No. 16 — June 01, 1984

This is, probably, the only newsletter published anywhere in the world by and for our far-flung and obscure community of Japanese technical translators. It is a completely grassroots endeavor with no subsidies or support except that given by its readers. It is now going into its second year and has more than 150 readers on three continents. I hope that the newsletter will evolve into a trailblazing publication which will contribute to winning greater public recognition for the important role which we Japanese technical translators have to play in the area of Japanese scientific and technical information, which is becoming increasing important in the world today.


The first year was completed with the last issue, No. 15. The first issue was published in late May, 1983. This issue will therefore be considered the first issue of the second year. I have decided to continue publishing the newsletter for periods of six months. After each six months, I will reassess my plans and decide whether to continue for another six months.

This issue will be partly a retrospective issue, aimed at reviewing the accomplishments of the first year. It also contains some proposals aimed at promoting the work of J-E technical translation.


The editor has decided to broaden the editorial responsibility by using a system of associate editors. Readers who volunteer to be associate editors will be asked to write one or two articles a month. The editor will supply them with the raw material (Japanese-language press clippings, reference material, etc.). Volunteers should write me giving details of when they will be available.


Readers are asked to pay for 6-month periods instead of a whole year. A 6-months' subscription will be $20, thus making a full year's subscription $40. This is more than the donations which were requested last year ($20 or more per year) but less than the subscription fee suggested by some readers in the last issue ($50 per year). I do not wish to make the newsletter too expensive for the readers, but everyone should understand how time-consuming and expensive it is for the editor to put it out every month. If readers disagree about this, let them try to publish a monthly newsletter themselves.

If you wish to subscribe for the next six months, please send me your donations of $20 or more before the next issue. Everyone who now subscribes will receive this issue and the next five issues (through November, 1984). If you do not subscribe, this will be the last issue you will receive, and your name will be taken off the list.

Readers in Japan and Europe may send their donations either to me in U.S. dollars or to the distributors in their countries in their local currency.


The following readers are reproducing the newsletter and distributing it to others in their countries:

Mr. John M. Shields, EEC Service, C.P.O. 42, Nagoya 450, Japan

Mr. F.R.D. Apps, 57 High Street, Ingatestone, Essex CM4 OAT, England
Ms. Rosemary J. Yates, Japan Business Services Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, England

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Technical Japanese Translation has been published since May, 1983. It has been aimed, more or less, at the following audiences of readers: (1) Japanese technical translators or novice translators; (2) librarians, data base workers and others engaged in gathering, processing and disseminating Japanese technical and scientific information; (3) business people with a professional interest in such information; and (4) non-translators with a specialized interest in Japan and the Japanese language. In this issue I'd like to sum up some of the accomplishments of the past year and try to relate them to what remains to be done in the future.


Much attention was devoted to the question of international data flow and the importance of Japanese scientific and technical information. Tamiyo S. Togasaki's article on "Japanese Science and Technology Data Information" was published in our issue no. 10. It gave a well-organized overview of the whole field. We have also reported about the remarkable imbalance between Japan's imports and exports of information (no. 3, p. 1–3).

We have dealt with some of the major Japanese scientific and technical databases, notably the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST) and the Japan Patent Information Center (JAPATIC) and have reported recent efforts to begin exporting Japanese databases overseas (no. 4, p.3–5, no. 12, p.8–9).

In issue no. 10 we began to deal with the awakening of interest in Japanese scientific and technical information (JSTI) in the U.S. It became clear in no. 13 that there was a growing sense of crisis in the U.S. about Japanese technology, and other American statements and writings about JSTI were reported in nos. 14 and 15. I pointed out that J-E translators in the U.S. ought to seize the opportunity to formulate a "politics of translation" and present themselves as bearers of highly specialized expertise which is essential for national survival. Richard J. Samuels of the MIT-Japan Science and Technology Program wrote an "Open Letter" (no. 14, p. 13–14) expressing agreement with my call for a "politics of translation."

In no. 13 Dan Kanagy reviewed the super-controversial book The Japanese Conspiracy, which gave expression to the sense of crisis in the U.S. from an overtly anti-Japanese standpoint. The debate about the book continued in an article in no. 14. In nos 10, 13 and 14 I reported about Japanese charges that the U.S. is mounting an "information blockade" against Japan.

The importance of Japanese scientific and technical information in this country is sure to increase in the future, and with it the role of the J-E technical translator is sure to become more and more important. Much remains to be done in the way of focusing public attention on the importance of the "care and feeding" of the translator, who plays such a vital role in assisting the U.S. to retain its leading position in science and technology.


We realized early in the year that artificial intelligence in general, and the Japanese Fifth Generation project in particular, potentially has immense implications for the future of our industry. We reviewed Feigenbaum and McCorduck's book The Fifth Generation in no. 2, p. 811, reported apparent snags in the project (no. 4, p. 1–3, no. 11, p. 14–16), and described recent announcements about the project (no. 13, p. 16, no. 15, p. 8–9).

The Fifth Generation project has been met with considerable curiosity and skepticism overseas (the "paper tiger" theory), although Feigenbaum appears to be thoroughly impressed. Many here regard the project as an over-enthusiastic, bumbling project run by a group of neophytes. Others have expressed the opinion that the Japanese are giving so much publicity to the Fifth Generation project in order to divert attention of the rest of the world away from their real aims (although the critics do not tell us what these "real" aims may be). The most perspicacious view, I think, is that which holds that the main motive behind the Fifth Generation project is exactly what the Japanese say it is: to develop a new family of machines which will render obsolete the linear, binary information technology that has been developed by IBM and by other Western firms over the past four decades. (See Gerard K. O'Neill, The technology edge, p. 83) We should probably view the Fifth Generation project in the context of Japan's effort to establish its own computer technology which will not be dependent on Western technology and which will, incidentally, prove to the world that the Japanese are indeed capable of technological innovation. Whether the project will be successful or not is unpredictable, but the achievements to date of the Japanese Fifth Generation project will be unveiled at an international conference in Tokyo in November. At that time we will be better able to evaluate it and its possible impacts on the translation industry.

We have been trying to find out as much as we can about machine translation and have reported in considerable detail about the Bravice-Weidner, Systran and other systems. Research being done by Japanese organizations has also been described (no. 7, p. 6–7, no. 15, p. 9–10), and we have mentioned the work being done by Fujitsu and KAIST to develop a computerized Japanese-Korean translation system (no. 9, p.3–4, no. 14, p.37).

Artificial intelligence and machine translation were discussed by James Unger in his interview published in no. 14. Unger's view is that machine translation systems will probably never reach the point where they can function successfully without the intervention of a skilled translator. I suspect that most of us would agree with that assessment, or at least hope that it is true. Perhaps the current credulity about machine translation systems stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how complex is the process which goes on in the translator's mind. People believe that translation is a mechanical process which can and ought to be done by machines. If this is wrong, it is our duty to point out why.


We have been trying to shed light on the translation industries in each country. One of the big discoveries we made was the vast proportions of the translation industry in Japan, which is said to have had sales amounting to approximately ¥500 billion (more than $2 billion) in fiscal year 1982. We found considerable information about translators and translations in the U.S. Government and reported it in issues no. 10–11. Rikko N. Field, who has first-hand experience in both the U.S. and Japan, reported her impressions of the differences between the American and the Japanese industries in issue no. 12. Japanese translation agencies have been quick to pick up the new technology, and some of them have been buying personal computers with English-language word-processing software and loaning them to their translators to use at home, sometimes with on-line connections over telephone lines. Others use facsimile equipment connecting the agencies with translators working at home, facilitating delivery.

One Tokyo translation agency called Tom has been announcing that it will establish an office in California sometime this year, but concrete plans have evidently not yet been finalized.

We still do not know enough about the scope of the translation industry in the U.S. and other Western countries. In these countries, translation seems to be set up mainly as a "cottage" industry with little industry-wide coordination or standardization. We know that government agencies place a large percentage of the total number of orders for translations in the U.S. and that Japanese patents are a major portion of the work. We do not know how many J-E translators there are, although it has been suggested that the newsletter's readership might provide some clues about their numbers and distribution.


In issue no. 4 we initiated a debate about "Is Technical Translation Rewarding?" Some readers immediately answered the question in the negative. D.A. Fraser said that in London there was not enough work in his particular field of interest to keep him busy all the time. Betsy Kuga in no. 6 concurred and stated pessimistically that she did not regard the profession as a rewarding one at all. (She may now have a somewhat different opinion.) She also raised a question about discrimination against women. In issue no. 6 I expressed the opinion that J-E translation could be a rewarding career, at least for some who have certain lifestyles and personality traits. Introversion and insomnia were among the traits I mentioned. Richard Patner wrote in no. 8 that he likes the profession because of the degree of personal freedom which it offers.

Whether the profession is rewarding or not, it is definitely not a highly visible, well-recognized one. I feel that that is one of the most unfortunate aspects of the profession and in no. 8 I began to write about the low profile of Japanese translators and non-Japanese speakers of Japanese. In no. 14 I raised the question "How Can We Become Visible?" and in no. 15 I pointed an accusing finger at Jack Seward for obscuring our existence.

Some of our readers are novices or persons who are considering taking up J-E technical translation as a career. Advice and tips for novices began in no. 8. Peter Lim contributed an article on this subject in no. 10, in which he proposed an interesting four-level classification of translators by level of proficiency (novice, amateur, pro and veteran). In issue no. 11 Terry Kleeman wrote about his hesitation between choosing translating or the academic life for his own personal career. Novices came up again in no. 13, and I argued that training courses or apprenticeship programs were needed.

Advice to translators (often spurious) and "pitfalls" began to be discussed in no. 9, and in no. 10 we dealt with various theoretical questions confronted in everyday translation work. I wrote another article about "Avoiding Pitfalls" in no. 12. In no. 12 Alexander Shkolnik gave some advice about patent translations, and in no. 15 I gave some procedures for dealing with titles of Japanese periodicals. More articles of this type are definitely needed.

We began to publish our Directory in no. 12. The Directory lists only a small percentage of the readers, but those in the Directory are all "activists," i.e. translators actively making their livings fully or in part by technical translation. The Directory has made possible many valuable contacts between translators working in different places and has also helped persons who are trying to find translators for specific projects.

In no. 15 I introduced portraits of two Japanese natives working in Japan as J-E freelance translators. One of them has a prodigious output and works 12 hours a day.

One of the interesting findings which came to light very vividly during the newsletter's first year had to do with the typology of J-E translators. Some translators have Japanese as their native or near-native language or at least have learned to speak and read it fluently. Translators in this category learned the spoken language thoroughly before they even thought of embarking on a career as a technical translator, and many of them do not have a technical education. There is another, entirely different category: those who start out with a heavy technical background and then learn Japanese. Some of the translators in this category were already working as technical translators from Western languages before they began to learn Japanese. These translators can rarely speak Japanese fluently, and some of them cannot read newspaper articles or novels in it. Translators of both categories disagree with each other. Each category seems to feel that its own way is best, and I can see that there are valid arguments on both sides. It is impossible to decide the argument categorically one way or the other, but I think that most of us would agree generally that it is always desirable for a technical translator to have a good grounding in both linguistics (the written and spoken versions of both languages) and some fields of science and technology.

I feel that we have still only just begun to skim the surface of the theoretical and methodological problems of J-E technical translation. We still need to explore the nitty-gritty in much greater detail. I would like to delve deeper into the structural differences between Japanese and English and find how these differences influence the translator's work. Unfortunately, although we don't have any practical difficulties about translating, I think it is difficult for us to write about translation. It is clear that it is a complex, multi-dimensional task which needs to be learned with patient application but which can be done fairly automatically after it has been mastered, perhaps much like playing the violin or doing ballet dancing. If you were to draw a detailed diagram illustrating the translation process, including all of the tasks and subtasks performed by a translator while at work (and not forgetting the self-activated censorship and self-preservation mechanisms), what would it look like? Has anyone ever analyzed how the translator's mind functions? What is translation, anyway? If we knew how to answer that question, we might be able to explain why we believe that it cannot be done successfully by a machine.


Following on the debate about whether technical translation is a rewarding career, we dealt off and on with translation rates. We were interested in finding out how much clients pay for translations, and how much translators are paid, chiefly in Japan, the U.S. and England. After a year of editing the newsletter, my impression is that the median rate paid to J-E translators in the U.S. is around $50 per 1,000 words. (I stand ready to be corrected if I am wrong.) $50, I think, represents the norm, $30–40 per thousand is the low end, and $60–80 is the high end. We have been told that capable J-E translators in Japan are paid between ¥2,500 and ¥4,000 per page (a page may consist of either 400 Japanese characters or 230–250 English words). D.A. Fraser says that he is paid 24–27 for 1,000 characters in London. It is quite possible that these rates all boil down to approximately the same after the necessary conversions (character count, word count, yen-dollar-pound exchange rates). We discussed the question of comparative translation rates in different countries in no. 13, and I pointed out that making superficial comparisons of rates is not very meaningful because career decisions must be based also on other matters such as the quality of life. Most of us, I think, would rather live in a pleasant, comfortable environment even at the cost of accepting somewhat lower pay, instead of living in a hectic, rat-race environment with higher pay.

In no. 14, Fred Uleman and Clifford Bender raised some very far-reaching questions about comparative rates and word-counting methods. Their questions generated a large amount of unprecedentedly vigorous correspondence, which was published in issues no. 14 and 15. More than nine of us wrote to reply to these inquiries, and the responses revealed a remarkable divergence and lack of uniformity in methods for counting words of J-E translations. The correspondence was very useful in focusing attention on a wide range of divergences in translation practices.


Throughout the year we have been reporting and commenting rather extensively on dictionaries for translators. The biggest event in the dictionary department during this year was, I think, the publication of the two-volume Inter Press Dictionary of Science and Engineering [Kagaku gijutsu 25-mango daijiten] (reviewed in no. 2, p. 3–5). I think that this dictionary is a monumental achievement and can recommend it highly in spite of its expensive price.

A list of technical dictionaries was published in no. 12. We dealt with textile dictionaries in no. 12 and no. 15, and with botany dictionaries in no. 15. Stuart Matthews wrote a highly favorable review of the "Advanced Business English Dictionary" in no. 14. Japanese-Russian dictionaries were discussed (no. 2, p. 5, no. 9, p. 7–9). I wrote about the old War Department dictionary (Japanese-English technical terms dictionary, 1946) (no. 2, p. 67; no. 13, p. 33) and pointed out that it is still useful. And in this issue you will find more articles about dictionaries, including Carl Kay's inventory of his complete collection of dictionaries.

Since Japanese technical dictionaries and reference books are so expensive that most of us cannot afford to accumulate large libraries. I think that we need some centralized library of Japanese technical dictionaries and reference books which translators working at home could contact by telephone, by mail, or on-line by computer, to have words looked up and questions answered. This is the subject of my "Proposal" in this issue.


We devoted much space to Japanese word processors, including those manufactured by Japanese companies and American products (the Xerox Star, the Wang Ideographic Word Processor). Inputting systems were discussed in no. 5. In no. 11 we reported about Japanese-made Arabic word processors, and Korean-language word-processors and word-processing software were mentioned in nos. 12 and 13.

Readers in Japan have written to say that too much space is devoted to word processors and computers in the newsletter. Perhaps this may be so. However, we have been hearing from many translators in both Japan and the U.S. who have enthusiastically embraced them. Translators in the U.S. have been greatly inconvenienced by the non-availability of Japaneselanguage word processors here. We need them for compiling bilingual glossaries, for translating texts from English into Japanese, and for our own personal needs such as writing letters or doing our own research. JLWP were discussed by Terry Kleeman and Dan Kanagy in no. 11. Some products have become available here lately, such as the Pentel LETA-CON (really an electronic Japanese typewriter) (no. 5, p. 5–6, no. 8, p. 21) and Fujitsu's My OASYS (no. 13, p. 14, no. 14, p. 37). Some readers have written in considerable detail about the JLWP situation in this issue.

We have also devoted some space to the selection and use of Englishlanguage word processors by translators, and some readers have described the hardware and software they are using. In no. 14 Kevin Dwan outlined a system for using computers and word processors to turn out typeset copy. In no. 15 I reported my impressions of the Apple Macintosh, which has a number of nice features but as yet no Japanese-language capability.

I think the year's discussions have focused much-needed attention on the importance of the computer and word processor for our work. Word processors are an immensely powerful tool to the translator; they eliminate many types of drudgery and add greatly to speed, efficiency and productivity. Translators who have them have an immense competitive advantage over those who do not. I predict that translators who are still struggling along with pens or typewriters will some day have to make the transition to the word processor simply in order to remain competitive. However, the equipment which is currently available is destined to become obsolete within 3–5 years, is often expensive, and does not exactly meet all of our needs. We still need a truly bilingual or multilingual word processor with a large memory capacity and a good-quality printer capable of handling both Western languages and Japanese. The technology is available but still has not trickled down to us in an affordable package. In no. 14 I said that the advent of inexpensive laser printers, such as Canon's new LBP-CX, may be of immense significance for the translation industry. Laser printers are discussed again in this issue.


We published glossaries of weeds (no. 3, p. 7–9), medical terms (no. 4–5, no. 12), minerals (no. 8), terms from various fields (no. 9, no. 13), chemical terms (no. 9–12), and Fifth Generation computer terminology (no. 15). We also discussed problem words and published problem lists submitted by David Jones (no. 13) and W.L. Jenson (no. 15).


We have been interested in the current state of the Japanese language. In no. 6, p. 1–4 I discussed the "crisis" in the language, the proliferation of foreign loan-words written in katakana, and a noticeable shift in opinion in Japan towards a pro-kanji position. The Japanese-language word processor seems to be having a considerable impact on the language itself. In no. 11 I described how JL word processors are changing the Japanese language, and in no. 12 I wrote about how Japanese writers and intellectuals are relating to word processors.

From time to time we have discussed ludicrous-looking English words and phrases used in Japan ("Lousy English," no. 6, p. 14–16). It is easy for us to regard the "Japlish" terms with amusement as a sort of linguistic aberration, but if we go below the superficial level we can easily see that much more is involved. The language itself is changing dramatically. Dan Kanagy wrote in no. 10 that English words are being assimilated into Japanese in the same way that Chinese characters were once adopted, or, I might add, much as Latin and French words were added to English in previous centuries. The present epoch has even been called the "second Heian period" (no. 11, p. 13). The first Heian period was the period when Chinese characters were introduced, and today we are in a second such period when a whole new stratum is being added to the vocabulary. Aren't you glad to be living in 1984?

In our issue no. 8, Frederik L. Schodt reviewed the controversial book Japan's Modern Myth: The Language and Beyond. Schodt's review was basically favorable but noncommittal, and it generated a far-ranging debate about Miller and Millerism. We heard from the book's publisher and in no. 11 published critical comments by Hiroaki Sato and Bernard Saint-Jacques. Further questions about Millerism were asked in no. 13, and James Unger discussed Miller in his interview in no. 14. Fred Uleman, Meredith Hazelrigg and I wrote more about Millerism in no. 14. No final conclusion was reached, although it was widely believed that Miller's book is excessiveiy tendentious and propagandistic. But, in spite of its one-sidedness and sometimes distortions, it expresses an original and very thought-provoking perception which can be very relevant to translators in their daily work.

From time to time we have reported and defined new terms. Some of the neologisms have been technical terms, and others have been strictly colloquial, even vulgar. For example, in nos. 8–10 we offered definitions of nekura, neaka and dasai. In no. 10 we had a definition of dankai no sedai. In no. 16 I attempted to define nikoyon and kuroyon. In no. 12 Frederik Schodt defined sarakin. In no. 11 we found out that addicts to WP in Japan are called "worproholics." I described and recommended a dictionary of Japanese "mimetic words" in no. 15.


We first mentioned the University of Sheffield's Reading Course in Scientific & Technical Japanese in issue no. 12. In no. 13, Mary M. Gillender described the Reading Course in a detailed article, and further information about Sheffield was reported in no. 15.

Courses offered by Bonn University (no. 13) and New York University (no. 15) were mentioned. Charles P. Ridley wrote in no. 15 about a project which he once formulated for training Chinese translators. I returned again to the idea of an apprenticeship program in no. 15 (p. 28).

The textbook Comprehending Technical Japanese was reviewed by Thomas Wilds in no. 15.


We have had six interviews with translators and persons interested in translation. Some of the readers think that the interviews have been the most interesting feature of the newsletter. The persons interviewed were Frederik L. Schodt (no. 7), Alexander Shkolnik (no. 8), Margherita Tinti Abe (no. 10), Rikko N. Field (no. 12), James Unger (no. 14) and Hannah Feneron (no. 15). The interviews cover a wide range of opinions and comments. Particularly favorable comment was focused on Alexander Shkolnik's in-depth interview, in which he described Japanese-to-Russian translation in the U.S.S.R. on the basis of his own profound personal knowledge of the subject. Rarely does one read such an interesting account.


We began discussing the future of the newsletter in March 1984 (no. 13, p. 24–26), and this was continued in no. 15 (pp. 36–15). As of early April the newsletter had 155 readers, most of them in the U.S. (76) and Japan (71). Most of the readers said that the newsletter performs a very useful and valuable role and strongly urged that it be continued.

The conclusion of all this is that the newsletter does, after all, have a future and can be valuable in many ways. As is clear from this summary, it deals with a very wide range of news and opinion, much of which comes from obscure and inaccessible sources and otherwise would surely escape our notice. Not all readers find all the articles useful. But the newsletter is valuable not only because of the facts it reports. It also can play a very important role in breaking down translators' isolation, helping them to raise their professional standards, and possibly forging a much-needed sense of professional solidarity which would otherwise be lacking. Translators struggling in isolation can compare their levels of proficiency with each other. We discover that we are not so isolated, or so unique, as we might have imagined. The problems one translator faces for the first time today may have already been solved years ago by another translator. In the newsletter, information is swapped and shared, synergies are set into motion, and strategies are proposed and discussed about dealing with the tasks which we can foresee in the future.

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One thing which has become obvious in the past year is that the work of J-E technical translators can be greatly facilitated by strategies aimed at promoting collaborative effort. A sort of synergy can be activated by pooling resources, thus avoiding wasteful duplication of effort. This is true, not only on the person-to-person level, but also nationally and even internationally.

The seed for the following proposal was planted in my mind at least in part by my interview with Dr. James Unger of the University of Hawaii in issue no. 14. Among other things, Dr. Unger said that "technical translators ought to have a central mainframe computer that could provide them with on-line dictionaries and other types of real-time resources." In formulating my proposal, I was also influenced by the fact that teams in Japan have been at work compiling dictionary databases for eventually use in machine translation (see no. 15, p. 9–10), and also the fact that the Centre of Japanese Studies at Sheffield University is working on compiling a database including a dictionary of Japanese scientific and technical terms from a wide range of disciplines (see no. 13, p. 38–39). I was also favorably impressed by results of the Chantilly Conference in January, 1984, or rather by the very fact that the European Commission was farsighted enough to sponsor such an effort.

I feel that the project should be centered in a university and should be organized around a library. Private individuals or companies, I think, do not have the necessary breadth of viewpoint, expertise or financial capacity to organize such a project for the public benefit.

My proposal is just a preliminary project, which might be modified and revised in various ways, and of course it cannot be realized by private persons. But I think it is a useful project which is fully in line with national priorities in the U.S. I invite serious discussion of the proposal, especially on the part of university administrators who might be interested in establishing such a Center.

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The proposal is to establish, in an academic environment, a research and training center dedicated to promoting the translation of Japanese technical and scientific texts, mainly into English. The center would have the following two main areas of work:

  1. Research aimed at assisting the work of J-E technical translators
  2. Educational work

1. The research work has the following goals:

First, a large collection of technical dictionaries and reference materials useful to technical translators will be accumulated and organized. This is necessary because it is excessively difficult for translators to accumulate their own private libraries of dictionaries, many of which are out-of-print or rare. The accumulation of such a library is the first step and can be accomplished rather easily and with little expense. The library would not be a very large one and would not be more expensive to administer than any existing library of a similar type. Since the library is to be on a university campus, other library resources would be available, such as reference works in languages other than Japanese.

Next, measures will be taken to make the reference collection available on demand to translators, researchers and the public. The basic premise is that the library will be made available to translators working at home in different locations. Reference librarians must be available to assist in dictionary look-ups and to provide other assistance. Various possible ways of utilizing the collection will be studied, such as the provision of library reference services, either by mail or by telephone, and/or the provision of on-line database services. This is a step which could be organized relatively easily by utilizing existing library science techniques.

Third, a large computerized dictionary of Japanese technical terms will be compiled. This work would be a long-term project of extensive scope and would require considerable funds. When completed, the dictionary could be accessed by translators working at home through online database services. Because of the nature of the work, it would be desirable to co-ordinate it with other similar projects under way in other countries for the purpose of eliminating duplication of efforts.

2. The educational work has the following goals:

Training courses will be individualized and offered to J-E translators of various levels of proficiency. Instruction will be focused specifically on the work of the J-E translator, the resources and aids which are available, and the problems which are specific to J-E translation.

Since the profession thus far has lacked the necessary public exposure, it will be necessary to carry out public educational work to acquaint government, industry and the public with the importance and unique problems of J-E technical translation.

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The following are the basic points of the proposal:

  1. The Center will be located at an academic institution, preferably one which has a strong department of Japanese studies and which is strongly oriented towards the study and dissemination of Japanese scientific and technical information.
  2. The Center will not perform translations itself, but its work will support the translation industry, embracing both research and education. Research is aimed at developing aids which can be offered widely to all J-E technical translators working in various locations. The resources must be made available in a manner which will be convenient for translators working at home.
  3. International co-operation is to be sought, and funding by Japanese industry and government should be solicited.
  4. The project can be implemented in its first two stages within a very short time and with little expense. The far-reaching task of creating a computerized dictionary would require considerable time and expenditure, but it may be possible to co-ordinate the work with other similar projects under way in other countries, thus eliminating wasteful duplication of efforts.

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I am giving here a selection from the correspondence received by the editor in response to the request for comments and suggestions about the newsletter. First, Josephine B. Howe of Doylestown, Pennsylvania writes (May 5, 1984):

I want to raise my voice with the others in praise of what you are accomplishing for the far-flung community of Japanese-English translators. I hope that you find a way to continue publishing Technical Japanese Translation.

I am challenged and, I must admit, somewhat intimidated by the standard of excellence that is emerging from the descriptions of the Japanese-English translating business provided through your newsletter by others in this field. I feel that my work approaches this standard in terms of the care I take to research correct terminology and to use clear and precise English. However, when I compare my productivity to the weekly output of which others say they are capable, I realize I fall far short. Your newsletter provides me with a somewhat uncomfor table but much needed goad to better performance.

Clifford Bender of Kyoto, Japan, writes the following in a letter dated May 11, 1984:

After reviewing this past year and reassessing plans I hope you do not decide to end the newsletter. It is one of my most interesting pieces of mail each month, and worth far more than the $20 requested; for a journal of this scale, $50–$100/year would not be unreasonable. At the same time, 15 issues in one year does not make it a monthly newsletter. Each issue could have a central theme, perhaps preannounced, with articles and contributions focusing on this theme solicited from readers. Other articles and correspondence could be printed as presently done with reader contributions. Another possible feature is a section with sample translations and critiques. A sample text could be run one issue, translations sent to a chosen evaluator (who might change periodically), and the original, translation, and critique run in a later issue. This poses various logistical and "political" problems, but the latter could possibly be solved by anonymity of the critiqued translators. I hope the word glossaries and trouble word lists continue.

There were 15 issues in the first year, but for some time now the newsletter has been coming out regularly once a month, and the second year will have 12 issues — or rather each 6-month interval will have 6 issues. By the way, the samples of "long, full-house sentences" which Mr. Kohei Shimomura has sent us (see pp. 22–3 of this issue) can be used as sample texts. Mr. Shimomura would like it if we would try out his methodology, so let us try translating these sentences by reconstructing the logic as he advocates. Results will be published in the next issue.

John Shields of Nagoya writes suggesting that I should do a reader survey in order to pinpoint more accurately the need I "seem to be meeting." He continues:

For myself, I am interested in tuning in to the range of common interests shared by technical translators. I am not academically inclined as to language or translation. I want to get out of this shared isolation enforced by deadlines, the nature of the word, and the idiosyncracies of the language and trade we're in. I want to share work and find it, to engage in shop talk but drop it — all with those more or less on this strange but exhilirating frequency called Japanese-toEnglish translation. Is there anybody out there? By God, this Philippi has proven there is! I don't care if he or she is a high-tech freak or an academic nut or a nuts-and-bolts manual translator. They're family. You've put us on to it, Don. I hear the vibes. You hear the vibes. And I bet they'll knock your socks off if you send out a survey.

I probably would send out a survey if I thought there would be any appreciable response, but the nature of the thing is that translators very seldom respond to anything. Besides, I think I do already have a fairly good idea of what readers want. Readers write in all the time and tell me their wishes about the newsletter. Unfortunately, one reader's wishes are often the exact opposite of another's, and I must try to provide a sort of mix (something for everyone) as I tread along on my tightrope.

* * *


Alan Gleason of San Francisco writes about a word-count method which he believes may be unfair to translators:

I'm curious to know what you and other translators think of the wordcount method that involves counting two Japanese characters as one word for J-E translations. At least one agency here in the Bay Area has told me that this was their standard procedure, but after following it for some time I got the feeling that I was coming out on the short end by using this method. Though there are certainly cases (like a wordy Japanese original cut down to briefer English) where a 2 ji = 1 word count might be to the translator's advantage, I've tried counting samples in several fields, and it seems that this count consistently falls short of the number of words in the final English translation. An accurate count, if such a thing is possible, would seem closer to 1.2 English words for 2 ji. Just how widespread is this method anyway?

This is, I believe, one of the methods mentioned by Hannah Feneron in the last issue (no. 15, p. 17). Hannah did not say that this was the standard procedure followed at her agency, but she did say that "NASA and the US Patent Office require that we count two characters as one word." I have never encountered such a method of word counting in all of the jobs which I have been doing for the past 13 years, since the English word count has been used exclusively in all of my work. The question is, I think, whether a character count of the Japanese texts before the translation can be converted into an estimated word count which will be identical with the English word-count made after the translation is completed. Someone ought to do an objective mathematical study by counting words and characters in a fairly large and representative body of Japanese texts which have been translated into English. I made a rather hurried spot-check of one of my own translations. I selected an English page at random and found that it contained 232 English words. Then I found the part of the original Japanese text which corresponded exactly to that English page and counted the characters. The character count was 462 characters. Since the character count was approximately double the English word count, this preliminary spot-check would seem to corroborate the theory that 2 characters per word is the correct ratio after all. I asked another translator to make a similar cursory check. He counted a patent and told me that he found a ratio of about 1.9 characters per word. However, these estimates were both based on limited samples, and I think that a more extensive count should be made. Would anyone please volunteer to carry out such a study?

Clifford Bender of Kyoto, Japan, whose extensive queries in a previous issue (no. 14, p. 2728) elicited such a torrent of lively replies, has written us again (May 11, 1984):

Having counted the words according to the method...used at a translation company where I work, I realize we are talking about the same relative output per day when you mention 3000–4000 w/8-hr.d. But when yearly output is examined, we see that the translator would certainly have to work approx. 300 d/yr to reach an annual output of 1 million words. Now this is the crux of the matter: 300 d/yr means 6 d/wk, 2 wk. vacation, no national holidays off. A rather incredible schedule. We are, after all, not Superman or even Clark Kent. In short, a million words is certainly possible, but do most translators achieve this level? Several readers in issue 15 said they do, and after totaling all freelance and in-house translations I've done in the past two years mentioned in my first letter see I reached this level, too. Is this, however, the "average" output of most translators? Also, figuring along the lines of a million words and using rates mentioned, we see this yields an annual income of $40–60,000. Not bad at all. Do Newsletter readers actually find themselves this busy and prosperous — or overworked? These figures also assume one is working full-time, freelance, unless in-house translators get paid by volume. However, many (most??) translators here and in the States are supplementing their main income with occasional translation work. Does anyone have an idea about how many translators rely solely on income from translation to live?

Another question regards subject fields and competence. Noting the Newsletter directory and ATA listings of translators and fields, I have wondered what criteria different translators use to determine for example what fields they list in such directories. An academic background or job experience in each field would certainly help, but this is not extremely practical.

Another reader in Japan, Ato Miyabe of Nissho Iwai Corporation, Tokyo, wondered about the "one million words per year" figure which was mentioned as being a realistically attainable output for a full-time translator. He writes:

The annual output, which somebody indicated in the previous issue of TJT as being as much as one million words, sounds really fantastic. Granted that the translator is experienced and has an unusually good command of Japanese, I mean of course, written Japanese, working on a word processor. From my experience of a little over two years, I have been turning out an average of 100 pages (double spaced, 25 lines per page) in pica monthly with a typewriter. This is, of course, outside my normal working hours, that is, night and holidays. Even if I am going to work full time, I very much suspect that my output will be far below. My income will be about $2,000 maximum. I will be very much interested to know how much full-time freelance translators are earning in the States.

These questions seem to be based on the assumption that "most" translators have a regular 9–5 job and work as translators only in their spare time. That is not my experience. My impression is that most serious translators, such as those whose names are listed in the Directory, do indeed derive their entire income by working full-time as freelance translators, except in those cases where they indicate otherwise in the Directory (interpreting, consulting, typesetting, etc.). Concerning the Superman category, we American translators are evidently not in the same class as you in Japan. For example, the workaholic Mr. Yabuki of Tokyo works 12 hours a day and turns out 700 pages of J-E translations a month (no. 15, p. 21). Mr. Miyabe indicates that he has a regular daytime job and turns out an average of 100 pages a month working in his spare time (at night and on holidays); with that busy schedule, he probably has less free time than a full-time work-athome translator does.

I can't speak for the other American translators, but I can explain my own case. I have been working full-time as a technical translator ever since 1961 (although there were two periods when I took time off to do research projects for 12–14 months each), and have never lacked work for the past 23 years. I prefer to work every day of the week, with a work-day of possibly 4–6 hours. Such a schedule works better for me than 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. I see no reason why a self-employed person working at home ought to adopt the same schedule as an office worker. The needs of each are different. I take vacations occasionally, perhaps once a year, if and when there is a lull in the job flow.

I suspect that the real question you are asking is: how many hours a day does a translator need to work to turn out 3,000–4,000 words? Some have said that their hourly output is 500 words; for them it would take 6 hours to turn out 3,000 words. If you can turn out 3,000 words in 6 hours, and if you work 7 days a week, your work-week will be 42 hours a week, but if you work 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, your work-week is 40 hours. Even at that, the advantage is clearly on the side of those working at home, since they need to spend no time at all in commuting and can arrange their schedule at their own convenience. On the other hand, if you work 8 hours a day at a regular job and then go home and translate for another 2–3 hours every night, and also translate on weekends and holidays, you will end up with almost no leisure time at all.

In order for freelance translators to achieve a good income, they must have proved their ability, must be able to get a steady volume of work at a fairly good rate, and must have enough discipline to hold to a schedule such as that I outlined above.

Of course, if you insist on annual paid vacations, long leisurely weekends, and other fringe benefits, then maybe the solitary life of the translator would not be your cup of tea, and you should get a job in a company which would give you plenty of leisure time. Personally, I prefer to be my own master and work at home, even though it means fewer week-end jaunts and vacations.

Let's hear it from other readers, especially those in the one-million words category. Do you miss your vacations and holidays? DLP

* * *


The May 7 issue of the New York Times featured a front-page article entitled "Japan Technology Monitored by Worried U.S. Competitors." The article was written by a reporter called Andrew Pollack and datelined Tokyo, May 6. The newspaper promises that this is the first article in a series which is to appear periodically under the title "Technology: The Japanese Challenge."

Numerous American experts are quoted in the article to the effect that U.S. companies are doing amazingly little to keep tabs on what is being done by their Japanese competitors. "Almost without exception," says the article, "American technology experts stationed here say their colleagues in America seriously underestimate the Japanese accomplishments."

Most of the ideas reported in the article are already familiar to readers of this newsletter, but there are a few items of interest to translators which we have not heard about before. For example, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo plans to add more people to monitor Japanese technology, and the National Science Foundation is beginning a program of sending experts in various fields to survey developments in Japan. Furthermore, the House Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology, which held hearings on Japanese scientific and technical information in March, "is proposing to allocate $750,000 for the translation of Japanese scientific papers into English."

I read an explanation of this $750,000 elsewhere. Representative Doug Walgren, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, has introduced a bill to allocate $750,000 to the Department of Commerce next year for abstracting, indexing, translating and disseminating Japanese technical information. (Language Monthly, May 1984, p. 9)

Many thanks to Betsy Kuga and others for sending me copies of the New York Times article. We will be looking forward to seeing the other articles in the series.

Language Monthly also mentions a report in the March 15, 1984 issue of Nature (which I have not seen) about the "growing concern in the United States on the lack of information flow to the West from Japan on scientific research." (May 1984, p. 9)

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James Reston of the New York Times wrote recently that "in the hardware of high tech, America will probably do all right, but in the software of language it is in some ways an underdeveloped country." The article by James Reston is entitled "China: A Language Yet To Be Learned," and was published in the International Herald Tribune of May 7, 1984.

In his article Mr. Reston quotes Benjamin I. Schwartz, acting director of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University, who sees a "cultural complacency" or even "intellectual isolationism" in America today, especially with respect to foreign languages.

Mr. Reston's article points to the imbalance in education. He says that there are about 13,500 Japanese enrolled in U.S. colleges and university and only about 240 Americans enrolled in U.S. college-sponsored programs in Japan. Between 200 and 300 Americans are now studying in China and about 50 in Taiwan, while more than 10,000 students from the People's Republic, and more than 16,000 Taiwanese, are studying in the U.S.

Reston says that many American students regard learning Asian languages as a "tedious intellectual exercise" and tend to go into law or business instead. Reston advocates more funding for language training because, he says, "there are still a lot of adventurous young people who would go anywhere and learn anything if they had a chance, a little money and a vision of the Pacific world."

Several days after Mr. Reston's article appeared in the International Herald Tribune a reader, Peter Wetzler of Freiburg, West Germany, wrote a letter to the editor in which he argued that "young Americans go into law or business rather than Chinese or Japanese because the former are well remunerated and the latter poorly." Twenty years ago, Mr. Wetzler learned German and Japanese but does not have a well paid position today in spite of his business and academic experience. He concludes: "American business and government leaders are oblivious to the barriers imposed by their ignorance of foreign languages and cultures. Students desiring regular employment and income in the future are well advised to stay in law, business or computer science." (International Herald Tribune, May 12–13, 1984).

* * *


Dialog Information Service, Inc. of Palo Alto, California, is the world's largest database vendor. It originally belonged to Lockheed before becoming an independent company. Dialog's president, Roger Summit (phonetic), in a recent interview in the Nihon keizai shimbun (May 14, 1984), said that in Europe and America the demand for Japanese scientific, technical and business information is five times greater than the amount of such information which Japan is currently supplying. He urged Japanese database companies to quickly translate their Japanese-language databases into English and supply them to the rest of the world.

Mr. Summit said that the amount of Japanese scientific and business information contained in Dialog's databases is enough to satisfy only 20% of the demand for such information. In fact, information which is uniquely Japanese amounts to only about 5 or 6% of the entire database contents. Dialog, he says, purchases databases from database compilers in the U.K. and makes them available to users in the U.K. As far as the U.K. alone is concerned, the payments which Dialog makes to the database compilers exceed the fees which it obtains from users there. It is understandable that Japan is unenthusiastic about translating its databases into English because of the costs and labor involved, but English is the world's standard for database services, and this is the only way to increase the number of users. The language problem will no doubt be solved in four or five years when machine translation becomes a reality, he said.

Dialog's database services to Japanese users have been increasing at an annual rate of 60% for the past four years. This is well above the world's average, which is increasing at the rate of 20% to 30% annually. This growth is expected to continue, and in June Dialog will purchase another large Hitachi computer to meet the expanding demand in Japan.

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The CSK Sōgō Kenkyūjo (Shinjuku Sumitomo Bldg. 37F, Nishi-Shinjuku 2–6-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, tel. 03–342–0281) announced that it will import and market in Japan an expert system development support tool called KEE (Knowledge Engineering Environment) which was developed by IntelliGenetics, Inc., a consulting firm in Palo Alto which was founded by Edward A. Feigenbaum, Professor at Stanford University and author of the book The Fifth Generation. The CSK institute plans to prepare a Japanese-language version of KEE before the end of this year. (Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, April 27, 1984)

According to the Nikkei sangyō shimbun (May 1, 1984), the CSK institute's parent company, Computer Service Corporation (CSK), has invested $1,000,000 of capital in Feigenbaum's IntelliGenetics, Inc. and maintains a "close collaborative relationship with it on the capital level."

The CSK Sōgō Kenkyūjo was established in December 1983 by Computer Services Corporation (CSK) and is headed by Mitsuharu Yata, former Senior Researcher at the Electrotechnical Laboratory of MITI. CSK is also affiliated with Bravice International through stock exchanges. (These developments were reported in January in our issue no. 11, p. 12–13)

The CSK Sōgō Kenkyūjo has announced that it will hold a three-day seminar on practical applications of artificial intelligence at the Hotel Okura in Akasaka, Tokyo on June 13–15. The seminar will be given by specialists in artificial intelligence, including Professor Feigenbaum. The cost of attending the seminar is ¥170,000. According to the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun of May 9, 1984, the following topics will be covered in the seminar:

June 13. Foundations of AI. Current state and future of AI. Fifth Generation trends in the U.S.

June 14. Foundations of expert systems. Development tools for expert systems.

June 15. Current state and future of machine translation. Language comprehension systems. Construction (shikumi) of machine translation.

In issue no. 11 I wrote that CSK's establishment of its own research institute with the collaboration of Mr. Yata seems to indicate that the CSK-Bravice-Weidner axis, probably with the behind-the-scenes backing of NEC, may in the future try to play a leading role in the development of machine translation and other artificial intelligence systems in Japan, perhaps even attempting to rival the Fifth Generation Project. Now still another component has joined the axis: Professor Feigenbaum.

* * *


The Institute for New Generation Computer Technology (ICOT), the Japanese organization aiming at developing the Fifth Generation computer, announced that it has developed a prototype "relational database machine" called "Delta." ICOT researchers had decided to develop its relational database in hardware form, rather than as software. ICOT plans to connect this newly developed database machine with the already developed sequential inference machine in a local area network (to be manufactured by Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.) and use them to develop software for the Fifth Generation computer.

The cost of developing "Delta" was about ¥1,500,000,000 ($6,493,500 at a recent exchange rate). Toshiba was in charge of developing the processing unit, and Hitachi developed the hierarchical memory unit.

The biggest characteristic feature of "Delta" is said to be the fact that it has the ability to process 100 times to 1,000 times more information than the conventional von Neumann type relational database machines, which are software-based. (Nihon keizai shimbun and Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, May 10, 1984)

* * *


James Unger of Honolulu, Hawaii, writes (May 17, 1984) to say that the most recent issue of the Journal of Japanese Studies says that Roy Andrew Miller is writing another book with the "working title" In Defense of the Japanese Language. Dr. Unger adds: "I don't know whether this means that Miller plans on recanting some of Japan's Modern Myth or (if "defense" refers to the work of people like Suzuki Tako, Watanabe Shoichi, et al.) that Miller is planning a sequel."

* * *


Iwanami Shoten has announced that it will publish a series of collected works (kōza) on microelectronics. The series, to be called Iwanami kōza: Maikuroerekutoronikusu, is to have 11 volumes when completed and will be published in the autumn of this year. The members of the series' editorial committee are Tokyo University Professors Tohru Moto-oka (computers), Takuo Sugano (semiconductors) and Takemochi Ishii (mechatronics) and Kazuhiro Fuchi, director of the ICOT Research Center. The articles will deal with subjects such as VLSI designing, microcomputers, and mechatronics and will be written by leading researchers and specialists in these fields working in Japanese universities, laboratories and manufacturing companies.

This series of writings on microelectronics has attracted the interest of overseas publishers, more than ten of which have already inquired about acquiring the rights for publishing translations of the entire series in their countries. According to the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of May 14, 1984, this is the first time that overseas publishers have indicated a desire to translate and publish an entire series of Japanese publications. Iwanami says that it will begin negotiations with overseas publishers this autumn and will decide at that time whether the English translations of the books will be made by Iwanami or by the overseas publishers.

Iwanami had originally expected to sell about 20,000 copies of the series in Japan, but if the books are translated and published overseas it is possible that the series might become a "world-wide best seller."

This development is considered to be important because it may be the first step towards reversing the long-standing imbalance between translations from foreign languages into Japanese and translations from Japanese into foreign languages. The former are said to outnumber the latter by 7.5 times. According to UNESCO statistics, the number of overseas publications translated into Japanese during 1982 numbered 2,307, while the number of Japanese publications translated into foreign languages during the same year was only 308. Most of the Japanese publications translated into foreign languages were literary works, and almost none of them were works about science or technology. This top-heavy situation has tended to aggravate tensions between Japan and the Western nations.

Will any readers of this newsletter, I wonder, be working on the English translations of the series?

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[The following article is based on a letter, dated May 11, 1984, which was addressed to me by Mr. Kohei Shimomura. Together with Mr. Doi, Mr. Shimomura has been writing a series of important theoretical articles in the magazine Kōgyō eigo. In the articles, which are entitled "Eibun sakusei wa 'ishiki kakumei' de!" the authors argue that there are fundamental structural differences between Japanese and English. If I understand them correctly, they advocate that J-E translators (they are referring chiefly to native Japanese translators) should restructure Japanese texts following a paragraph-oriented approach, that they should assign each paragraph a "topic sentence," and that each sentence in the English paragraph should have the same subject i.e. should refer back to the subject of the topic sentence. I have reworked Mr. Shimomura's letter into an article and added the title to it myself. - DLP]


by Kohei Shimomura

This letter contains my questions on English writing and my answer to Mr. Ohtani's question given in Technical Japanese Translation no. 10, 1983.

I would appreciate it if your readers would answer the following two fundamental questions:

  1. Do you native English speakers feel something odd when you read scientific texts the subjects (in grammar) of which are fixed to a single word?
  2. Do you state two or more ideas with equivalent importance in one sentence?

About the first question:

As Mr. Doi and I have mentioned in our monograph "Ishiki Kakumei," one paragraph has one central theme. The theme concerns one concrete matter, feature, phenomenon, opinion, etc. Therefore, fixing the subjects of sentences in one paragraph to one word means spotlighting such a matter, feature, etc., or concentrating the argument to one point. This style of writing serves best the understanding of the readers.

I feel that this style of writing is a little lacking in literary elegance, but I believe this is the most simple way in writing obvious technical English, especially for Japanese writers. I totally believe that scientific documents need not be made up of charming or fascinating sentences, but must be scientifically or technically interesting.

About the second question:

We Japanese write a Japanese sentence in which a lot of independent matters and concepts are packed, as given in the example I enclose. Far from this, we are proud of writing such a long and full-house sentence. It is common to encounter a considerably large paragraph built up with one sentence.

I think one English sentence can cover only one topic. A sentence having two or more matters or concepts can be broken into one main topic part and other subordinate part(s).

In a technical field, one term has one concrete meaning, one sentence one concrete topic, and one paragraph one concrete theme. I think this is the real reason why Leggett says that Japanese should write shorter sentences, and why you agree with the necessity of breaking up long sentences.

Now let me to try to answer Mr. Ohtani's question, "whether a translator is permitted to rewrite or to reconstruct a Japanese document to be translated into English?" His question appeared in Technical Japanese Translation, no. 10, 1983.

Compare the following two examples:

Example A

A phenomenon by which white chemically stable lead sulfate deposits on electrodes is called sulfation; lead storage batteries with sulfation developed, undercharged due to uneven charging current in series charging, excessively discharged down to a final discharge voltage, and stored for long periods are to be recharged for 1 to 3 hours under a current condition of approximately 20 A/hour. This is called overcharging. Overcharging should also be applied to batteries in daily use at regular intervals. Too much frequent overcharging, however, is harmful to lead storage batteries.

Example B

Overcharging is an extra charging process applied to lead storage batteries having been normal-charged. Conditions of overcharging process are as follows:

Overcharging is applied to lead storage batteries in the following four states:

  1. Batteries with sulfation developed
  2. Batteries undercharged due to uneven charging current in series charging
  3. Batteries excessively discharged down to a final discharge voltage
  4. Batteries stored for long periods.

Overcharging should also be applied to batteries in daily use at regular intervals. Too much frequent overcharging is harmful to lead storage batteries.

NOTE: Sulfation is a chemical phenomenon by which white chemically stable lead sulfate deposits on electrodes.

Here is the original Japanese text from which Examples A and B were translated:

〔3〕過充電 化学的に安定な白色硫酸鉛の沈殿が極板上にできることは硫酸化(サルフェーション)というが、硫酸化が生じたものや、直列充電による充電の不ぞろいによる充電不足のもの、また放電終止電圧以下に過放電したもの、あるいは長期貯蔵したものは、平常充電終了後、引続いて20時間率程度の電流で1〜3時間充電を続ける。これを過充電という。過充電は日常使用のものも一定期間ごとに定期的に行なうが、あまりしばしば行なうことはかえって弊害がある。

Which of the two examples is more intelligible in understanding the technical process "overcharging"? The former example A is produced by the straight, or sentence-to-sentence, translation from the original Japanese document; the latter example B by translation after the reconstruction of the same original document.

Usual Japanese scientific documents are not suitable to be used as original documents to be translated directly into English, that is, poor Japanese as Mr. Ohtani pointed out. We Japanese people, however, feel such Japanese to be natural. Therefore, usual Japanese scientific texts are to be reconstructed into logical texts before translation into English acceptable to average English readers.

Example B adopts a definition of "overcharging" for its topic sentence, because the Japanese text covers what is overcharging as a central theme. The topic sentence is followed by sentences whose subjects are fixed to "overcharging," the subject of the topic sentence. These sentences are arranged according to a "logic chain." The Japanese text has been logically analyzed and reconstructed to establish a logic chain. However, the contents or information of the Japanese text has not been changed or rewritten at all. Note that "sulfation" occupies only the position of a footnote, even though sulfation is described in the first sentence of the Japanese text.

Readers of example A would mistakenly assume that this document deals with "sulfation" as its central theme. Sulfation is of little importance in this document and, as a matter of fact, is related only to one state of lead storage batteries to which overcharging must be applied. The long sentence following the semicolon describes that lead storage batteries require another charging process after the normal-charging process, but the sentence provides no definition for such recharging process. A term "overcharging" appears at last after said long sentence containing a variety of descriptive matters but no definition. Thus, an average English reader cannot see what Japanese people say in such logicless texts.

*  *  *

[Here are the examples of "long, full-house sentences" which Mr. Shimomura encloses with his letter. We might use these sentences to practice applying Mr. Shimomura's principles of logical reconstruction.]








* * *

[Editor's reply: Mr. Shimomura states his argument very ably, and I think we all can derive much benefit from his teaching, even if we are native speakers of English who do not need instruction in how to "simulate" correct "technical English."

Let me state my own tentative answers to Mr. Shimomura's two questions, starting with the second one: that is, whether two or more ideas of equal importance can correctly be contained in one sentence. In technical writing, where precision and clarity are most highly prized, it would probably be a good idea to limit one sentence to the expression of one main idea, although this is not necessarily the case in literary writing. I agree also that each paragraph should be limited to subject matter referring to the same main topic, which can conveniently be announced in the first subject. Digressions should be put in separate paragraphs or in footnotes. This is a practice which native speakers of English find natural, and many of us have taken high-school courses in descriptive writing or journalism where we were taught this. But I think this is just an elementary rule of thumb, and there is no rule without exceptions. Let us not be too dogmatic.

I take the first question to mean this: "Do native English speakers feel something odd" when we read scientific texts which have the same subject in every sentence, as in Example B? The answer could very well be Yes. It seems to me a little unnatural to make an iron-clad rule which requires that every sentence in every paragraph must have the same subject, or refer back to the same word. A rule of this type is too rigid and inflexible, and the resulting texts would sound much too monotonous and even puerile to a native speaker. This type of writing is not our natural way of expressing ourselves in English, nor apparently is it Mr. Shimomura's. If we read the last paragraph of Mr. Shimomura's letter, we notice that the "topic sentence" has "Readers of example A" as its subject. However, the next three sentences all begin with other subjects, and only the last sentence returns to something similar to the subject of the first sentence ("average English readers"). An examination of any well-written manual or textbook will also show, I think, that each paragraph is rather loosely organized around one central topic, but that the subjects of each individual sentence are usually different.

Finally, I want to state my personal opinion that there is no such thing as "technical English" or kōgyō Eigo, apart from English in general. Good English is good English, period. I tend to react with suspicion to arguments that "technical English" is a special sub-dialect of English which only very few Americans have mastered. There are those, like Mr. Okaji (see below, p. 36), who would like to have us believe that there is such a specialized language and that they have mastered it. However, I know for a fact that many American technical specialists write manuals in very poor English, just as many Japanese technical writers write "poor" Japanese. It is possible that Mr. Shimomura is taking as his models for writing "technical English" excerpts from engineering manuals which deal with a limited range of subject matter and which many of us would not consider to be especially good writing. As an example of accurate and elegant technical writing, I would rather take a good medical textbook, written by and for literate scholars, than a manual about batteries or automobile assembly, which are probably aimed at unsophisticated readers.

I would like to hear how other readers would reply to Mr. Shimomura's questions.

* * *


Alexander Shkolnik has a new Japanese-Russian glossary on photography and light-sensitive materials, entitled Yaponsko-russkie terminy po foto kinotekhnike i svetochuvstvitel'nym materialam. The glossary was published in 1984 in Moscow by the Vsesoyuznyi Tsentr Perevodov Nauchno-Tekhnicheskoi Literatury i Dokumentatsii as No. 61 in its series called Tetradi novykh terminov (Index No. 57371). It contains 1,500 terms on photography and optics which are not included in published dictionaries on those fields. The glossary would be useful to J-E translators who do not know Russian because the Japanese terms are arranged alphabetically according to the Hepburn system of romanization and are supplied with both English and Russian equivalents. There is a Russian index, but no English index. The glossary has 146 pages and costs 1 ruble.

Another publication in the same series (Index No. 57372) which has not been received here is a Japanese-Russian glossary on aviation entitled Yaponsko-russkie terminy po aviatsii.

In 1985 the Tsentr will issue three more glossaries in the same Tetradi series, each costing 1 ruble.

No. 17. Yaponsko-russkie terminy po setyam i apparature svyazi [Terms on communications networks and equipment] (Index No. 57346)

No. 18. Yaponsko-russkie terminy p keramike steklu i vyazhushchim materialam [Terms on ceramics, glass and binding materials] (Index No. 57347)

No. 19. Yaponsko-russkie terminy Po metallurgii chuguna [Terms on iron metallurgy] (Index No. 57348).

Pre-orders can apparently be placed for these three future publications.

Alexander Shkolnik says that these publications can be ordered through Znanie Bookstore, 5237 Geary Blvd., San Francisco. I believe that orders can also be placed for them through Victor Kamkin Inc., 12224 Parkiawn Dr., Rockville, MD 20852.

* * *


I recently received two handy Inter Press dictionaries: a Japanese-English computer engineering dictionary (Konpyuutaa enjiniaringu yoogo 34000 Waei-hen) (Inter Press, 1984, ¥4,200) and an E-J & J-E military dictionary (Waei Eiwa Gunji yoogo 20000) (Inter Press, 1984, ¥5,500). These two dictionaries include all the terms in their respective fields from the larger Inter Press Dictionary of Science and Engineering (Kagaku gijutsu 25-mango daijiten). Those who already have the larger Inter Press Dictionary will not need these two, but if you specialize in either computers or military science and do not have the larger dictionary these less expensive smaller dictionaries would definitely be very useful.

A trilingual (Japanese, Chinese and English) plastics dictionary (Nitchuuei, Eichuunichi Purasuchikku jiten) has been published by Plastic Age. It contains 1,800 most commonly used words about plastics, has 150 pages and costs ¥1,500. Chinese terms can be found by looking them up under either their Japanese equivalents or their English equivalents. Unfortunately, there is no Chinese index. (Reviewed in the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, May 5, 1984)

Incidentally, the magazine Kōgyō eigo published by Inter Press, announces special enlarged issues (tokubetsu zoodaigoo) of the magazine in July and October 1984 and in January and February 1985. Translators might want to look for these issues. They will contain lists of new words not included in the large Inter Press Dictionary as well as collections of examples of Japanese and English versions of typical scientific and technical texts.

James Unger of Honolulu writes to say that the Zusetsu Nihongo: Gurafu de miru kotoba no sugata (published by Kadokawa Shoten) is a "real gem." He also praises their Shin Kokugo jiten (compiled by Yamada and Yoshikawa), which he says "has features that place it ahead of similar small-format dictionaries (e.g. pitch-accent information)."

* * *


by Carl Kay

Carl Kay writes:

"The following is a complete inventory of my Japanese reference shelf — a total of 52 volumes. I've tried to give title, publisher, date of publication, price and bookstore name, when possible. There are probably some typing mistakes and some misread kanji as well. I've rated the dictionaries according to usefulness, based solely on my own experience.

"I hope that other translators will help me with their comments and suggestions. I also hope that other translators will publish their own lists and ratings. In fact, I propose that we pool lists by all readers of the newsletter to see which dictionaries are owned by many translators, which ones are rated highly, which ones are a waste of money, what the best bookstores are, etc. This information could benefit all newsletter readers. We might also poll readers concerning which dictionaries are lacking. I, for example, need good glossaries for lasers, pharmaceuticals, and a few other fields but have never found any. If enough readers share a need, perhaps a publisher or even one among us will decide it worth-while to compile and print the needed reference. I would be willing to do the tallying of the lists in order to shift some of the newsletter out of Donald's hands, providing that the lists sent in to me are legible and use Romaji for the Japanese names."

Those who wish to send in their own lists should mail them to Carl (see his address in the glossary at the end of this issue) within about 30–45 days.

*  *  *


A 1. Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 1974 ($80.00) (any good international bookstore)
A 2. The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary, Second Revised Edition, by Nelson, published by Tuttle, 1974 (16th printing 1984) ($35.00) (any good college bookstore)
B 3. The Japan Times' Wa-Ei Honyaku Handobukku (Jap-Eng. Translation Handbook), 1979 by Kiyoaki Murata (1600 yen, Kinokuniya, NYC)
C 4. Kenkyusha's New Pocket Eng.-Jap Dictionary, ed. by Iwasaki, 1963. ($20.00 in Boston four years ago)
A 5. Japanese Names, P.G. O'Neill, Weatherhill, 1972. ($25.00; Asian Books in Cambridge)
B‑C 6. Gendai Yogo no Kiso Chishiki (Basic Knowledge of Contemp. Vocab.) published annually by Jiyu Kokumin Sha ($18.30 at Kinokuniya, NYC in Jan. 1984; 1983 edition was on sale at half price)
C 7. A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese by Sakado, Tuttle, 1961 (inexpensive) (Harvard Coop)


D 1. Multilingual Dictionary of Important Terms in Molecular Spectroscopy — published by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1966. (Bought used at 1983 ATA Convention)
C 2. Comprehending Technical Japanese, by Daub et al., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1975 ($17.50) (available in U.S.; I got it at Asian Books, Cambridge)
B 3. Henshu, Insatsu Dezain Yogo Jiten (Editing, Printing, Design Terms), 1980, pub. by Seibundo Shinkosha (3800 yen) (bought at Tokyo Shoten, NYC). I use as reference in doing my Japn. typesetting work.
B 4. Glossary of Japanese Patent Law Terms, by Thomas Wilds, 1976, Marlin Publications International, New York (pd $30.00 in Boston for thin paperback — Cheng & Tsui Bookstore).
B 5. Iwanami's Rikagaku Jiten (Physics and Chemistry Dict.) (6200 yen) 1981, hardcover (Any major Japanese bookstore)
B 6. Iwanami's Seibutsugaku Jiten (Biology Dict) (2nd ed.), 1977, harcover (6500 yen) (Japanese bookstore)
C 7. Iwanami's Sugaku Jiten (Mathematics Dict) (2nd ed.), 1968, hardcover (4800 yen) (Japanese bookstore)
C 8. Genshiryoku no Yogo (Glossary of Nuclear Power). Published by Monbusho, I think. I have xeroxed library copy — no title page.
C 9. Bunkogaku Jiten (Glossary of Spectroscopy), 1974. I have xerox of library copy; published by Monbusho, I believe.
C 10. New Pocket Medical Dictionary (Jap.-Eng.-Germ.) 2nd ed., by Fujita, pub. by Igaku Shoin, 1979 (2,200 yen) (Kinokuniya, NYC)
B 11. Eng.-Jap./Jap.-Eng. Saishin Kagakugo Jiten (New Chemical Dictionary), by Hashimoto, published by Sankyo, 1965 (6,000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 12. Sogo Konpyuta Jiten (Comprehensive computer dictionary), published by Kyoritsu, 1976 (13,000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 13. Nyu Medeia Yogo Jiten (Dictionary of Satellite Technology, "New Media" terms), pub. by Nihon Hosoku Publishing Co., 1983 (1500 yen).
B‑C 14. Maikurokonpyuta Yogo Jiten (Microcomputer Dict.) published by Nikkan Kogyo Shinbunsha, 1980 (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 15. Maikon Yogo Jiten (Microcomputer Dict.), published in 1978 by Dempa Shinbunsha (1800 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 16. Konpyuta Yogo Jiten (Computer Dict.) published in 1983 by Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha (550 yen) (Tokyo Shoten, NYC)
C 17. Eiwa-Waei Joho Shori Yogo Jiten (Information Processing Dict.) New edition, pub. by Nihon Riko Pub., 1983 (2400 yen) (Tokyo Shoten, NYC)
C 18. Maikuropurosessa Yogo Jiten (Microprocessor Dict.) published by Maitek (based on dictionary by SYBEX, Inc.), 1978 (600 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 19. Jido Seigyo Yogo Jiten (Dict. of Automatic Controls), pub. by OhmSha, 1969 (3600 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
B 20. Waeidoku Kikai Jutsugo Daijiten (Large Dict. of Mech. Engineering Jap.-Eng.-Germ.) published by Ohm-Sha, 1974 (14000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 21. Porima Jiten (Polymer Dict.) published by Taiseisha, 1970 (2000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 22. Kikai Kogyo Yogo Jiten (Mech. Eng. Dict.) published by Gihodo, 1958 (3,000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
A 23. Gakujutsu Yogoshu - Denki Kogakuhen (Dict. of Electrical Eng.), pub. by Monbusho, 1979, Rev. Ed. (2850 yen) (Kinokuniya NYC or SF)
C 24. Gakujutsu Yogoshu - Kagakuhen (Chemistry Dict.), Rev. Ed., 1974, pub. by Monbusho (950 yen) (Kinokuniya NYC or SF)
C 25. Keitoteki ni Mita Igaku Seibutsugaku Ryochi no Eigo Jutsugo Jiten (Eng.-Jap. Dict. of Word Elements in Medicine and Biology), pub. by Hirokawa, 1972 (3500 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
B 26. Eiwa Waei Seibutsugaku Yogo Jiten (Biology Dict.) by Sankyo, 1972 (6500 yen), hardcover. (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 27. Eiwa-Waei Konpyuta Yogo Jiten (Computer Dict.) pub. by Fuji Shobo, 1978 (2600 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 28. Gakujutsu Yogo Jiten - Denki Kogakuhen (earlier edition of 23), 1957.
A 29. Konpyuta Eiwa-waei Jiten (Computer Dict.), pub. by Kyoritsu, 1978 (1700 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 30. Shisutemuzu Enjiniaringu Eiwa-Waei Jiten (Systems Engineering Dictionary) pub. by Nikkan kōgyō shimbunsha, 1981 (Tokyo Shoten and Kinokuniya, SF)
B 31. Kinzoku Jutsugo Jiten (Metallurgy Dict.), pub. by Agne, 1980 (2000 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
B 32. Kinzoku Yogoshu (Metallurgy Dict.) pub. by Nihon Kinzoku Gakkai, 1973 (1300 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 33. Kankyo Yogoshu (Environmental Dict.) pub. by Kyoritsu, 1974 (can't remember where I got it, through Kinokuniya SF I believe)
C 34. Suisan Yogo Jiten (Dict. of Fisheries Technical Terms), pub. by Koseisha Koseikaku, 1974 (ATS in New Jersey)
C 35. Gakujutsu Yogoshu — Idengaku hen (Genetics Dict.) pub. by Monbusho, 1974 (700 yen)
C 36. Saishin Shokubutsu Yogo Jiten (Botany Dictionary) pub. by Hirokawa, 1980 (4500 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 37. Gakujutsu Yogo Jiten — Shokubutsugaku hen (Botany Dict.) pub. by Monbusho, 1956 (440 yen) (Kinokuniya, SF)
C 38. Yakugaku Yogo Jiten (Pharmacology Dict.), pub. by Hirokawa, 1980 (5000 yen)
C 39. Yu-kuatsu Yogo Jiten (Dict. of Oil and Air Pressure), pub. by Nikkan kōgyō shimbunsha, 1971 (ATS, New Jersey)
C 40. Gakujutsu Yogoshu - Kikai Kogaku hen (Mech. Eng. Dict.), pub. by Moribusho, 1957 (1550 yen)
C 41. Kikai Jiten (Mechanical Dict.) Gihodo, 1962 (ATS, New Jersey) D 42. Japanese-Chinese-English Dictionary of Aeronautical and Meteorological Terms pub. by G.E. Stechert & Co., NYC, 1945 (gift from a translation agency, used)
A 43. Chinese-English-Japanese Glossary of Chemical Terms pub. by Joint Publishing Co. (Hong Kong), 1977 (Chinese bookstore in Boston)
D 44. Kenkyusha's Eng.-Jap. Dict. of Commercial and Technical Terms, 1944 (gift from fellow translator)
C‑D 45. Chemistry through the Language Barrier, E. Reid, Johns Hopkins Press, 1970. (Bought used at last meeting of New England Trans. Assoc., 1979)

On order from Tokyo Shoten:



(Note: My ratings of usefulness reflect on the nature of my work as well as on the dictionary.)

A: Utterly indispensable

B: Useful often

C: Consulted from time to time

D: Obscure collector's item only

*  *  *

[Editor's Note: I think the idea of publishing lists of dictionaries submitted by translators is a good one, and I encourage readers to make their own lists and send them in. Many of us will be interested in seeing what kind of a library other professional translators have. Some synergy strategies can surely evolve from a swapping of inventories of dictionaries.

Alas, my own shelves are groaning under the weight of my collection of more than 300 technical dictionaries, not all of which are very useful. I don't think I could possibly make up a list of all of them, but I do have an annotated bibliography of the most useful ones which I compiled several years ago and showed to Hannah Feneron. I will try to update that and publish it in a future issue.

I am of two minds about dictionaries. On the one hand, to a translator they are, of course, tools equally as important as the hammer and saw to a carpenter. On the other hand, many of the terms which we encounter in our work are so novel, so obscure, or so limited in their usage that they never find their way into dictionaries at all. Besides, many of the dictionaries made in Japan are riddled with mistakes and misspellings of the English equivalents. If I were a beginner starting afresh with few dictionaries, I would begin by buying the Inter Press Dictionary of Science and Engineering, which I find to be more useful on a day-to-day basis than any other dictionary. Although expensive, it supersedes dozens of other dictionaries. Why buy 20 or 30 dictionaries when all the words they contain are in this one dictionary? DLP]

* * *


Are you a translator in the U.S. with limited funds who wants to buy Japanese dictionaries and reference books from Japan but objects to paying the inflated prices demanded by Kinokuniya, OCS and others here? I am told that Kinokuniya in San Francisco charges its customers $1 for each 100 of the jacket prices of Japanese books. A book with a price of ¥2,300 ($10 at a recent exchange rate) would cost $23.00 if you bought it there. I was lucky to obtain my Inter Press Dictionary of Science and Engineering through OCS for only $399 (it weighs about 14 pounds, and OCS sent it to the U.S. via airmail) but according to this rate a dictionary costing 88,000 would cost $880 if purchased from Kinokuniya (and the buyer would have to wait several weeks for delivery by sea mail).

Well, Clifford Bender of Kyoto, Japan, shares your indignation about the mark-ups charged for books. He offers to go to the bookstore in Kyoto, purchase any book (he is thinking primarily of dictionaries and similar job tools), wrap it and mail it for what it costs. "Readers may pay me," he says, "in U.S. dollars by personal check or money order at the current exchange rate, which is published daily in the newspaper here and of which I will notify them." (We can also find currency rate information in most daily newspapers in the U.S. - DLP) "Book rates are available," he continues, "for both air and ship, with the time required for delivery varying accordingly." He says the postage for the Inter Press daijiten would be about $15 by sea or $68 by air.

Here is Clifford's address in Kyoto:

Mr. Clifford Bender
103 Nanaban-kan
7 Agura-cho Iwakura
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606

* * *


P.K. Maxwell of Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, writes (May 9, 1984) to say that there are now at least two versions of the mammoth Inter Press dictionary published in Taiwan. "One is clearly marked as non-exportable. The more expensive, exportable version is available at half its Japanese price from ABC ENTERPRISES INC. (7–4 Ohyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, tel.: 485–2961). ABC is also the best place in Tokyo for dictionaries in European languages."

Are these what used to be known as "pirate editions"? Granted that there are exportable and non-exportable editions in Taiwan, how, I wonder, can Taiwan editions be purchased by persons in the U.S.? Obviously we here have no need to go to the Tokyo booksellers to buy them if we can go direct to Taiwan for our inexpensive reprints.

Mr. Maxwell also promises to send us an update on books from Taipei in September, including addresses for ordering and current prices.

* * *


The following glossary related to biosciences was submitted by Josephine B. Howe, who writes: "I have enclosed a few terms which I have not found in dictionaries but have verified by various means including English citations or initials in Japanese texts. They are the terms from my glossary that are related to biosciences."

亜株化 to clone
ぼうこう尿管逆流 vesicoureteral reflex
分画遠沈 differential centrifugation
ブドウ球菌性熱傷様症候群 Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome
中間尿 midstream voided urine
中心捜 centrioles
脱血交換 hemodilution
栄養状態 nutriture
腹腔浸出細胞 peritoneal exudate cells
ガマ毒 the poisonous secretion of the aqua toad
ガン胎児抗原 carcinoembryonic antigen
偽成虫 adultoid
ハートレ系 Hartley (guinea pig)
薄層仮足 lamellipodia
異系交配 outbreeding
域健 threshold (of pain)
稲科 Gramineae
じん(塵)肺症 pneumoconiosis
充盈像 (barium) filled picture
下甲介 concha inferior
結核菌菌体精製蛋白 purified protein derivative (PPD)
血管網 rete vasculosum
血しょう鉄交代 plasma iron turnover (PIT)
血しょう鉄消失 plasma iron deficiency (PID)
血液体外灌沈 extracorporeal hemoperfusion
菌交代症 substitute bacteriosis
菌苔 plaque (dental)
高脂血清 hyperlipidemia
強制分解 compulsory degradation
免疫血清学検査 immunoassay
粘膜関門 mucosal barrier
小胞体 vesicle
小核試験 micronucleus test
愁訴改善 improvement in subjective symptoms
代射事像 metabolic event
受身赤血球懝集反応 passive hemagglutination (PEA)
有形成分 formed elements (of blood)

In a later communication, Josephine tells us about the following boo-boo which was luckily corrected in time:

I once encountered, in a badly copied patent, what I thought was 熱成 — actually it looked like [illegible] — and I tried translating it as if it were an abbreviation 熱形成 of thermal molding, which didn't make sense. Of course it was 熟成 aging or maturation, which I discovered in time to correct the translation.

* * *


The following communication is from Clifford Bender of Kyoto, Japan. I am reproducing the page of the letter exactly as I received it. DLP

A few words on the problem words offered in issue 13 and others. Most of these definitions are from my notes in which I keep no reference to dictionary or source (I realize now one should), or texts where I have found the same words and have had manufacturers or other clients confirm their meanings. Choice of the English term is, of course, subject to specific contexts and corrections are welcome. I have only looked at terms not defined by DLP.

15. atsuoonyu. Should be the same as #7, atsunyu, with perhaps the added nuance of to fit into a depression.

18. sookyu. Feed; with copiers, production lines, others.

22. offset suru. If not "offset," then must be to "set off," i.e. turn off. Often means turn off, though usually written "off ni setto suru"; ni sometimes left out with space, and the space may even be forgotten. If the context was "operated until offset," and if it was a copier, it probably meant the unit operated automatically (as with automatic feeder or sorter) until the job was over and the unit switched off.

48. gadashi. Also used with videos to mean locate or search for a scene.

74. genshi. Stencil. This is in Kenkyusha's. Could also be "original," being an abbreviation for genkoyoshi, if used with a copier.

For what it's worth. The "ritsu" tacked onto #33–39 is often just that: tacked on to turn, for example, distribution into distribution rate/factor/coefficient, even possibility or probability. Osaka Gas uses jikkoritsu 事故率 to mean the probability of (some accident) occurring. This usage may also be found less in patents and similar formal documents, such as seems to handled there, than in the type of manuals and ditties worked with here. Making up words by adding characters (ritsu, boko) is seen as a shortcut to brevity and final text because it takes less time than finding the correct word or phrase. On the other hand, some are colloquial and sneak into the text. A few a colleague and I thought might pose problems follow. Most of these are in common usage here so may be nothing new, but...

1. kanso chisso. 感想チッ素 Nitrogen. The Japanese chemists I work with say this kanso means only that the gas is contained in a pressurized cylinder. It is not dried or otherwise specially treated. This kanso is used with other gases, too, and may in some cases mean dried, dehumidified.

2. F-tokusei. F・特性 Frequency response, normally written 周波数特性 . Also written simply F・特

3. uesu. ウエス Rag. Perhaps from "waste." (?)

4. W. Written with a "w." Means double, two, duplicate, and other variations on the number and multiples of two.

* * *


Linda Moffett of Denver, Colorado, writes that the American Translators Association will hold its 1984 Convention at the New York Penta Hotel in New York, NY from September 19–23, 1984. There are several programs that may be of interest to Japanese translators including "Scientific Japanese" and "Japanese-English Translations." Linda says she thinks that those interested can contact the ATA at 109 Croton Avenue, Osinning, NY 10562. Readers who attend the convention will be requested to send full reports to us so that other readers will benefit.

* * *


Alan Gleason, a reader in San Francisco, wrote me about the Research Libraries Group, headquartered at Stanford, which has developed a computer for bibliographic input and retrieval of materials written in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, capable of handling any vernacular word in those three languages. I asked Charles Ridley to obtain some information about this for the newsletter. He contacted the Library Coordinator of RLG and sent me some informational brochures. I think translators will be interested in the services offered by the RLG. Here is a brief outline of what I learned.

The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RIG) is a corporation owned by the nation's major universities and other research institutions. It was established in 1974 by Harvard, Yale, and Columbia universities and The New York Public Library. One of the most important objectives was to create a computer-based bibliographic processing system that would improve efficiency in library operations, link RLG programs, and afford library patrons an increased and more flexible set of access points than is possible in conventional card catalogs.

In 1978, Stanford University became a member of RIG as well as the host institution for RIG's central staff and central computer facility. A system developed by Stanford became the technical base for the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN), an automated information system.

One of RLG's special subject programs is its East Asian Program. RLIN now provides computer-supported processing of bibliographic records composed of East Asian characters Chinese, Japanese, and/or Korean. The RLG "CJK" computer terminal, manufactured to RLG's specifications by Transtech International Corporation of Natick, Mass., has a video screen and a 179-key typewriter-style keyboard. These keys are used in four modes to invoke the standard Roman alphabet (plus punctuation, diacritics, and numerals); Japanese kana; Korean hangu;l and approximately 13,500 "Chinese" characters, including the variant forms used in Japan and Korea as well as in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China.

Chinese characters are constructed on the terminal's video screen by pressing keys corresponding to character components, of which 245 are represented on the key tops. All 13,500 Chinese characters can be "spelled" with a unique string of one to eight components, generally following the conventional stroke order for each graph.

The video screens present intermixed scripts — Chinese characters, kana hangul Roman, etc. in all the standard RLIN record display formats. A special dot-matrix impact printer (a specially modified General Electric 3000 series printer) can be connected to the terminal, permitting the transfer of these video displays onto paper.

Up to four CJK terminals are driven by a single microprocessor that is connected to RLG's main computer via the PLIN dedicated synchronous communications network. They have all the capabilities of the current RLG video terminals plus the East Asian character enhancements. This means that the terminals can be used for searching all materials using the Roman alphabet as well as for materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

A large machine-readable file of romanized cataloging for the entire East Asian collection of the University of Toronto Libraries (90,825 records) was also acquired and loaded into RLIN in August 1983. Thus, a substantial file of East Asian data has been made available in RLIN, providing scholars and other users with bibliographic information for both new and older East Asian materials.

The first RLG CJK terminals were delivered to RLG's member libraries in March 1983, and the CJK enhancements were made fully operational in September 1983. In October 1983, the Library of Congress converted to RLIN for processing all of its East Asian vernacular materials. By the middle of 1984, sixteen institutions across the country will have made similar conversions, and the RLIN data base will contain more than 60,000 CJK records.

At present, CJK terminals have been installed in six RLG member institutions, as well as at the Library of Congress and the Los Angeles County Public Library. By 1984, six more RLG owner members and two associate members will join these institutions in entering East Asian records in RLIN. The sixteen institutions that will be sharing their vernacular materials on-line with each other and the rest of the network are: the Library of Congress; Columbia University; The New York Public Library; the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; Yale University; University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania; Princeton University; Rutgers University; Brigham Young University; Brown University; Cornell University; University of Minnesota; University of Toronto; University of Chicago; and the Los Angeles County Public Library.

Here is a print-out from the CJK printer at RLG's central offices. It was the first CJK record entered by the Library of Congress into the data base: a biography of Hung Jen-kan, a revolutionary active in the Taiping rebellion.

[Scanned Image No. 1]

Further information can be obtained by contacting:

La Vonne Gallo
Library Coordinator
The Research Libraries Group, Inc.
Jordan Quadrangle
Stanford, CA 94305

* * *


According to Hannah Feneron, San Francisco State University is contemplating starting up a graduate program in Japanese. Hannah has written to the Chairman to urge that any graduate program offer courses in translation, particularly technical translation. She recommends that we also should write to the University with the same request. Communications should be addressed to:

Dr. Alfred Alberico
Chairman, Foreign Languages
School of Humanities
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

* * *


The Newsletter has been in correspondence with Rosemary J. Yates, Business Development Manager of the Japan Business Services Unit at the University of Sheffield, who has kindly offered to assist us in increasing our distribution in the U.S. and Europe.

It was quite interesting to hear about the Japan Business Services Unit, which was officially launched by the university's Vice-Chancellor in April 1983. It is a self-contained Unit within the University which works very closely with the Centre for Japanese Studies, although it is not formally connected to the Centre. The Unit offers a range of services which includes translation, interpreting, information and consultancy, briefing sessions and tailor-made language courses at all levels.

Ms. Yates says that the Unit relies for its expertise on a network of specialists available within the University of Sheffield — the Centre for Japanese Studies (established in 1963) and the Korean Studies Unit (established in 1980). The unique nature of the Centre for Japanese Studies in the United Kingdom, she says, has attracted a number of specialists to the University, and they, together with an annually changing series of visiting Japanese professors conducting research in their own special subjects, provide a reserve of experts on the social, political and economic aspects of contemporary Japan unrivalled in the U.K. The Unit has the additional backing of Chinese and other nationals who are employed within the University and whose assistance is sought as and when necessary. In addition, the various technical departments within the University, such as metallurgy, medicine, engineering, etc. are available for support with such things as technical translations. The University Library system has in excess of three-quarters of a million items. The network also may extend to graduates of the University in relevant fields working, for example, in Tokyo and the City of London and elsewhere, with experience which helps the Unit to satisfy its clients' requirements.

The Unit undertakes all types of translation — letters, promotional materials, technical manuals, patent specifications, scientific papers, etc. Emphasis is on translating from and into Japanese, but the Unit can also undertake translation from and into Korean and other languages.

The work of the Unit is not restricted to Japan alone. It is also able to offer similar services in relation to Korea and to other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Rosemary Yates worked in London and in Paris before gaining her first degree in Japanese and Linguistics at Sheffield University in 1978. She has since spent time in Japan and the Philippines, and obtained her M. Phil. degree in Japanese Linguistics in 1983.

* * *


An article which I saw in the May 4, 1984 issue of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun describes an on-line system which will connect translators working at home with a Tokyo translation agency. The name of the agency is Atlas Japan. According to the newspaper article, Atlas Japan is capitalized at ¥17 million and is headed by a man called Inoue.

The Nikkei sangyō shimbun article says that Atlas Japan used to receive the Japanese original from the client, send it to a translator, send the translation back to the client for checking and editing, and then print the final text. Now the company has developed a system by which all of these translation-related jobs can be done on-line. It is expected to speed up the flow of work and to make it possible for the agency's translators to work at home. The system, which will connect the company with the clients and the translators' homes via communications lines, is scheduled to go into operation in mid-May.

Atlas Japan plans to loan a total of 100 personal computers to its full-time translators: 50 this year and another 50 next year. The personal computers will be equipped with word-processing software for Western languages, and the translators will create their documents on the personal computers instead of using typewriters. Clients receiving the documents will be able to make corrections easily on the display screen and will be able to store documents on floppy disks. Some four or five large manufacturers of electrical equipment are expected to be the first clients to use this service offered by Atlas Japan.

The 1984 Honyaku jiten lists Atlas Japan in its directory and gives the following address: T&H Building, Kanda Tsukasa-cho 2–2-5, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101. The listing says that the agency claims to have 80 full-time translators and 800 others registered in its files. It specializes in technical documents on plants, electronics, "mechatronics," robots, and computers.

* * *


In issue no. 14, (p. 32), I mentioned that a company called Nihon Jidoo Honyaku Kenkyuusho K.K. (Mishina Building 4F, Kanda Tacho 2–7, Chiyodaku 101, Tokyo, tel. 03 (254)9322/7330) is offering a seminar consisting of 24 lectures to be given by the company's president, Sakae Okaji. Again in no. 15 (p. 22–23) I reported some of Mr. Okaji's ideas about translation.

According to a front-page article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of May 12, 1984, Mr. Okaji's company now has announced that it has developed a system for assisting J-E technical translators with technical terminology and is beginning to offer this system to Japanese wordprocessor manufacturers.

Mr. Okaji claims that a standardized form of English used in science and technology has been established in the U.S. and that it is taught in American universities. This has made it possible for the U.S. to develop a population of so-called "technical writers." On the other hand, in Japan there are almost no technical writers who specialize in writing technical documents, and even the terminology for scientific and technical writing is not well established in Japan. This is the reason why the English-language manuals and catalogs put out by Japanese businesses concerning their export products have often been criticized for being unreadable. Mr. Okaji claims that he has been engaged in the study of "technical English" (kōgyō Eigo) since 1965 and that he has accumulated a card catalog consisting of 100,000 cards containing equivalents for terms used in technical writing. The theory is that these data on technical terms would be entered into a word processor equipped with a hard disk of 8 megabytes or more, and that this would greatly speed up the work of translating technical documents.

Evidently the system is a sort of electronic dictionary which could be loaded into a word processor with a hard disk, enabling a translator to find the equivalents without consulting a dictionary in book form. The article does not mention which Japanese manufacturers of word processors, if any, have decided to incorporate such software in their products.

* * *


An article by staff writer Margaret Price in the Mainichi Daily News of May 6, 1984 describes a company called CATS, which stands for Computer Assisted Translation Service. The company was formed in December, 1983 as a joint project by I.S.S., an "international communications company," and Bravice International. CATS claims that it has perfected a marketable computer translation package which it will offer for sale next month.

The package uses Bravice-produced adaptations of Digital Equipment Corp.'s minicomputers (presumably the DEC VAX 11/70 minicomputer) and software consisting of basic dictionaries plus specialist dictionaries for various fields. As usual, the company claims that its computer translation system has an 80% accuracy rate before editing. "Automatic translation editors" at CATS then "are able to produce sentences from Japanese into English which are admittedly rough but which make sense," according to the article.

The company plans to hire out a CATS-trained automatic translation editor to any company that buys the CATS system if they cannot supply their own editors. Editors do both pre- and post-editing.

The article quotes Koji Osawa, a CATS codirector, who explains that "Pre-editing simply means reading the text and supplying things like subjects where the Japanese is vague so that the computer can handle it."

Margaret Price comments: "One would think that with all the effort put into pre-editing, followed by the time-consuming task of typing out the Japanese followed by further editing, it would be quicker just to get a person to do the translation."

In response to this, Osawa points out that "the kind of translation that these computers have been designed to handle is voluminous and the language repetitive. For a human translator the work is tedious since it consists of lengthy documentation including operating manuals and legal papers." Osawa does admit, however, that "anything but logical grammatical, uncomplicated language is out of the question for a computer as yet."

Another CATS codirector, Saburo Tsuchida, says that it was realized that in some cases "translation only makes things worse particularly in the case of technical documentation."

Tsuchida continues: "Japanese companies make an excellent product, but you'd be amazed how many orders are lost because of poorly written operating manuals and other documentation." CATS realized that the old system of translation for documentation of innovative products was just not good enough, Tsuchida says.

"In the past, the engineer working on a particular new machine would write out the manual, often in poor Japanese, which would be assigned for translation to an outsider who didn't know the machine and made mistakes, and the result was a manual which the overseas buyer could barely decipher," explains Tsuchida.

"Our idea was to send people we have trained to write good technical English straight to the engineer to learn everything first hand and write the manual in English from the start," he says.

To implement this idea, CATS has organized its first 12-part seminar course in technical writing beginning May 28.

Thanks to Ron Granich of Kyoto for sending us the article from the Mainichi Daily News.

* * *


The Asahi Evening News of May 9, 1984 published an interview with Takehiko Yamamoto, the president of Bravice, International. The interview was conducted by a reporter, Chris Betros.

The interview begins with an outline of Bravice's history, doing consulting work for Japanese firms operating in Brazil. In 1978 Bravice contacted Weidner Communications Corp. of Illinois about an English-to-Spanish translation system which Weidner had developed, and in December, 1982 Bravice acquired 51% of Weidner Communications.

Currently, 55% of Bravice's revenue comes from the sale of systems, 40% from translation services, and 5% from language teaching. Bravice has a large J-E translation system which costs about $200,000, and a smaller one for about $20,000. The smaller model has a 20-megabyte capacity, and the larger one a 60-megabyte capacity. Yamamoto says that the larger terminal operates 3 times faster, giving it a 15 times greater production capacity. The large systems, says Yamamoto, are able to generate up to 8,000 words of rough translation per hour, and the smaller ones about 3,000.

Two text input systems are possible: keyboard entry, or optical character reader. After the text has been input, it is scanned rapidly for unfamiliar vocabulary. Within a few minutes, the unknown words are displayed for attention by a human translator. "If these words are to appear regularly in future texts, each can be added to a permanent word bank or dictionary (featuring idioms, names, etc.) and from then on, they will be automatically translated."

Yamamoto's firm is currently trying to create a system for post-editing, since there are problems in English with definite and indefinite articles. As a linear process system, the computer analyzes the structure of a sentence but can only provide one solution for any one sentence or word. "There are no alternatives so that's why the human translator is still needed," says Yamamoto.

The translator's job is simplified, however, because the system uses a split screen displaying both the source and target language. Systems can interface with other systems including typesetters, letter-quality printers, and word processors.

Bravice has nine systems: Japanese-English, English-Spanish, Spanish-English, English-Arabic, English-French, French-English, English-German, German-English, and English-Portuguese. A prototype for an English-Japanese system is expected to be unveiled later this year. The Japanese-English system is the most popular and also requires the biggest memory. "There is also some demand for a system that goes from Japanese into a language other than English," says Yamamoto, but Bravice does not yet have sufficient manpower or resources for that.

Thanks to Ato Miyabe of Tokyo, Japan for sending me a copy of the interview from the Asahi Evening News.

* * *


Bravice International announced on May 17 that it will market its J-E translation system called "Bravice Pak 11/73" beginning on June 1. The system is based on a 16-bit minicomputer with a 512 kilobyte memory capacity. It comes in two models, the difference being the size of the external memory. The larger model, with an 80 MB external memory, will sell for ¥19,500,000 (around $84,782 at a recent exchange rate), including both hardware and software. The smaller model, with 40 MB external memory, will sell for ¥15,800,000 (around $68,695). The J-E system has a dictionary of about 40,000 words and can translate about 3,000 words an hour. The U.S. Department of Defense has inquired about six units, and Bravice has received inquiries for 140 units from Japanese automobile and machinery manufacturers. (Asahi Shimbun, Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun, May 18, 1984; and Japan Economic Journal, May 22, 1984).

Here is an example of a translation made from Japanese to English by the Bravice machine, printed on the front page of the Asahi shimbun of May 18. I reprint also an explanation of one of the machine's insufficiencies. It cannot deal with about 8,000 words such as the adverb iyoiyo. These words are said to require "special handling" beyond the machine's present capabilities.

[Scanned Image No. 2]

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According to an article in the May 1 issue of the Mainichi Daily News, Epson Corp. will start marketing in June two versatile hand-held computer systems that handle both Japanese and English texts. They are called the Epson HC-88 and HC-80. The computers are both hand-held versions of desktop personal computers using the Zilog Z-80 central processing unit.

The Epson HC-88 is an add-on model of the HC-80. The HC-88 functions as a Japanese word processor with a novel, simplified method of inputting Japanese words. It also functions as an English word processor and can perform the functions of a personal computer.

Both hand-held models measure 29.7 cm wide and 21.6 cm long. The HC-88 is 4.2 to 7.1 cm high and weighs about 2.9 kilos, while the HC-80 is 4.7 cm high and weighs about 2.3 kilos. The machines are both powered by a rechargeable NiCd battery, have a pull-up liquid crystal display showing eight lines of 80 alphanumeric characters or three lines of 30 Japanese characters per line. They have a built-in microcassette drive, a 64 KB user RAM area, the Z80 main CPU, and a group of built-in interfaces.

The HC-88 allows both the standard JIS Japanese input method and a newly developed, simplified Japanese input method called "Touch 16." This method is said to enable a neophyte user to master blind touch typing in Japanese in about three hours. The novice ought to be able to key in 2,000 Japanese characters or more per hour within a fairly short timespan, according to the article. The "Touch 16" method seems to be similar to the method used in the NEC PCWORD-M and PWP-100 Japanese word processors. That is, the operator uses only 16 keys for kana input, keying in the consonants of the Japanese language with one of the left-hand fingers and the vowels with one of the right-hand fingers. A system of "direct kanji input" (unexplained) is also allowed, and Japanese text can also be input in romaji.

The HC-80 model accepts the optional Japanese processing unit and performs the same functions as the HC-88 model when the add-on unit is attached. The HC-80 by itself can run optional applications programs such as WordStar, the English-language WP program.

The HC-88 comes with a bundled software package including a Japanese word-processing program called "Symphony Word," Japanese versions of Supercalc, a CP/M operating system and BASIC, and many utility programs. The HC-80 comes with straightforward CP/M, BASIC, and many utility programs.

Although the HC-88 has both a Japanese word-processing program and WordStar, I am not sure how useful it would be for inputting a bilingual document, such as a Japanese-English glossary.

Both machines accept optional hardware units such as printers and floppy disk drives, all of which are portable and — battery-powered! Most of the optional applications programs are scheduled to be released in ROM cartridges.

List price for the Epson HC-88 model is ¥298,000 (about $1,307 at one recent exchange rate), and the HC-80 lists for ¥198,000 (about $868). Prices of optional hardware units range from ¥15,000 ($53) to ¥104,000 ($371).

The article did not say whether Epson plans to sell the units overseas. Probably not, but at those prices one could afford to have someone buy them in Japan and bring them or send them to the U.S. I am intrigued by the fact that all the units, including the printers and floppy disk drives, are battery-driven. (I don't recall ever having heard of a battery-driven printer before.) Thanks to Ron Granich for sending me the article from the Mainichi Daily News.

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Some readers have sent us information about Japanese language word processors.

One of them, Clifford Bender of Kyoto, sent me an ad for a tiny portable Japanese-language word processor called the Picoword (Brother), which is sold in Japan for ¥88,000 (around $382 at a recent rate of exchange). It offers all the JIS Level 1 kanji and has a thermofax printer using a 16x16 dot matrix format. It weighs only 2.7 kg and operates on 4 batteries, or with an AC adapter. It may be similar to Brother's EP-44 "personal electronic printer" which is being sold in the U.S. The EP-44 weighs less than 5½ pounds and is only 2¾" high. Here are Clifford's comments about the Picoword and some other JL word processors:

Japanese language word processors have been the subject of much discussion, and I have also wondered for what purposes they are desired in the States? Since they wouldn't be needed in J-E translation itself, do most want them primarily for glossary compilation, or do most of these J-E translators also do E-J translations? If for glossaries, this new "Picoword Electronic Printer" introduced last month by Brother may be of interest, if only for its cost: teika 88,000. It provides JIS level 1 kanji with hiragana or katakana input, but only has a one-line memory, and is therefore only good for typing single pages, editing as you go. It is also somewhat limited in the type of paper it can use. Assembling a glossary of any length could be a real task with this, subsequent editing almost impossible, and any real word processing plain impossible, but having watched Brother develop the extremely limited EP20 electronic printer into much more useful models with larger built-in memories, optional floppy disc drives, and better functions, I would be surprised if more advanced versions of the Picoword do not come out in time. When I called Brother they said there are no present plans to export the Picoword.

A word on Fujitsu's My OASYS and Apple's Macintosh. I have just recently purchased a personal computer for translation. Though I work only from J-E, I wanted Japanese language capability for compiling glossaries and other work (playing around, too). English language capability was, of course, a necessity. Furthermore, I wanted a system which could conceivably be taken to the States eventually, and which once there could be serviced. In the looking I concentrated on products sold here and there by the same manufacturer, and limited my looking to NEC, Fujitsu, Apple, and Epson.

In talking with Fujitsu I was told the My OASYS sold here is identical to that sold in the States; it runs WordStar and has had only the voltage specification changed. Both Fujitsu's specially designed keyboard and the standard JIS keyboard are available, the latter for about ¥20,000 more. NEC and Epson adapted their units for the U.S. market by removing the Japanese capability, but both indicated it should be possible to adapt the models (9800 and QX-10) sold in the States; expense and details should be handled through their American subsidiaries.

I was quite intrigued by Macintosh; so portable and, well, cute. But its present English word processing is no great shakes, and it is expensive for what you get. However, Canon Sales indicated the Japanese language capability to be offered in the fall (kana will be available this July they said) could be added-on to the present Macintosh, which is just what came from the States (with voltage specification changed). Unfortunately, it will probably be expensive, in the neighborhood of ¥400,000 for the Japanese language capability alone. And then you still have to do something about a kanji printer, unless they come out with an add-on for and greatly improve the present Macintosh printer. By the way, 24 dot kanji printers, particularly from Epson, are now available for ¥290,000–¥310,000, varying according to JIS level 1 or 2 kanji. Total this all up, and one might as well purchase the IBM 5550, the price of which just dropped the equivalent of $1000 to $3000 depending on the model and accessories, and whether you want all IBM manufactured parts or will settle for those manufactured to IBM specifications by other manufacturers without adding the IBM name.

Incidentally, my answer was the Epson QC-10 as Japanese capability and programs are standard, it runs WordStar (virtually the only English language program available here — unless you go the IBM Displaywriter route for three or four times the price with no Japanese; the 5550 runs IBM's Easywriter (?), but even IBM recommends WordStar for it), was ½ price (last year's model) and Epson here says it should be serviceable in the States; I have still to contact Epson America to confirm this.

Another reader, Terry K. Kleeman of Albany, California, sent us the following evaluation of the Fujitsu My OASYS, which he saw demonstrated at the University of California at Berkeley:

Last month representatives of Fujitsu demonstrated the Fujitsu My OASYS (i.e. My Office Automation SYStem) word processor in San Francisco. Hearing of this, we in the Oriental Languages Department of the University of California persuaded them to also come over to the university for a demonstration. They were kind enough to oblige, setting up five word processors and helping us practice with them for the entire afternoon.

The model being marketed now in the U.S. is the first of the My OASYS line. It consists of a detachable keyboard and a surprisingly compact main unit, containing a green monochrome screen and single mini-floppy disk. There is a separate, and by comparison quite large, dot-matrix printer. The character set employed on both screen and printer is defined in a 24x24 matrix, and even complex kanji are clear and well balanced. The built-in monitor displays 40 characters across and 14 down, indicating a remarkable resolution of at least 960x336 (as compared to a high of 800x400 in the best personal computer currently available here, the Victor).

The keyboard layout is innovative and efficient. Fujitsu abandoned the standard JIS layout of kana for its own system. They place two kana on each key, and the user selects one or the other by pressing the opposite shift key. The shift keys have also been moved, and are found in the center of the keyboard where one would expect a single space bar. (In fact, the shift keys still work as a space bar when typing in Roman letters.) The thumb controls the shift for the characters on the opposite half of the keyboard, and the two halves are clearly distinguished by different color keys. This may all sound quite complex and distracting, but in practice it was not. I think I could have gotten used to the keyboard quite quickly. Fortunately, I did not. The My OASYS has a mode for automatically converting romaji input into kana and I soon found this by far the most expedient method. One of the women demonstrating the machines told me that she also used this method, even though she is Japanese. I think that anyone who already knows how to touchtype will find this true. After entering the word in hiragana one presses a key that converts the word into katakana or kanji.

There is only one drive. Although it seems to have a respectable capacity (I believe I was told one megabyte), much of this is taken up by the font and dictionary which have to be present on all work disks. When all is said and done one is left with room for only forty pages of text. The dictionary seemed adequate, although I must admit that sometimes the readings selected under which to list a character seemed rather arbitrary. A relatively large number of compounds, including many surnames, personal names, and place names are included, greatly speeding up the conversion process. However, only the JIS Level 1 kanji are immediately available. Level Two characters must be called up by code after consulting a chart. Further, because there is only one disk drive, every time a kanji from Level 2 is needed one must go through a laborious process juggling disks back and forth.

Disk access was slow and noisy, and although I couldn't get any detailed information on the hardware in the machine, I understand that it is a proprietary 8-bit chip made by Fujitsu. It is therefore not data compatible with any other word processor or personal computer.

The units we were shown also had only very limited abilities to handle English, and I was told that no English language word processing software was available. I have since heard from the editor of this newsletter that in Japan this computer is being advertised with WordStar, but when I asked the senior Fujitsu representative in the group that came to UC about this, he told me that this capability was only being discussed and was not yet available.

The word processor is being sold together with the printer at a price of $3995. I was told that separately the word processor and printer would be about $2000 each, and that several word processors could share a single printer. It seems to me that $2000 for the word processor, including software, is not that unreasonable a price. The printer employes a 24-wire printhead. Heretofore the only such printer has been the Toshiba P 1350, which is now selling for around $1500, although Toshiba has recently introduced a model with a narrower carriage for under $1000. In light of this, I would have to say that the printer is somewhat overpriced.

A more serious question is the limited ability of the word processor to deal with English text. Fujitsu is marketing this unit here in the U.S. with the expectation that it will sell to Japanese trading companies, and hence they are not pushing such capabilities. If WordStar can indeed be implemented on the machines being sold here, this problem may prove insignificant, but even so I would not expect that Japanese kanji and kana could be used in WordStar files.

On the whole, I would say that My OASYS is not a bad buy for someone who has a use for it. There are better word processors available in Japan, but My OASYS is offered here, in a UL-approved version that can be serviced in this country. For some this must be a major consideration. If they need to compose documents of moderate length in Japanese, especially business documents, My OASYS should do the trick. I do not think that many technical translators will find it worth the price. We need a machine that will handle English easily, quickly, and with a great deal of flexibility. We also need, if anything, the ability to mix Japanese script with English, not to write Japanese alone. I would like to give a final caveat. My OASYS is a dedicated word processor, designed to be simple, but also opaque to the user. The amount of rigamarole and the number of time-consuming menus one must wade through simply to perform normal file maintenance tasks is daunting. And it is particularly frustrating to one used to the control of a personal computer to realize that there is no way to call up a directory of the files on the system and utility disks, find out how large they are, or when they were created. In short, I cannot justify investing $4000 in such a limited system just to write the occasional letter to Japan, or perhaps make up a bibliography. But perhaps my vision is limited. I would be delighted to hear from any other readers who have a different perspective on this question.

Carl Kay of Cambridge, Massachusetts, also called Fujitsu in New York and asked them about whether the WordStar option is available. Here is his report about what he was told:

I called Fujitsu in NYC recently about My OASYS. It turns out that the CPM option is not yet available in NYC and may never be. Therefore the machine can only run its internal software. Also, they recommend purchasing 2 units to avoid down time during servicing, which involves shipping the unit to NYC and will take "about two weeks." I don't have enough need for such a machine to buy two of them (at nearly $4,000 each) without being able to use it (them) as a microcomputer.

They also say that no financing for purchasing is available but that leasing through a third party will be available soon.

James Unger of Honolulu, Hawaii, sent us the following bits of information about Japanese language word processing:

WORDSTAR plus kanamajiribun. At the Tokyo Data Show last October, I was told that Japanese WP software is forthcoming for the DEC Rainbow series. This is significant because the Rainbow 100 is (in my opinion) superior to the popular IBM PC, which is in the same price class (dual processors, better keyset, cleaner display, etc.). But the key point is that the problem transcends WORDSTAR and other specific software packages: most Japanese machines tend to treat individual alphanumeric symbols as if they were kana or kanji and this often limits the formatting possibilities and quality of English output; on the other hand, finding software for kanamajiribun that will run on US-made equipment is a problem. I wish I had some answers, but all I can recommend now is patience.

Kana keyset. The fact is that typing from the JIS keyset is no picnic. As Prof. Yamada Hisao of the University of Tokyo pointed out in his article on the history of typing (Journal of Information Processing [Tokyo], 1980) touch typing breaks down when the number of keys exceeds 48 or 49. It's easy to see that kana typing exceeds that limit even if dakuten and handakuten are treated as diacritics. This is also a consideration with the Fujitsu OASYS "thumb shift" keyboard. But that is not all. There is a further problem with it and the new NEC "two hand" keyset. Experience shows that it is generally impossible to achieve efficient touch typing speed and accuracy on two different keyset arrangements; e.g., once you convert to DSK (the optimized Dvorak Simplified Keyboard), your old QWERTY skills will fall off. For anyone doing J-E translation, roman-to-kanji conversion is a much safer bet. (XEROX Star allows for either kana-to-kanji or roman-to-kanji conversion, but I have heard it reported that most users don't bother with the kana option since they have already mastered English touch typing.)

Another reader, Russell Brand of Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, sent us the following comments about SORD computers (see Richard Willis' communication about them in no. 15, pp. 41–42):

Here are some comments about Richard Willis' discussion of SORD computers. I own a SORD M23, and like Mr. Willis I am interested in the possibility of running a kanji word processor on it. Willis speculated that the Z80 microprocessor might be a little sluggish in handling kanji.

Recently I asked about running a kanji word processor on the M23. I was told that SORD had a kanji board for the M23, but that it ran slowly. Since this comment was made by a SORD employee in one of their showrooms, I think we can assume that Mr. Willis' choice of the word "sluggish" was probably correct. Even a sluggish kanji word processor, however, is better than the conventional kanji "typewriter" in use throughout Japan.

The English word processor on the SORD M23 is very user-friendly, a kind of bargain basement Wang. The price of the word processor includes a 100-entry glossary that can be altered with each translation. A phrase such as "cross-linked polyethylene" can be registered under a single key, say "x". Every time that the translator encounters this phrase in the document, he has only to press the "GL" key and the "x" key, and the entire phrase will be printed instantly. Each of the 100 glossary entries may be up to 77 characters in length, and of course, once the phrase has been registered, the machine never makes a typo.

Most word processors offer this feature, but only at additional cost. The SORD word processor includes both this and a "mail merge" function that addresses form letters.

The kanji word processor on the M68 is a really classy piece of software, but as Willis pointed out, the hardware is pretty expensive for a translator. Still, a translation shop, even a small one, might consider the M68 a good investment.

For example, the electronic spreadsheet, "PIPS" (Pan Information Processing System), that comes with every SORD computer is adequate for keeping the books for a small business such as a translation shop. It can also be used for a variety of other purposes that are limited only by the user's imagination. Any data, numerical or alphabetical, that can be stored in a table can be processed by an electronic spreadsheet. Such data can be accessed by a computer, even a small one like the IS-11, at a speed that no file card system could possibly match. Obviously, such a system would have a multitude of uses for a translation shop or even for the "ippiki ookami" translator.

The PIPS spreadsheet, by the way, is much superior to its more famous competitor, VisiCalc. A newer spreadsheet, Multiplan, is in my opinion better than PIPS but not much better.

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An article in the June 1984 issue of PC World describes a Chinese-language word processor designed to work with the IBM PC by a Chinese scholar called Dr. Shyh Chang Tsaur. ("Pinyin for the PC," by Raymond A. Rogers, PC World, June 1984, pp. 285–288) The program, called the Hanyupinyin Word Processor, lists for $500, and there is also a hard disk version (for $995) which allows inputting English and can "translate" Pinyin into English (don't ask me how). The characters use a 32x16 dot matrix format, and the program requires either a C. Itoh Prowriter or an NEC 8023 printer.

Another program for Chinese, the Apanda Word Processor is also described on p. 289 of the same issue. This one costs $10,000 including onsite training and customization and requires a PC XT or PC with a 10M hard disk, p-System.

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Ralph Pearcy of Arlington, VA writes to describe a project of his: to be able to have a Japanese dictionary on-line to be called from a word processor and read out in a "window" on the screen without interrupting the word processing program.

Mr. Pearcy writes that he has already solved the most difficult part of the project. He has in MS form a Japanese technical dictionary which is arranged by kanji and indexed in a form to be on call from a computer keyboard. The indexing system classifies Japanese kanji according to an "alphabet" containing only 22 'units,' rather than the commonly used 214 radicals. According to Mr. Pearcy, the system does not produce a unique identifier for each kanji, but does so for about 96% of them. For the remainder, a simple interactive system can sort out which of the 2 or 3 characters is required. He has been using the system for about 10 years and says the system is a much faster index than radicals or stroke counting.

The problem of running two programs at once, he says, has been solved by recent advances in microcomputer software such as Concurrent CP/M and MS/DOS. A fairly extensive dictionary will, of course, require, a fairly extensive memory.

Mr. Pearcy would like others to have the benefit of his system. For more information, you can contact Mr. Pearcy at this address:

Ralph Pearcy
1900 S Eads St #412
Arlington, VA 22202

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The initial issue of the Newsletter for Asian and Middle Eastern Languages on Computer (Anthony Meadow, Editor) will be published this fall. The primary audience of the Newsletter, which will be somewhat informal in style, will be users of computers who are working with Asian and Middle Eastern languages, rather than computer scientists. The editor is soliciting articles for publication in the Newsletter. Articles should be aimed at such users and also at computer software and hardware designers so that they will know what would be useful. A $5 subscription fee is requested. The mailing address is:

Anthony Meadow, Editor
Newsletter for Asian and Middle Eastern Languages on Computer
Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies
260 Stephens Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720

Telephone: (415) 843–8227 (daytime), (415) 644–1738 (evening)

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Since Canon succeeded in developing its inexpensive laser printer of the cartridge type in May 1983, other manufacturers have been working on similar inexpensive models, according to an article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of May 16, 1984. The printers are said to be superior to the old-fashioned impact printers in their speed, versatility and quietness, and the market for laser printers is expected to increase by 60–70% a year. (See also article in issue no. 14, p. 35–36)

The OEM prices for the print mechanisms of Canon's LBP-CX laser printers are about $2,000 for sample quantities or nearly $1,000 for production quantities. According to Richard Willis (Byte, March 1984, p. 350), this means that a "straightforward office printer using the Canon mechanism could be brought to market in the $2500 to $3000 price range." This would potentially make high-speed daisy-wheel printers and dense-pattern dot-matrix printers obsolete.

According to the article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun Hewlett-Packard has also developed a printer called the "LaserJet" which can print out 8 pages a minute and is virtually silent. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 22 that Hewlett Packard is indeed introducing a laser printer. It will cost $3,495 and will be usable with the HP 150 personal computer and also with the IBM PC or PC compatibles.

However, subsequent articles in two Japanese newspapers revealed that the Hewlett Packard LaserJet is the Canon LBP-CX, which Hewlett Packard saw at the Comdex show last autumn, liked, and signed an OEM contract for at the end of March of this year. According to the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun (May 24, 1984), Canon announced on the 23rd that it has signed an OEM agreement with Hewlett Packard to supply Canon's LBP-CX laser beam printer, and that shipments of products have already begun. It expects to supply about 50,000 units a year to Hewlett Packard. According to the Nikkei sangyō shimbun (May 24, 1984), Canon is also thinking about supplying the printers to other manufacturers of OA equipment on an OEM basis.

The article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of May 16 says that Xerox and IBM have also lately become interested in laser printers, and Apple is expected to announce its own low-cost laser print sometime this year. Data Products Corp., a large manufacturer of impact printers, will also begin to manufacture its own laser printer this year, and copier manufacturers such as Ricoh and Sharp are also aiming at entering the market. Sales wars and price-cutting are predicted.

A prediction by Dataquest says that sales of non-impact printers will amount to $6 million in 1984, but this will increase to $2 billion in 1988. Impact printers have a 60% share of the $4.2 billion computer printer market in 1983, but within five years their share will drop to 54%. Non-impact printers, which currently hold only a 14% market share, will by then increase to 30%.

Still another article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of May 21, 1984 says that Minolta has decided to focus on printers, along with copiers, as the main pillar of its OA equipment line. Last spring it succeeded in developing a laser beam printer called the "SP50B." It calls this a "digital printer," but evidently both digital printers and laser beam printers are the same thing. Royal Business Machines of Connecticut have already signed an OEM agreement with Minolta to buy a small number (300–500 a month for the time being) of these printers to use as output devices for computers. Early this year, Minolta established a software section in the U.S. called Minolta Information Systems (MIS) to develop digital printer software. About 10 specialists are now at work there in collaboration with U.S. software houses. MIS is a section of Minolta Corporation, the U.S. branch of Minolta located in Ramsey, New Jersey.

Laser printers promise to bring many benefits to us. In fact, they may usher in a new era for translators. Richard Willis says that their printing speed of eight letter-size pages per minute corresponds to more than 500 characters per second. Images generated by such a printer have a resolution of up to 300 dots per inch, about twice the resolution of the best multipass dot-matrix printers. With the proper interface electronics, many different highquality fonts can be used, including kanji and all types of graphic images.

I haven't yet figured out whether ink-jet printers are also of superior quality, but Epson has announced an inexpensive kanji ink-jet printer (IP-130K), which will cost a minimum of ¥498,000 for the JIS Level 1 type and ¥510,000 for the JIS Level 2 type. The printer can print 70 characters per second and uses an on-demand type 24-nozzle head ink-jet system with 15 x 23 dots. It is interchangeable with the already marketed dot-matrix kanji printer UP-130K. (Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, May 17, 1984). Somebody please tell me whether inkjet printers are superior to dot-matrix printers. I suspect that probably the choice would go to a laser printer.

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P.K. Maxwell of Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, writes to recommend a software product called Smartkey II for IBM PC and other MSDOS computers as well as other CP/M machines. It allows the user to record complicated keystroke sequences and store them all on one key designated by the user. Evidently the function is the same as that described by Russell Brand above in connection with the SORD M23 computer. Mr. Maxwell writes:

"SmartKey is a software package that gives you a brand new keyboard in exchange for one of the keys from the keyboard you now use. You can then assign a key sequence to any of the keys on the new keyboard. The "lost" key from your own keyboard becomes the "supershift." Press the supershift followed by any other key, and you get the key sequence assigned to that key on the new keyboard.

"Words, phrases and paragraphs can be assigned to the two-stroke supershift sequence as you work. When accessed, they slip into the text and the cursor moves to the end. This means that as soon as you get used to a key assignment, you can use it without having to look up from your text to check the screen.

"All this is useful enough, but the greatest jump in productivity comes from assigning control character sequences to the new keyboard. This works exactly the same way as assigning words and phrases, and lets you make complex format changes using two-stroke supershift sequences."

P.K. Maxwell is quite enthusiastic about the SmartKey: "For producing final-typed copy, this relatively inexpensive product has given me the same sort of increase in efficiency as changing from typewriter to wordprocessor. And using a different set of key assignments, it makes writing and running C programs faster and a lot more fun."

SmartKey can be ordered from Heritage Software, 3757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 211, Los Angeles CA 90010. The price is $89 plus shipping. In Tokyo it can be purchased from Procom Co., Ltd., Yamamoto Bldg. SF, 3–30 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102, tel. (03) 2340645.

This is a technique which is also available on most word processors, although in somewhat different forms. The Displaywriter has a KEY SAVE and KEY PLAYBACK function which allows the user to record keystrokes for playback. Playback can be performed by pressing only one key, but only one string of keystrokes can be recorded at a time, and the keystrokes are all erased whenever the power is turned off. Possibly a more useful way of doing the same thing in a translation is to assign abbreviations to the troublesome terms. Type in only the abbreviations every time they occur while inputting. Then at the end of the document, go back and use the Global function to find and replace them with the fully spelled-out words. In the Displaywriter, three Global replacements can be made at once.

What is a C program, I wonder.

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The directory has been very helpful, not only to persons who are looking for translators, but also to translators who want to contact each other. For your convenience, I am including in this issue again a composite directory which embraces all the names submitted so far, including my own.

APPS, F.R.D. Owner, Ingatestone Translations, 57 High St., Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 OAT, England. Japanese to English Technical Translation. Specialties electronics, organic chemistry.

CHANDLER, Brian. 10, Simmondley Grove, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 9NQ, England. Tel. Glossop (04574) 61906. Japanese to English Technical Translation. Specialties computers, electronics and patents.

DAVISON, Lucjle S. 50 Tomlinson Rd., Woodbury, CT 06798. Tel. (203) 2634207. Japanese, Russian, German, and French to English. MS in Chemistry, Univ. Oklahoma 1940; technical librarian for U.S. Rubber Co. 1942–45; abstractor for m. Petrol. Inst., Chemical Abstracts, Metals Abstracts; associate editor Rubber Chemistry and Technology 1967–80. Specializes in chemical literature and patents.

FIELD, Rikko. Director, JLS, 61 Renato Court, Suite 1, Redwood City, CA 94061. Tel.: (415) 321–9832. Technical translation and interpreting; IBM Displaywriter-processed copy; Japanese typesetting and typewriting. All technical fields including patents and legal documents.

FRASER, D.A., BA, MIL, 22 Gresley Road, London N19 3JZ, England. Japanese to English. Chemistry, medicine, life sciences. Freelance translator.

GLEASON, Alan, 1280 4th Ave., No. 3, San Francisco CA 94122. Tel. (415) 753–2702. Member NCTA. J-E translation and J-E/E-J consecutive interpreting. Fields: electronics, chemistry, computers, business, economics.

HAZELRIGG, Meredith, 468–1 Mizuno Sayama-shi, Saitama-ken, Japan 350–13. Tel. 0181–429–59–7959 (direct dial from U.S.), 0429–59–7959 (Japan). Freelance translation (general technical work with emphasis in three areas: medical, electronics, financial) and consultant in cross-cultural communication. Member, SWET. Listed, Contemporary Authors Trustee, Allegan Education Foundation (Box 155, Allegan, Michigan 49010 USA).

HOWE, Josephine. 158 Wood Street, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA (Philadelphia Area). Tel.: (215) 348–7884. Japanese and French to English; pharmaceutical, medical, biochemical and industrial chemical research and patents. M.A. Japanese, Columbia U., New York, N.Y. B.A. English (French and Japanese minors, biosciences course work) Indiana U., Bloomington, IN.

ISHIMOTO, Paul. Japan Patent Service, 2025 Eye Street, N.W. #307, Washington, D.C. 20006. Specializes in translation of Japanese patents. Worked as translator in U.S. Patent Office for more than 15 years.

JENSON, W.L. 1–24 Tashiro Hondori, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan 464. Tel.: (052)7626532. Freelance Technical Translation (J-E), proofreading & rewriting. Field: Mechanical engineering specializing in automobiles. (Seven years' experience with Toyota Motor Corp. and affiliates.)

JONES, David G. 3013 Yellowpine Terrace, Austin, TX 78757. Tel.: (512) 451–4381. Japanese to English. Patents covering chemical synthesis, plastics, photography, electrophotography, magnetic recording media, etc.

KAY, Carl. Owner, Japanese Language Services, 607 Franklin Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. Tel. (617)661–9784. Offers Japanese translation, typesetting, interpreting and research services.

LIM, Peter, Ph.D. 5220 N.E. 51st St., Vancouver, WA 98661. Tel.: (206) 694–5353 (home); (206) 695–4477, Ext. 349 (business). Areas of experience: Electronics, semiconductors, nuclear engineering, chemistry, mathematics, mechanical engineering, pulp and paper, patents, contracts.

MOFFETT, Linda. 749 Ash Street, Denver, Colorado 80220. Tel. (303) 3880284. BA, University of Colorado Japanese Studies, background in chemistry and pharmacy. Specializes in chemistry, batteries, textiles, medical.

MUNOZ, Roey. 7401 Cannon Mt. P1., Austin, TX 78749. Tel.: (512)288–1897. Japanese-English and Spanish-English translation. BS in Japanese language from Georgetown Univ. with 6 years of translation experience. Special interest in medicine, pharmaceuticals and chemistry.

NISHIMURA, Keiichi. 461 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley, CA 94708. Patent attorney. Translates technical and scientific documents including Japanese patents into English.

OSBORN, David K. 2495 Santa Rosa Ave., Altadena, CA 91001. Tel. (818) 797–8956. Japanese-English translator, editor, business correspondent and technical writer. Experience in medical, cultural, legal and business fields. Abstracts, typing and revisions.

PACIFIC INTERFACE, Inc. 60 West 76th St., New York, NY 10023. Tel. (212) 877–9159. Laurin Herr, president, Betsy Kuga Schneider, associate. Research, consulting, and J-to-E translation, specializing in computer graphics. Sixteen years combined experience in technical translation.

PATNER, Richard. 4110 Derek Road, Madison WI, 53704. Tel. (609) 249–2506. Japanese to English translation of patents and technical documents with over ten years experience.

PHILIPPI, Donald L. 715 Tenth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel. (415) 752–7735. J-E technical translation in all fields. 23 years experience, Tokyo 1961–1971, S.F. since 1971. IBM Displaywriter. Editor of Technical Japanese Translation since May, 1983.

RIDLEY, Charles P. 2780 Ross Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Tel.: (415) 3287344. JapaneseEnglish and Chinese-English. BA in biology from Bates College; MA and PhD in Chinese from Stanford University. 20 years experience. Specialties include medicine, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, computer technology.

SATOH, Tomoyuki. 2714 E. 22nd St., Austin TX 78722. Tel. (512)479–8460. M.A. Physics, The Johns Hopkins University. J-E translation and abstracting. Excellent in physics, mathematics, chemistry, elec. and mech. engineering, and patents in all fields; adequate in medical, pharmaceutical, electronics and computer science, law, economics, etc. $50/M minimum for freelance work.

SCHODT, Frederik L. 144 Parnassus Ave. Apt. 14, San Francisco, CA 94117. Tel. (415) 681–9803. Member A.T.A. and N.C.T.A. Japanese-English interpreting, translation. Specialties computers, electronics. Epson QX-10 word processor.

SHIELDS, John M. CPO 42, Nagoya Japan 450 (Fax & business phone in Japan: (052) 7222-7181) and 1380 Lone Oak Road, Eagan, MN 55121 (Fax & business phone: 612–221-9088; RICOH GIII). J-E technical translation in many fields. 23 years in Japan, 15 in translation.

SHKOLNIK, Alexander. 4434 Fulton St., Apt. #2, San Francisco, CA 94121. Tel. (415) 3870290. Member A.T.A. and N.C.T.A. Japanese-English-Russian technical translations. Specialization in patent matters, mechanical engineering, metallurgy and chemistry. Worked as patent agent since 1963. Translating since 1959 from English to Russian, since 1965 from Japanese to Russian, and since 1970 into English from both.

SORDEAN, Jay, C.A. 505 23rd St., Apt. 4, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel.: (415) 839–9527. Languages: Japanese. Subjects: Medical, biological, patents, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, Oriental medicine, computers, legal, etc.

UYAMA, Hiroshi. Director, Japan Technical Information Center, 706 Seventh Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Tel.: (202) 544–6314 (days), (703) 979–0054 (evenings). B.A., Chemistry, International Christian University in Tokyo, M.S. Inorganic Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since 1975 Japanese-English interpreting, translation, and consulting services in Washington, D.C. Science, technology, politics, social sciences.

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Editor's Postscript:

Not enough readers in Japan have listed their names in the Directory. It has been suggested that readers living in the same areas in Japan or the U. S. should get to know each other and perhaps organize local groups with regular meetings. At least one informal study group of translators and interpreters in Tokyo is already holding regular meetings, and others in Tokyo might like to know about it. I think there are enough readers in other areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Nagoya and Kyoto for them to organize their local groups. If there are readers who want to organize such groups, write to me (John M. Shields will be away in June), and I will try to send you lists of other readers whom you can contact in your areas.

Readers in Japan or Europe who want complete sets of the issues for the first year should send $25 to me (DLP). The overseas distributors may not be able to supply complete sets of back issues.

Readers in the U.S. can obtain a full set of back issues for $20 by writing to me (DLP).

Remember that all subscriptions are now for six months. Every subscriber will receive six monthly issues (June–November, 1984). Then you will be asked to subscribe again if the newsletter is to be continued.

A new scholarly publication about software science has started to come out. Its name is Konpyuuta Sofutowea and it is the organ of the Nihon Sofutowea Kagakkai (Japan Society for Software Science and Technology). The publication is in Japanese and is published quarterly by Iwanami Shoten. The first issue, dated April 1984, has an article by Makoto Nagao of Kyoto University on "Software Elements of Machine Translation" (pp. 16–28) (the article has a voluminous bibliography of works in both English and Japanese). Ken'ichi Mori and two others from the Toshiba Research Institute contribute an article on their pioneering work in developing a Japanese-language word processor (pp. 87–90). There are also articles on "object-oriented programming" and "dataflow architecture," both of which are key concepts in artificial intelligence.

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Send in your tidbits, etc., and I will incorporate them in the next issue. Don't forget to send in your $20 if you want to continue receiving the newsletter for the next six months. And also write if you want your name included in the Directory. Those who send in lists should provide the kanji for the Japanese words. I will type them in Japanese if necessary.

June 1, 1984

Donald L. Philippi
715 Tenth Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752-7735

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After plowing through this issue, I thought you might be ready for a bit of humor. Doesn't this just say it all about communicating with a computer? (Not to mention machine translation!) I'm reproducing it from issue no. 10 of something called Processed World a little magazine with a decidedly subversive bent which focuses its lethal humor on the social consequences of high technology. It's not required reading for translators, but if you want to check it out, the magazine's address is: Processed World, 55 Sutter St. #829, San Francisco, CA 94104 USA.

[Scanned Image No. 3]

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