On Second Thought: The Value of Careful Reading in Japanese-into-English Translation

Every translator has had the experience of glancing through a text, gaining a general understanding of the content, and moving on—only to discover later that his/her initial understanding was not correct. The structure and position of Japanese modifiers, along with the tendency of Japanese writers to be somewhat vague with regard to antecedents, make it particularly easy to fall into this trap when translating a Japanese document. The speaker will present examples in which careful reading will resolve problems that may arise from a quick initial reading, and he will suggest strategies for dealing with this problem.