good Japanese seem to have a much greater... more

English Side of Meishi to Translator

by Doreen Simmons

The foreigner in Japan has, alas, long been seen as offering an opportunity for English conversation to those brave enough to make the attempt. This attitude dates back at least to Fukuzawa Yukichi, who as a young man eagerly tried out his Dutch on the first American he met. The result of this unsuccessful encounter... more

New Editor of Quarterly; Dumbing Down

by Doreen Simmons

Need a friendly ear to pour your troubles into? A shoulder to cry on? Somebody, anybody, to whinge at? Write to Aunt Eva, who has been through it all and can share your pain. The names are changed, but the situations are real.

Today, the palmy days of the quality publishing business in Japan are over; Aunt Eva... more

Interference by Overconfident Japanese

by Doreen Simmons

Need a friendly ear to pour your troubles into? A shoulder to cry on? Somebody, anybody, to whinge at? Write to Aunt Eva, who has been through it all and can share your pain. The names are changed but the situations are real.

Dear Aunt Eva:

I work as a checker and rewriter. I thought it was a good line of... more