Swet Columns

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

ChatGTP Chatter: A Literary Translator Meets the Terminator

By Charles De Wolf

Human beings have opinions and principles; they have preferences and tastes. Depending on their personalities, they may choose to make bold assertions or to err on the side of caution. Such is seen in all our endeavors, including, of course, those linguistic and literary. When a new translation of a renowned work appears, some critics will heap... more

A Quick Read for Self-Editing Tips and Tricks

Reviewed by Jennifer O’Donnell

The 10% Solution: Self-editing for the Modern Writer. By Ken Rand. 108 pages. ISBN. 978-1933846743

I can’t remember how I learned about The 10% Solution: Self-editing for the Modern Writer by Ken Rand, but since discovering it six years ago, it’s been my number one recommended book for translators. At 90 pages this is a tiny book with its cheap... more

A “Cook’s Tour” of Some Translation-Related Conferences in 2022

By Judy Wakabayashi

Here are some notes on several workshops and conferences I’ve attended over the past months (mostly online, and just those sessions I attended). The choice is inevitably biased toward my personal research interests and constrained by time zone differences. I hope some aspects might be of interest to other SWET members even if they are not involved in... more

Word Wise: 暗殺について


安倍元総理が銃撃で亡くなり、ひと月がたった。この驚愕のニュースについて、日本のメディアが「暗殺」と言わないことに若干の雑音があったが、議論にはならなかった。自分だったら「殺害」または「銃撃」と呼び、やはり「暗殺」はなじまな... more