Swet Columns

Word Wise: Baffling by Design

整備 Seibi

By Richard Medhurst


There’s a Japanese Wikipedia article on 整備文, a term devised by Canadian author Iain Arthy to refer to the obfuscatory language deployed by elites in his book Oeragata no Nihongojuku 『政・官・財(おえらがた)の日本語塾』(1996). It singles out words like 検討, 施設, and ... more

2016 SWET Financial Report

The SWET treasurers have submitted a financial report of Tokyo and Kansai activities for 2016.

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

Romanizing Japanese: Polishing the Fine Points

By Lynne E. Riggs

Whether it’s a book title in a bibliography, a few lines of poetry, or a snippet of dialogue, romanization of Japanese in English text is a skill every wordsmith associated with Japan mobilizes now and then, and though it may seem easy, there are many intricacies the committed editor will want to polish. Close encounters... more

2015 SWET Financial Report

The SWET treasurers have submitted a financial report of Tokyo and Kansai activities for 2015.

2014 SWET Financial Report

The SWET treasurers have submitted a financial report of Tokyo and Kansai activities for 2014.