Wordcraft: English Writing, Editing, and Translation in Japan
In 1991, SWET published its second book: Wordcraft: English Writing, Editing, and Translation in Japan, an anthology of articles of enduring value originally published in the Newsletter.
This series of five essays addresses aspects of professionalism, particularly in a Japanese context, among writers, editors, translators, and those in allied professions. These opinion pieces were contributed to the Newsletter by (in order of appearance) Lynne Riggs, Suzanne Trumbull, Mark Schreiber, Fred Uleman, and again Mark Schreiber.
- What it Means to Be a Professional
- What Makes a Translator Professional?
- Avoiding the Sensei Syndrome
- All You Need Is Love
- Professionalism Is a Service
Problems and Solutions
The Logomagus (a.k.a. Suzanne Trumbull) writes on the use and abuse of the English tongue. Each article focuses on a particular problem, illustrated with examples from the public prints both in Japan and overseas.
- Who's on First? ("Untethered words and floating phrases)
- Keeping Count (Disagreement in number)
- Gilding the Lily (Redundancy)
- Getting it Write Wright Right (misspelling, typos, etc.)
- The Balancing Act (Parallel construction)
- Laying it on the Line (transitive and intransitive verbs)
- Garbled Grammar
- Who(m) Did that Bell Toll For? (who and whom)
- A Word to the Wise (principle where it should be principal, etc.)
- The Less Said, the Worse (less and fewer)
- The Mystery of the Misplaced Apostrophe (It's, Its)
"Rough Words," A Newsletter column by Jiho Sargent, comments wryly on the garbled English generated by native speakers of Japanese or by native speakers of English working in Japan who through overexposure to "Janglish" have become desensitized to the nuances of their own language.
The Publishing Hexpert
Writing collectively as the Publishing Hexpert (PH), experienced professionals in the fields represented by SWET members answer specific questions sent to the Newsletter. Many of the answers, particularly to questions regarding typography, are the work of Becky Davis.
Over Their Shoulders
In the series "Over Their Shoulders," several translators render into English short Japanese passages typical of various genres of writing to illustrate how different people come up with different right answers to the same problem. Each set of translations is prefaced by a short introduction giving information on the original Japanese text and, in random order, the names of the translators. The Japanese text, input for the book by Susan Murata and Fred Uleman, will be found at the end of each set of translations.
While other translators may wish to read the passage in Japanese and study the translators' comments on how they arrived at their versions of the text, even reading the translations alone is an object lesson in how different ways of working and perceptions of the target reader yield different finished products.
- Social Commentary
- Short Fiction
- Religion and Politics
- New-Product Announcement
- Urban Architecture
The Book Mavin
- English Language Dictionaries
- Translation References
- Style, Usage, and Grammar
- Design, Typography, and Production
We regret that printed copies of Wordcraft are out of stock. SWET hopes to make selected parts of this publication available on its website for those who join SWET. If you are interested in parts of the above contents, please write to us c/o the address for placing orders.
Wordcraft copyright by Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators, 1990.