IJET-24 promotional videos

I've just discovered (thanks to @terrysaito) a few video clips promoting IJET-24. What is IJET? The IJET (International Japanese-English Translation) conference is an annual two-day conference hosted by JAT (Japan Association of Translators), which consists of twenty to thirty sessions and a banquet. The purpose of IJET is to provide a place for professional and personal improvement, information exchange, networking, profitable discussion and socializing for many translation and interpretation industry members. IJETs are held alternately in Japan and an English-speaking country, and this year the conference takes place in Hawaii, which means the event could be combined with an extended stay to make a nice early summer holiday on the Pacific islands. Unfortunately it also means it would be a big trip from Europe, too big for me to make, but I certainly hope to attend the event next year, when it returns to Japan. Interested? Read more about it and register at: http://ijet.jat.org/

My article in the ITI Bulletin

The March/April issue of the ITI Bulletin carries an article I've written about the project to publish a Japanese version of "Translaton: Getting It Right — A guide to buying Translation". The booklet is available from the ITI website in a variety of languages.

J-Net Bulletin is 25 years old!

The Spring 2013 issue of the J-Net Bulletin is out — and this issue celebrates 25 years of the publication, which began as typewritten copies titled the Japanese Network Bulletin in 1988, when the Network had only five members. These days the J-Net Bulletin boasts a circulation of over 160, delivered electronically as a PDF full of colour photos. The latest issue of the J-Net Bulletin contains an article looking back on the early days of the Network and its Bulletin. Translation can be a solitary occupation, with much stumbling around in the dark with nobody to guide you through, especially if you (like me) "fell into" the job rather than set out to make a career as a translator. J-Net provided a supportive environment that gave me a chance to meet, discuss (online and in the flesh) with and learn from fellow translators for the first time in my working life.

Recommended reading on translation

Recommended translation blog: Translation Client Zone http://www.translationclientzone.com/ A excellent blog run and edited by Bianca Bold with additional contributions from translators, interpreters and translation agencies, with a specific focus on addressing topics that are relevant to translation buyers.

J-Net Workshop, 19 January 2013

J-Net is the Japanese language specialist network of The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) in the UK. There are currently around 160 members in the network, consisting of ITI members, associates and "friends". The day-to-day activities of J-Net is centred around its mailing list, where you can pick the brains of fellow linguists on subjects ranging from obscure technical terminology to Japanese restaurant recommendations. We also organise professional development workshops twice a year, where you can put faces to the names you see on the mailing list and swap stories as well as learn the skills of the trade. If you are a Japanese translator or considering career in Japanese translation and are interested in joining J-Net, please contact membership@j-net.org.uk.

Book review: The Prosperous Translator

The Prosperous Translator by Chris Durban

Chris Durban, a veteran French-to-English translator specialising in finance and capital markets,  doesn't do things by halves, and that applies to her other face as the educator of the translation industry. I first came across her name through her hugely popular column in the ITI Bulletin titled The Onionskin. You find collections of translation bloopers are everywhere on the internet and the printed media — just the sort of light entertainment you need as you get back to work on a rainy Monday morning — but The Onionskin was something else. Chris would contact the company that's just made a laughing stock of themselves and find out how that happened. Who ordered the translation and who provided it? What was the reason for choosing that particular source? How come nobody involved in the process noticed how bad the translation was until it was too late?  And most importantly, how can a disaster like this be prevented from happening again? The Onionskin was all about educating the client, the buyer of translations, and the end product was "Translation: Getting It Right — A guide to buying translation", a small booklet  packed with all the information you need before hiring a translation provider. Over 100,000 copies (now available in nine languages including Japanese) have been distributed in the decade since its first appearance. But while educating our clients, Chris has also been busy educating us translators, the supply end of the supply-and-demand relationship in the translation industry. Chris, with co-author Eugene Seidel, has been answering readers' questions under the aliases Fire Ant & Worker Bee in the Translation Journal since 1998, and 12 years' worth of these pearls of wisdom are now available as a printed book, The Prosperous Translator. The book retains the original question-and-answer format of the column, which may be a little frustrating if you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to become and make a living as a translator. Be patient and read on — and you are rewarded with a good read. Questions and answers are organised into sections that take you through the stages of a career in translation, right from "how do I become a translator?" through "how do I become a specialist professional?" to "how do I work with others as the head of the local translators' association?" Askers include students, fledglings, in-house translators, seasoned freelancers, translation agencies and even translation buyers, a mix that makes for a diversity of angles from which the same question is looked at: how to succeed as a translator. All the questions are answered in the inimitable FA&WB style — direct, no-nonsense and very funny. Some of the questions may be over a decade old, but the key message of the book is still relavant — perhaps even more so in the time when everyone is feeling the global recession biting — that a high-pay, quality-driven market segment does exist; you just need to work strategically in order to crack it. I found this book very useful, both in showing me a new way of looking at the translation world, and in giving me a wealth of practical tips.    

Welcome to my new-look website

Welcome to the WayToJapan Translations. If you have been to my website before, you have probably noticed a few changes I have made. All the information is still there - only differently organised. One new addition to the site is this "News and Thoughts" section, where I plan to blog in Japanese and English (and maybe even in Dutch at some point in future!) about what's happening at WayToJapan and in the translation industry, and also about cross-cultural and language issues. Your comments are welcome!