Category Archives: translation

Japanese expression ありそうでなかった (ari sou de nakatta), and some tasty soy sauce

Whenever I am at around Japanese food products, I always try to read the labels to learn new words, especially since there are many food-specific words and expressions that you won’t normally hear in daily conversation. The other day I was reading the label for a “Butter Soy Sauce” product (バターしょうゆ) and came across some… Read More »

Japanese book review: “文藝年鑑” (Literature Yearbook) [an important guide for acquiring rights to publish Japanese works]

In the process of researching how to obtain official legal permission to translate and publish certain Japanese authors, I discovered the book “文藝年鑑” (bungei nenkan), which can be translated as “Literature Yearbook”. In this post I’d like to review this important reference guide, especially useful to translators and those deeply interested in Japanese literature. (By… Read More »

Japanese loanword spotlight: 「ナーバス」(naabasu) [It doesn’t always mean “nervous”]

Loanwords from other countries, called gairaigo (外来語), make up a significant part of the Japanese language, and learning their nuances is a key part of being truly fluent in Japanese. Many of these words, for example seetaa(セーター, meaning “sweater”), are used in a way that is very similar to their original language. However, some loan words have… Read More »

Japanese web novel translation: “Japan: A New Age” by Tasogarenin (黄昏人) [Chapter 8: Construction Begins]

This is my translation of the 8th chapter of a Science Fiction novel about a boy genius who helps develop groundbreaking technologies that change Japan’s society drastically, eventually resulting in the colonization of outer space. I had taken a break from translating this series, but due to popular demand I have decided to translate this chapter… Read More »

Science Fiction novella released: “Two of Six” (A Captain’s Dilemma) by Tomohito Moriyama (森山智仁)

In mid-June I released an English translation of the first part of an intriguing Japanese SF novella that I had discovered titled “Two of Six: A Captain’s Dilemma” (Japanese title: “6分の2”), written by Tomohito Moriyama (森山智仁). The story involves a system malfunction on a spaceship requiring evacuation of the humans aboard, but the escape pod… Read More »

Alternative responses to “arigatou” (thank you) in Japanese besides “dou itashimashite” (you’re welcome)

Emphasis on manners and politeness is one of the key characteristics of both Japanese culture as well as an integral part of the language itself Beginners generally start with basic phrases like “ありがとう” (arigatou), “ごめん” (gomen), and “どういたしまして” (dou itashimashite), but eventually learn better ways to express themselves in a variety of situations. In this… Read More »

Japanese Word Highlight: 超訳 (chouyaku), the “extreme translation”

Recently when I was reading a book with explanations of old Japanese (for example a Matsuo Bashō poem from over 300 years ago), I came across the word 超訳 (pronounced ‘chouyaku’). I had never seen this word before, despite having prepared this vocabulary list which included a few terms about translation. While the word was not… Read More »

The Making of an Ebook: “Classic Japanese Fairy Tales”

Recently I released the book “Classic Japanese Fairy Tales”, a set of English translations of several short stories by Mimei Ogawa, one of the founding authors of Japanese children’s literature. (You can find the original release post here, or direct Amazon link here) In this post I’d like to give some information about how I made… Read More »