Swet Columns

A Grammar Book with Personality and Pizzazz

Reviewed by Jay Revelle It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences, by June Casagrande. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2010. 207 pages. ISBN: 978-1-58008-740-7.


“Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence.” Thus begins grammar maven June Casagrande’s wonderfully witty and practical writer’s guide to the good writing of that most basic structural element: the sentence. After... more

A Delectable Assortment: Translators Showcase Advice, Writing Skills

By Rachael Ragalye

Translator Perspectives (Hon’yakusha no mesen). Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2013. 97 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-09-2.


Of all the things I expected to see in a volume titled Translator Perspectives, advice about what makes for a good udon noodle shop was not one of them. In his essay Oishii kake-udon o mezashite, Kunieda Shirō tells us that the true test... more

Hi-ho! Silver Linings

Tales of Old Japanese, by Hugh Ashton, with illustrations by Nikki McBroom. Published by Inknbeans Press 2012. E-book version in different formats from Smashwords, Kindle Store, Kobo, etc. Printed version from Amazon, etc. 79pp, ISBN 978-1-524-3028-7

Reviewed by Mark Smith

Hugh Ashton is well known to SWET members as a successful technical writer and author.... more

Bracing Good Sense, Balm for the Tired Translator’s Soul

Reviewed by Anna Husson Isozaki

Translator Perspectives (Honyakusha no mesen). Tokyo: Japan Association of Translators, 2012. 72 pages. ISBN 978-4-906408-06-1.

This slim, concise volume recently out from the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) belongs in the collection of anyone remotely intrigued by what translation really is, and certainly in every professional's—first to savor, and then to show clients and everyone... more

Effective Onscreen Editing: New tools for an old profession, 2nd edition

Reviewed by Kay Vreeland

Effective onscreen editing: new tools for an old profession. 2nd edition. 2010. By Geoff Hart. Diaskeuasis Publishing, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Printed version: 507 p. US$34 + shipping from Lulu ISBN 978-0-9783227-4-8; PDF version: 723 p. US$20 outside Canada ISBN 978-0-9783227-5-5

Originally reviewed for the SWET Newsletter at publication of the 1st edition... more

Tidbits among the Triumphalism

Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language, by Robert McCrum. (New York: Penguin Books, 2010). ISBN 978-0-141-02710-4.

Reviewed by Charles De Wolf

Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

Back in the early 1980s, when the weekly magazines here in Japan were publishing stories on the often acrimonious debate concerning the origins of the Japanese language,... more