Swet Columns

Six Simple Rules for No-Fail Texts and Signage

Wordsmiths in Japan are often concerned when the English texts they produce are ready for layout and design and want to explain to their clients the pitfalls involved. To support efforts to educate clients tackling English-language layout and design, SWET has prepared this article in conjunction with a Japanese-language companion article. These articles explain six best-practice rules for formatting English... more

英文表記、忘れてはならない「6つのルール」

英文を案内版やウェブページで表示する際に、編集やデザイン、その業務の担当者が忘れてはならない「英文表記のルール」があります。それを外れた英文を読んだ人は、見た目の不自然さや拙さに気が向いてしまい、肝心の伝えるべき内容がスムースに頭に入ってこない場合があります。そうならないために、ここで特に重要な6つの基本的ルールを紹介します。

これらのルールは、Chicago Manual of StyleJapan Style SheetJTA Writing and Style Manual 等に共通している標準的なフォーマットです。

1)英文には和文フォントを用いない

英文テキストは、すべて1バイトの単位で作成されています。一方、和文フォントは2バイト単位で作成され、欧文フォントとは構造が異なります。

そのため、1バイトの英文を和文フォントで表示したときに、見栄えが悪くなったりするばかりか、表記上の間違いが生じたり、文として意味をなさなくなることすらあるのです。

特に注意したいのは、欧文フォントで書かれた英文テキストを和文フォントのテキスト内にコピー&ペーストするケースです。その際、引用符(“  ”)、アポストロフィー(’)、ダッシュ(—)等が全角記号に誤変換されることがしばしば起きます。読み手は、誤った記号の使われ方をした文を目にして、内容以前に大きな違和感を抱くことでしょう。

欧文フォントの正しい句読記号 (例: Times New Roman)

“For if it is rash to walk into a lion’s den unarmed, rash to navigate the Atlantic in a rowing boat, rash to stand on one foot on top of St. Paul’s, it is still more rash to go home alone with a poet.” (Virginia Woolf, Orlando)

和文フォントの誤った句読記号 (例: Yu... more

The History of SWET

The late 1970s were years of growth and ferment in English-language book and periodical publishing in Japan. Book publishers Charles E. Tuttle, Inc., John Weatherhill, Kodansha International, and the University of Tokyo Press released dozens of new volumes in English annually. Japan Echo, the Japan Interpreter, and Japan Quarterly published high-quality Japanese journalism and writing in English translation. Four daily... more

Latest SWET Financial Report (and earlier)

Financial Report for 2020

Like everyone and everything in the world, SWET was affected by Covid-19 throughout 2020. Financially, the move to online meetings translated into reduced spending on venues (although we did manage to hold two face-to-face Tokyo meetings before the state of emergency kicked in) and increased spending on software subscriptions and other online-related items. The pandemic has also halted SWET... more

EVENT REPORT: SWET Zoom Workshops Experiment 2020

By Richard Medhurst

Talking to other translators and wordsmiths at events and workshops inspires new discoveries and ways of thinking about what we do, as well as providing the chance to get to know people in the business. We used to do this in person until the pandemic made real-world meetings impossible, and led us to reconsider online spaces. One benefit of... more

Word Wise: Getting It Out There

By Richard Medhurst

The Internet has made it possible to send whatever we want around the world with the stroke of a key, but what do we hope to achieve by doing so? Some basic uses for the Japanese word 発信 are to do with transmitting or sending various kinds of messages, such as an SOS when in danger. When translating... more