Richard Medhurst has been working for the news and culture website Nippon.com since 2014. Although he thinks of himself primarily as a translator, he also edits translations on a near-daily basis, and occasionally writes articles for the site. He has had translations of short stories published in Kyoto Journal and the samurai anthology Strokes of Brush and Blade. He is the author of a series of Word Wise columns on translating tricky terms at the website of the Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators (SWET). His Twitter account is @RichardMedh.
One of the big questions in translation is how faithful to be to the original text. A high value is often placed on targeting absolute fidelity. This is appropriate in some fields, where strict accuracy is paramount. But what if our top priority is to clearly inform or even...