Swet Columns

EVENT REPORT: Owning Your Personal Brand

By Monique Bae

Tucked in the back of the bustling Book House Cafe in Jinbocho on March 29 were 10 people enjoying a two-hour workshop held by Ruth P. Stevens, a founding member of SWET and a globally recognized marketing professional and adjunct professor at NYU Stern. In “Building Your Personal Brand as a Freelance Professional,” Stevens provided tips on how to... more

Highlights of 2023

While we have been busy crafting with words, learning about ChatGPT and the Japanese government’s new invoice system, keeping our equipment up to date, meeting deadlines, and keeping abreast of our email, now we find that another year is upon us.       SWET started 2023 in its usual laid-back fashion, but the questions arising and alarms sounding over large language... more

Navigating Gendered Language and Inclusivity in 2023

The SWET Talk Shop held as a Zoom session on May 13, 2023 focused on how linguistic practices in Japanese and English have evolved to become more gender inclusive. Linguistics professor Claire Maree of Melbourne, trans rights activist and neuroscience researcher Tanomi in Okinawa, and moderator Emily Balistrieri in Osaka, discussed the sobering real-life implications of not using inclusive language.... more

EVENT REPORT: A Nostalgic and Productive 31st IJET

Marian Kinoshita

On June 24 and 25, the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) hosted its first International Japanese-English Translation Conference (IJET) since 2019. The event was held at Tokyo Big Sight and welcomed some 230 translators and interpreters from all over the world. With nearly all sessions focused on the conference theme, “On Stage or Backstage—翻訳通訳の可視性,” participants discovered myriad ways to... more

No More Kōsei Trauma: A Japan Wordsmith’s Glossary

An oft-overlooked ailment among wordsmiths working with Japanese clients is “kōsei trauma.” The classic scenario begins with a client or manager breezily asking for kōsei (“proofreading”) of a manuscript, insisting it will only be a “light check” of the English. The good-natured wordsmith agrees and is then handed the Japanese text as well and told to feel free to check... more

Event Report: SWET Talk Shop via Zoom—Chatting about ChatGPT, April 23, 2023

Note: This event report was produced with the help of two tools from OpenAI, a prominent player in the field of artificial intelligence. Its Whisper program was used to transcribe the Zoom session, and GPT-4 was used to summarize the transcript (special thanks to Tom Gally for adeptly managing these tasks). The GPT-4 summary was then edited by SWET volunteers.... more