Romanizing Japanese: Polishing the Fine Points

By Lynne E. Riggs (Republished from June 2016)

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... more

Workshop: Cultural Translation and the Information Gap

by Richard Medhurst

Japanese and English readers come from different cultural backgrounds. References that are familiar to the former, whether from tradition or popular culture, may baffle the latter. The SWET workshop I led on May 17, 2017 tackled cultural translation for the general reader, considering how to handle the “information gap” between the two kinds of readers with the aim... more

SWET Toolbox: Review of JMOOC Online Classes

By Winifred A. Bird

MOOCs or “massive open online courses” are a new form of distance learning intended to bring university-level education to the far-flung masses by capitalizing on widespread Internet access. Typically, courses are free or low-cost and involve a combination of video lectures, reading material, online discussion forums, tests, and other assignments. Since the concept emerged in 2008, Stanford,... more

SWET Toolbox: Writing Strategies and Inspiration

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2006, 295 pages. ISBN: 9780316014984

Reviewed by Richard Medhurst

Appropriately named for the SWET Toolbox column, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer is a series of short pieces on becoming a better wordsmith from pepping up sentences to forming habits that will... more

SWET Toolbox: Resources for Writing in Your Non-Native Language

By Winifred A. Bird

As writers, translators, and editors, most of us feel confident both writing in our native language and repairing other people’s clunky prose; the click of words falling into their proper places becomes, over time, as unmistakable as it is satisfying. Venture into a foreign language, however, and the process is not so pleasant—at least for me. Although... more

SWET Toolbox: Two Apps to Help You Transcribe Audio Files

Reviewed by Winifred A. Bird

As a journalist, I love having transcribed versions of important interviews on file. I find scanning a Word document for key information much easier than delving back into an old audio file, and I like being able to mark up the text and return to it months or even years later. I’m much less enthusiastic about... more