Monthly Archives: January 2016

Thoughts on working part time for a month as a Japanese to English translator at Gengo.com

Lately I’ve been writing a few articles about my experiences working as a freelance translator for Gengo.com (here, here, and here). As it has been about a month now since I have started doing translations there, I thought I would write some more about what I’ve learned so far. Keep in mind I’m doing this… Read More »

Anime Film Review: The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ) [Miyazaki’s final film]

My family and I are big fans of Studio Ghibli films and have seen a good portion of them (roughly half of their 20 films). A few classics like Totoro and Spirited Away we’ve seen several times. For some time I was eager to see their 2013 animated film “The Wind Rises” (風立ちぬ), but wasn’t… Read More »

Japanese expression of respect: “足を向けて寝られない” (“ashi wo mukete nerarenai”)

Japanese is filled with quirky expressions which are commonly used for something deeper than their literal meaning. In this post I’d like to talk about an expression which I recently heard spoken by a Japanese person that caught me off guard. The expression is ”Xに足を向けて寝られない” which literally means “cannot sleep with feet/legs pointing towards X”, where “X”… Read More »

Unofficial English translation of the first few pages of Hibana (火花) by Naoki Matayoshi (又吉 直樹)

In December of last year I had published a review on Naoki Matayoshi’s book “Hibana”, which has been very popular in Japan, winning several awards including the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. As part of my training to get more into translation, I decided on translating the first few pages of this novel into English. The book does… Read More »

Japanese “oyakoukou” 親孝行 – being dutiful towards one’s parents

The Japanese word 親孝行 (oyakoukou) doesn’t really have an exact parallel in English, though in a dictionary you’ll find something like “being dutiful towards one’s parents” which is a good attempt to translate it. One person’s definition of this is along the lines of “respecting your parents, valuing them highly, and doing things for them”… Read More »

Japanese vocabulary list: Words used in Twitter

Some tim ago I had suggested changing your Twitter settings to use Japanese language as one more way to immerse yourself in Japanese on a daily basis. This helps you learn to not only recognize these words, but do it very quickly and eventually reach close to native-level speed. フォロー (foroo) – follow (can be used… Read More »

Booklive.jp: a great place to browse and buy Japanese E-books

In a previous post I had briefly mentioned the site Booklive.jp, but I wanted to talk in more detail about what this site has to offer. Booklive.jp is a website which sells Japanese E-books (電子書籍, “denshi shoseki”) from a wide variety of genres, including magazines, manga, business books, and adult material.  While the layout of the… Read More »

”テンション” (tenshon), a tricky Japanese loanword

About two years ago, I wrote a post on a few confusing loanwords in Japanese, and then around a year ago about how they are so common in the language. I’ve heard many new loanwords since writing those articles, and have been able to guess their general meaning often just from knowing the corresponding English word. But once in… Read More »

Researching terms during translation

As I gradually hone my translation skills through Gengo.com, I’m learning not just new words in Japanese, but more effective ways of researching word meanings and their proper translations in English. When translating in an environment where conveying the meaning of the original text accurately is critical, there are often cases where only one word or phrase would… Read More »