Swet Columns

Word Wise: Typically Troublesome

By Richard Medhurst

What is the ultimate bugbear translation term? If there was a vote, 代表的 might well be in the running. Both it and synonymous variations of を代表する are scattered across Japanese texts at a rate that can vex translators who want to keep their writing fresh.

The way 代表的 covers a broad range of meaning from neutral description through to... more

Word Wise: According to Habit

By Richard Medhurst

While it is handy to have default translations for terms, a little variety can refresh both writer and reader. The phrase によると is common in Japanese and commonly rendered by translators as “according to” in English.

With a company or public figure, it may be possible to use “stated” or “announced,” when the context is clear or easily checked,... more

EVENT REPORT: Brainstorming for SWET’s 40th Anniversary

On the evening of Wednesday, June 19, six SWET members gathered in Jinbōchō, Tokyo, for a brainstorming session about plans for celebrating SWET’s upcoming 40th anniversary. To start off with, we discussed the proposed date: SWET’s inaugural meeting was held on November 15, 1980, and in 2020, the 15th falls on Sunday. We agreed that mid-November 2020 sounded optimal,... more

EVENT REPORT: Press Trips and Language Tips for Travel Media

By Rob Goss

On March 20, 2019, twelve people, including five first-timers, attended the latest SWET Travel Writing Meetup in Tokyo at Book House Cafe, Jinbocho, for a presentation by photographer Phil Ono about the handling of style issues in place-name signage used around the country and a presentation by travel writer Rob Goss about press trips for travel writers and... more

Word Wise: Second Appeal

By Richard Medhurst

I hear you soon find out who your true friends are when you appeal to them for help. Meanwhile, アピールする is one of the katakana false friends that I seem to meet on a regular basis. It is connected to the English verb “appeal” in that it is seeking positive action or judgment from others, but direct replacement... more

2018 SWET Financial Report

The SWET treasurer has submitted a (PDF) financial report of Tokyo and Kansai activities for 2018.

... more