Category Archives: Uncategorized

Japanese Literature Review: 「猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ」 (Swim With an Elephant, Embracing a Cat) by 小川洋子 (Yoko Ogawa): A nostalgic ode to chess

Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子) is an award-winning Japanese author who has written over 30 works, with at least eight of them translated into English so far. She is perhaps most known for her novel “The Housekeeper and the Professor” (博士の愛した数式) which was also made into a movie. I read Ogawa’s book “Little Bird” (ことり) last year… Read More »

Japanese literary expression:「〜かのように」 (~ka no you ni)

If you read enough books in Japanese you’ll start to come across certain expressions and grammatical patterns that are used frequently in certain genres. In this post, I’d like to go over the expression 「〜かのように」 (~ka no you ni) which I’ve found to be pretty common in Japanese literature. Before I discuss the pattern itself… Read More »

Be a better translator: 10 tips to take you to the next level

Here are some tips to help you take your translation skills to the next level: 1. Develop your language sense Your sense of language, for both the source and target languages, is one of the core things that drives the quality of your translations. 2. Read often Reading from a diverse set of authors (again for… Read More »

Introducing Mr. Mizuhiro Kaimai (開米瑞浩), diagram wizard

The other day I had the luck of finding out about Mr. Mizuhiro Kaimai (開米瑞浩) when he left a comment on one of my blog posts and introduced me to a section of his blog where he talks about “Japanese Grammar in Logic Diagramming”. In this series of articles, Mr. Kaimai discusses several aspects of Japanese… Read More »

A simple explanation of the particles wa (は) vs ga (が)and the surprising equation “1+1=2”

I’ve dedicated a great deal of my time to having a good understanding of Japanese grammar, and proper usage of the particles “wa” and “ga” is one of the tricker areas. I’ve written some posts on this topic, and you can find many others if you google around. I am not going to go into a… Read More »

Some thoughts on effective learning of foreign language vocabulary

(The other day a friend casually asked me about how I learn vocabulary words in Japanese, and at the time I could only give a fairly simple answer. So I thought about it some more and decided to write an article about effective learning of foreign language vocabulary.) Regardless of what foreign language you are… Read More »

More thoughts about the story “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” by Kisaragi Shinichi

In a previous blog post I talked about the story “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” written by Kisaragi Shin’ichi (如月新一), which is being translated by Yeti of Shousetsu Ninja, a blog where he reviews Japanese novels and sometimes does translations of excerpts. He recently posted the last chapter (Ch 6), and you can find all the… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “House Ephemera” by Hatasu Shikishima [Chapter 7]

This is the 7th chapter of a story I am translating titled “House Ephemera” (蜉蝣の家) by Hatasu Shikishima (識島果). Thanks to Sherayuki for helping proofread this chapter. You can read the full Japanese text of this chapter here. See this page which contains a brief synopsis and links to other chapters (as they are posted).… Read More »

The making of an E-book: Science: Hopes & Fears (Juza Unno short story compilation)

In this article, I’d like to talk about the making of my recently published book Science: Hopes & Fears (Volume 1), which is a compilation of Juza Unno’s science fiction stories translated into English. (You can find it here on Amazon) Although I had been considering it for some time, this was my first attempt… Read More »

Some thoughts on language selection and code switching

Learning a foreign language is a challenge no matter which language you choose, and the difficulty achieving fluency depends on how distant it is from your native tongue(s), and whether you are in an environment where you are forced (or at least motivated) to use it daily. But once you become reasonably fluent in a… Read More »