Niceties of Translating Specialized Content: The Beni Museum Experience

日本語でのZoom: 専門用語をどう英訳したか

With Shimada Miki and Yagihara Mika (Beni Museum), Lynne Riggs and Julie Kuma

専門用語をどう英訳したか: 紅ミュージアムの例

SWET/CoJ Talk Shop via Zoom
With Shimada Miki and Yagihara Mika (Beni Museum) and Lynne Riggs and Julie Kuma (Center for Intercultural Communication)

Moderator: Iwaseki Tomoko and Sakai Motoki (The Creation of Japan/CoJ)

Language: This event was held in Japanese
Date: June 24 (Thurs.), 2021
Time: 10:00–12:00 JST (meeting opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Round table first hour; Q&A second hour

Specially planned to respond to the needs of local stakeholders and craft organization promoters, this event was held in Japanese.

How do Japanese-to-English translators and editors present information about Japanese culture—especially when it is very specialized—in an easily understandable, accessible fashion? The experience of translating the catalog for the collection of the Beni Museum in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo in 2020 will give a glimpse of the kinds of problems faced and how they were resolved. The museum introduces the traditional manufacture of rouge from beni (safflower) petals and the history of Japanese makeup/cosmetics from antiquity to the postwar era, along with the culture of the times, the containers used, and the way they were advertised. The catalog includes a detailed list of the 400-some works in the collection.

Shimada and Yanagihara will answer questions about how they worked to enhance the translation and then to edit and proofread their text. Kuma and Riggs will share their perspective as translation-revision and editorial advisors. We hope this look at a specific experience will encourage participants to introduce examples from their own work and specialties and share their questions about dealing with difficult-to-transmit language.

Copies of the Beni Museum catalog are available at the museum.