Been reading BF Skinner. I’ve been interested in this guy's methods ever since my teens, when I bought a book called “The Japanese Kana Workbook”, which teaches the user both systems of Japanese kana in a few days. The book was recommended to me by my first Japanese teacher, who had used it in his undergraduate days at Sheffield University, which in those days was commonly considered the UK's best Japanese-teaching university. He told me that using this book, he and his aspiring fellow Japanologists were able to master the reading and writing of both systems inside a week. That impressed me, so I acquired a copy.

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The following is a summary of notes I took on a series of presentations that I attended during a localization conference back in my Tokyo days. (It's surprising what you can find on old hard drives!)

The contents are as follows: Frequently made mistakes [when localizing into Chinese from Japanese]; Suggestions For a Functional Localization Model (the diagram); Chinese Character and [Other] Character Codes (and reference websites); Translation Methods; Points on Document Creation; Font Types; An Outline of Printing; Other Problems.


ウィルキンソン ケネス

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Overused transitions represent a multifaceted, seldom effectively tackled problem. Japanese uses transitional words and phrases much more frequently than in English. In Japanese, fewer than two dozen account for the majority of transitions in expository writing. These have fewer than a dozen common equivalents in English, and they are far too often word-swapped, i.e. translated mechanically on the basis of dictionary correspondence, not vernacular appropriateness.

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Quantification is a component of extreme importance in the field of technical translation. Numbers, in their many and varied guises, are responsible for a galaxy of translation mistakes. In English, small quantities are customarily counted in dozens; in Japanese, as tens, hence sūjū and jūsū, which are usually correctly, if not always appropriately, translated as “several tens” and “ten and several”, respectively. Although both are accurate in their expression of numerical value, both are alliteratively unnatural. A more effective translation would be “a few dozen” and “just over a dozen”, respectively. Just to confound things however, terms like sūman are usually translated appropriately, i.e. as "tens of thousands".

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All the following terms express future continuation, but their differences and degrees of appropriateness pose substantial challenges for technical translators:

shōrai (将来), kongo (今後), kongo mo (今後も), kongo tomo (今後とも)

For all three terms, the most frequently encountered English rendering is “in [the] future”. However, in most cases this is an over-translation. These terms, despite their standard, dictionary definitions, amplify a statement by suggesting, quite strongly, (to native Japanese speakers at least) emphasis or determination. As a result, these terms are usually best exempted from the translation. Forcing the translation can result in unintended meaning loss or meaning change.

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Falk (1994) identified five categories of global citizens:

  1. global reformers
  2. elite global business people
  3. global environmental managers
  4. politically conscious regionalists
  5. transnational activists

Boltanski and Chiapello (2007) argue that global participants is a more accurate term than global citizens, since production and consumption are globally diffuse, national identity-eroding activities, and flows of resources and labour are increasingly transnational. Thus, global participation is both the result and product of a “new spirit of capitalism”.

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