Swet Columns

Word Wise: Population Phrases

By Richard Medhurst

Japan’s declining birth rate and aging population affect its society in countless ways. The country is considering such issues as how to maintain enough workers to support its industries and social security expenses, while many of its smaller communities face potential extinction. Typically the changes Japan is going through are summed up in the phrase 少子高齢化, which may... 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

SWET Kansai Event Report: Juliet Winters Carpenter—Reflections on the Translation of Ryōma!

By Susan E. Jones

In October, 17 SWET members and interested others eagerly gathered at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto to hear illustrious translator Juliet Winters Carpenter talk about her latest work, a joint translation project with two other translators of Ryōma! The Life of Sakamoto Ryōma:  Japanese Swordsman and Visionary by historical novelist Shiba Ryōtarō. The Japanese... more

2017 SWET Financial Report

The SWET treasurer has submitted a (PDF) financial report of Tokyo and Kansai activities for 2017.

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Word Wise: Attention Please

注目 Chūmoku

By Richard Medhurst

I often see the phrase 注目を集める or its close counterpart 注目を浴びる translated to say that something is “attracting attention” or “drawing attention.” As 注目 means “attention” this popular rendering naturally follows. While it is not incorrect, and I use it myself at times, the English phrase is nowhere near as common in texts by native writers as... more

Punctuation Encounters and the J-E Translator

Reviewed by Lynne E. Riggs

Punctuation..? By User Design. 35 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9570712-2-3. £10.

Forty years trying to master the skills of clarity, consistency, and coherence have not made me a model copyeditor, yet. Reviewing the rules of correct usage set down in this slim volume tests my progress. Always distracted by the larger issues of accuracy and comprehensibility I face... more