SWET’s Presence at IJET-25 in Tokyo

On June 21-22, 2014, the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) held its 25th annual International Japanese-English Translators’ Conference (IJET) at Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan. A total of 560 people registered—the most in IJET’s history. The SWET Steering Committee thought it the perfect opportunity to advertise our organization to fellow wordsmiths who had gathered from Europe, Australasia, and the Americas.

JAT graciously provided SWET a table to use next to its own in the lobby. Here, SWET had its latest publication, Wordcraft, on display for sale along with the Japan Style Sheet, past newsletters, and T-shirts. We had a SWET poster commissioned and updated the SWET flyer to include a brief Japanese explanation (these will also be used at future events to increase our presence). Many IJET participants visited to pick up a flyer and ask about our organization. A few who already knew us came by just to say how much they used and liked the Japan Style Sheet, which certainly made us very proud!

Since SWET members overlap with members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Japan and the Yamaneko Honyaku Club, a children’s book translation group, we asked them to share our table. Both associations had samples of Japanese and English children's books that their members had translated on display for browsing. Many people who were interested in children’s books came for advice and inspiration.

On the second day, a SWET/SCBWI lunch was held, where more than 50 people, SWET/SCBWI members and friends alike, gathered to network and make new acquaintances.

For those of us who staffed the table and lunch, one of the distinct pleasures was being able to touch base with SWET members both old and new. Members came to pick up their copies of Wordcraft and have a bit of chat. SWET Tokyo members got a chance to connect the names and faces of Kansai members, and vice versa. Also, a number of former members stopped by to get reacquainted (or in a few cases, rejoin). It really did give us a renewed sense of the breadth and history of SWET as an organization.

In addition, several SWET members presented at IJET-25:
Christopher Blakeslee—Speech Recognition for 3P Translator Enhancement
Alice Gordenker—Writing and Translating for Museums and Artists
Sako Ikegami—Teen Angst: Painful, Moving in Any Tongue (6/21); Career Development for New Medical/Pharmaceutical Translators (6/22)
Marian Kinoshita & George Bourdaniotis—J-E Translation Workshop: Getting into the Nitty-Gritty
Catherine Nakamichi—Taking the Leap from Freelance to In-House
Richard Sadowsky—JAT Tools Demonstration: Typinator and Keyboard Maestro for Mac

We’d like to say a big heartfelt thank you to IJET-25 chair Cathy Eberst, the organizing committee, and JAT president Marian Kinoshita (herself a SWET member) for letting SWET have a presence at this conference, and to SCBWI Japan and Yamaneko Honyaku Club for working together with us at the table and lunch. Here’s to hoping we can continue similar activities at future translation and wordsmith events.

George Bourdaniotis, Sako Ikegami, Chikako Imoto, Richard Sadowsky, Wendy Uchimura