Point on the graph: direct-client rates for J2E translation

A job offer was recently posted to the Honyaku mailing list, looking for a translator for a book by a Japanese researcher into English. The offered rate was ¥7,600 per 200 English words. That works out to ¥38 per word, or according to the XE.com Universal Currency Converter, US $0.42/word at today's exchange rate (31 […]

Yet to feel effects of recession

Living in a sleepy Okinawan town, and dealing with clients 1,000 miles or more away, it's hard for me to get a gut-level sense of what this recession will mean for my Japanese-to-English translation business, and for the J2E translation industry as a whole. So far, I haven't felt any ill effects from the recession. […]

Localization: Just “translating the words” doesn’t cut it

This month I've been getting ready to make the trip to IJET-20 in Sydney, Australia. I booked my flight to Australia online via Jetstar. Using amazing high-tech IP-geolocation techniques, Jetstar figured out that I was in Japan and decided to treat me to its Japanese-language site. Fair enough; but if you're going to foist off […]

Serendipitous misinterpretations of English loanwords in Japanese

This is probably going to give me away as a hopeless language geek (I'd been hiding it so well until now, too!), but I find it fascinating when language speakers borrow a word from another language, and due to insufficient understanding of the loaning language misinterpret it — but in a way that makes sense. […]

Ministry of Kitchen Sinks

A lot of Japanese government agencies have English names that are more … descriptive … than the Japanese. Probably the worst offender is the 文部科学省, which has the quite unwieldy official translation of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This is a real pain when you're constrained for space, such as when translating […]