No. 17 — July 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 increasingly important in the world today.


Your subscriptions are now for a 6-month period from June (no. 16) to November, 1984 (no. 20). The 6-months' subscription is $20. Overseas readers should contact the overseas distributor for their area.

A complete set of the first year's issues (no. 1 through no. 15) is available from the editor for $20 (U.S.) or $25 (Japan and Europe).


Readers' letters and contributions are very welcome. Readers who wish to help out can volunteer to be associate editors. They will be asked to wrtte one ortwo articles a month. The editor will supply them with the raw material (Japanese-language press clippings, reference materials, etc.). Volunteers should write me giving details of when they will be available.

Associate editor for this issue is Frederik L. Schodt.


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

Ms. Rosemary J. Yates, Japan Business Services Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield SlO 2TN, England

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The June 16 issue of Nikkei sangyō shimbun reported that Fujitsu, Japan's leading computer manufacturer, will market in August of this year a full-scale English-to-Japanese and Japanese-to-English machine translation system centering in a mainframe computer. Fujitsu will thus be the first computer manufacturer to market a machine translation system. Hitachi, Ltd. and Nippon Electric Co., Ltd. are also expected to market their own systems, perhaps as early as this fall. They were anticipated by Bravice International, the Tokyo venture business which on June 1 marketed its "Bravice Pak 11/73" system for translating Japanese into English. The Bravice system can run on either a 16-bit minicomputer or a personal computer and can translate about 3,000 words an hour when running on a minicomputer, or about 2,000 words an hour with a less powerful machine. The Fujitsu machine, called ATLAS/I, will be a full-scale system capable of operating in both directions (E-J and J-E) and will reportedly be able to translate some 20,000 words per hour.

Fujitsu has spent seven years in developing its ATLAS/I system. The E-J portion was completely previously, and the J-E portion was completed quite recently. Several users have already starting test operations of the system. The FACOM-M series of Fujitsu mainframe computers is the nucleus of the system, but the system can also run on Fujitsu's S series of "super-minicomputers."

Pricing of the system has not yet been disclosed, but Fujitsu says that the rental costs on a monthly basis will be far less than the figure of ¥1,000,000 (around $4,329 at a recent exchange rate) which it would cost to employ one translator for a month.

The ATLAS/I is said to adopt the "syntax direct" system in which one sentence is translated as is, and the system is configured around a programming language called SPL developed independently by Fujitsu around a language called PL/I (Programming Language One, a language developed jointly by SHARE and IBM and announced in 1964).

The system is aimed at application in fields such as scientific and technical documents, chiefly patents. It can also be used for translating ordinary business documents.

Fujitsu began during autumn 1983 to develop a Japanese-to-Korean machine translation system jointly with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) which was based on the ATLAS/I. (See no. 9, p.3–4; no. 14, p. 37) In addition, Fujitsu is also going ahead with development of a more advanced system, the ATLAS/II, which utilizes a more sophisticated semantic processing system.

* * *


[This is a synopsis of a long article entitled "The Curtain Opens on the Age of Machine Translation" written by Yoshio Kamioka in the June 18, 1984 issue of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun. Responsibility for the synopsis is mine. — DLP]

Fujitsu with its ATLAS/I and ATLAS/II systems is not the only Japanese computer manufacturer actively engaged in the development of machine translation systems. It is also known that Nippon Electric Co. is developing systems called VENUS and TRAP, that Hitachi, Ltd. is developing one called ATHENE, and that Toshiba is developing one called TAURUS. In addition, the Electrotechnical Laboratory of MITI's Agency of Industrial Science and Technology is working jointly with Tokyo Institute of Technology to develop a system called the "yuugoo hooshiki" ("fusion system"), NTT's Musashino Electrical Communication Laboratory is working on a system called LUTE, and even the Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co.'s research laboratories are developing a system called KATE.

In addition, the Science and Technology Agency, with the collaboration of MITI's Agency of Industrial Science and Technology and Kyoto University, has since 1982 been going ahead with a project to develop a system for translating scientific and technical documents.

The universities and research institutes are said to be aiming at the automatic generation of rather high-quality translations and are far from being completed, while the systems being developed by private companies are less ambitious systems requiring post-editing and are all close to the stage where they can be put into practical application. Users are now testing the Fujitsu system in actual use, and it has been announced that it will be marketed in August.

However, many researchers express themselves guardedly about the outcome of the approaching commercial competition among machine translation systems. They warn that it is unclear how satisfied the users will be with the machines and that the general public may be expecting too much from the machines.

On a world-wide scale, we are now in a second boom period of development of machine translation. The first period occurred chiefly in the U.S. during the early 1960's. It was felt at that time that, since the European languages are similar in their grammar, it ought to be possible to mechanize translation fairly easily. Primitive systems developed at that time proceeded by merely substituting individual words and made no attempt at semantic analysis. However, the attempts were not successful, and since then development of MT has been proceeding at a slow pace. A second impulse was given in the 1970's when research and development of artificial intelligence became more active.

Current attempts try to give computers an ability to perform semantic processing, but this results in applying immense burdens on the computers. If a computer is loaded with sufficient "knowledge" to analyze all possible meanings of words and their combinations, the memory devices will break down under the sheer quantity of information, and translation will be extremely time-consuming.

The computer manufacturers are therefore trying to compromise, balancing off the capabilities of their computers against factors such as the costs of the machines, the time required to produce translations, and the costs of post-editing. Techniques of grammatical analysis are still in the process of being developed separately by each company, and specialists warn that they are far from perfection.

The Bravice system appears to be quite primitive in its semantic analysis in comparison with the other systems now being developed at the universities and research institutes, but there are no universally recognized yardsticks for evaluating such systems, and the evaluation will also be different depending upon how the system is to be used and whether it is profitable or not.

Professor Makoto Nagao of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University, is working on the Science and Technology Agency's project, which aims at developing Japan's highest-level practical translating system. Professor Nagao and his colleagues recently developed a unit for translating Japanese into English. In addition to semantic analysis of individual words, this system uses various semantic processing functions in its grammatical analysis.

See also Professor Nagao's article about software elements of machine translation in the April, 1984 issue on pp. 16–28 of Computer Software published by Iwanami Shoten, especially p. 25. — DLP

The system recently was tested in translating scientific and technical documents, but Professor Nagao says that even this system has a rating of only 60%. That is, 60% of the output is quite usable as English, while 20% is questionable whether it would be permissible or not. The remaining 20%, he says, is quite hopeless (doo shiyoo mo nai) Professor Nagao says that he hopes to be able to bring the system to the 80% level some time this year.* However, this development project, unlike the projects of the computer manufacturers, does not take profitability into account, and processing time is quite lengthy.

Japanese research in machine translation today appears to be divided into two main streams. One is aimed at developing technologies at the immediately practicable level. This tendency is that represented by Bravice, Fujitsu and the other computer manufacturers who will soon be marketing MT systems of varying degrees of sophistication for immediate use. The other is fundamental research aiming at a far more sophisticated systems which will be perfected after a considerable time in the future. In the latter camp, work is under way on techniques for incorporating efficiently immense amounts of semantic data and for carrying out grammatical analysis rapidly.

At the same time, development of artificial intelligence-type hardware is also going on rapidly in the Fifth Generation Computer project and elsewhere. Steady progress is being made step by step.

* * *


Bravice International is going to collaborate with Maruzen and Computer Services Corporation (CSK) in marketing its PAK11/73 machine translation system, according to the Nikkei sangyō shimbun (June 12, 1984). Weldner Communications Corporation is also planning to market the system in the U.S. and was scheduled to display it in Washington, D.C. beginning on June 11.

Nearly 200 inquiries have been received from Japanese clients, and five sets of the system are scheduled to be delivered by the end of June to clients such as university research institutes and translation companies. In the U.S., Bravice says that it has received six inquiries for the system from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Navy and the Department of Commerce.

Read on for evaluations of the Bravice system.

* * *


In the last issue we saw an amusing example of an English "translation" of two Japanese sentences made by a computer (no. 16, p. 39). The second sentence, which meant simply "At last the long-awaited era of automatic translation will arrive for those who are linguistically tone-deaf," a sentence in journalese style expressing a prediction of something about to happen, was thoroughly mangled and rendered as "An automatic translation era of anticipation for the language-deafness comes." The verb in this Japanese sentence (toorai suru) was in the form ending in ru, which in verbs of action generally has a future meaning. The machine also omitted completely the adverb iyoiyo, which is one of the approximately 8,000 words which are too complex for the computer to handle as yet. Thus, the translation made by the machine, which omitted a crucial adverb and even got the tense wrong, was far inferior to anything which could possibly be made by any human translator, or even by a student on an elementary level.

Of course, you can always blame the language for the computer's failures by saying that the language itself is illogical, ungrammatical and too complicated. This is the escape clause for the vendors, who are quick to point out that "anything but logical grammatical, uncomplicated language is out of the question for a computer as yet." (no. 16, p. 37) All that is needed, of course, is to teach the Japanese writers how to write grammatical, logical and uncomplicated Japanese, and then the computer will work just fine.

On the other hand, one would think that most of the translation jobs we do today would be "out of the question" for a computer because they all contain "complicated" language, although whether the language is illogical or ungrammatical might be argued both ways. Maybe the language would appear illogical or ungrammatical to a computer, but not necessarily to an experienced human translator.

This example of a "translation" made by a computer, which appeared on the front page of the Asahi Shimbun provoked an editorial in the Japan Times the next week. The editorial quoted the computer-generated translation and said: "How you rate the above translation depends on your attitude toward and concept of translation."

"Some people," the editorial continued, "will be amazed at how far the computers have come in emulating that very complicated process we call thinking. Others will dismiss the ability of the system as too inferior to replace human translators for all except the crudest type of jobs."

The editorial goes on to discuss the quality of the "translation" made by the computer:

"The sample sentences are fraught with omissions, inaccuracies, and inappropriate or wrong choices of words. But they do give a good idea of what the original Japanese sentences meant to say and what message the author was trying to put across. There lies the merit and demerit of this computerized translation system.

"When the required job of translation is to give a rough idea of the original text, or when the recipient of the message can be satisfied with knowing merely what the author of the original texts means to say rather than what he actually says, this system is doing a fine work. There are areas in which this type of communication suffices."

(I would like to ask what are these areas where a substandard translation which barely makes sense suffices. Who, I ask, would be satisfied with a translation "fraught with omissions, inaccuracies, and inappropriate or wrong choices of words"? Mr. Yamamoto of Bravice International says that the output is suitable for use as "preliminary translations" (shitayaku) for technical and journalistic texts which are accurate enough to enable a person to correct the English output without referring back to the original Japanese text. Kōgyō eigo, July 1984, p. 59. I certainly hope that those who buy the Bravice system will be satisfied with what they are getting.)

The editorial continues:

"But there are other areas where not only the exact words and meaning of the author but also his style of writing have to be reproduced in another language. Often this process entails the thankless job of deciphering the author's real intentions which are hidden in illogical or ambiguous sentences."

The editorial concludes with some encouraging words for human translators:

"Human translators can look forward to many many more years of doing their highly important jobs before computerized sytems put them out of work."

Thanks to Bruce Talbot of Tokyo for sending me the editorial from the Japan Times

Here is another evaluation of the Bravice system by Mr. Kohei Shimomura:


(Kōgyō eigo, July 1984, p. 59)

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An important article in the June 13, 1984 issue of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun gives an in-depth analysis of what it terms a "large-scale information war" which is currently going on quietly under the surface.

The main issue in the struggle is a worldwide network planned by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) of Columbus, Ohio, the world's largest chemistry information retrieval service. CAS is planning to establish an international database network to be called STN International. If realized, this database network would link CAS with FIZ-4 of Karlsruhe, Germany, a retrieval service specializing in physics, energy and mathematics, and Japan's main database service, the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST). The network would use private lines to connect the databases in the three countries, and the vast databases would be managed by the identical software, enabling a user in any country to access them by the same commands.

International private lines have already been formed in January, 1984 between CAS and FIZ4, and the two databases are scheduled to begin providing services using common software sometime next year. FIZ-4 personnel are currently being trained at CAS.

Some of the characteristics of this network will be:

  1. Users can access numerous databases by operating a single terminal.
  2. Accessing commands are unified, and there will be no need to use different methods for accessing each database.
  3. The service will be world-wide and will be available 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.
  4. Fees will be unified world-wide in order to eliminate regional differences in information availability.

Difficulties on Japanese Side

The advantages of such a world-wide database for both users and database services are obvious, but difficulties in implementing it arise on the Japanese side. In reading the following, it is important to remember that Japan's database industry is still in its infancy and that the Japanese government is troubled by a serious dilemma: on the one hand, it does not wish foreigners to obtain control over the nation's information resources; but on the other hand, Japan will be accused of freeloading if it does nothing to provide the rest of the world with ready access to Japanese information.

JICST is Japan's largest database service, which processes more than 450,000 items of scientific and technical information annually. Its databases are accessed within Japan by means of JICST's on-line service called JOIS. There are currently about 2,000 terminals hooked up to JOIS, but they are all equipped with kanji processing functions only and cannot be accessed from overseas.

The Japanese representative of CAS is the Japan Association for International Chemical Information (JAICI), which has been offering CAS services since January, 1981 and has been hooked up with CAS by means of an exclusive circuit since April 2, 1984. This service now enables Japanese users to search the CAS database on-line at lower costs, and when the hook-up between Columbus, Ohio and Karlsruhe goes on-line in 1985 Japanese users will be able to access the German databases as well through JAICI.

JAICI is in favor of adding Japanese databases to the proposed STN International network. However, if JOIS is to be included in that network, the Japanese databases will have to be translated into English, and terminals capable of dealing with English will have to be used.

In February, 1984, JICST set up a Working Group to deal with the problems posed by the network proposed by CAS, and James Seals, Director of International Programs of CAS, visited Japan in March to explain the proposal to them. JICST is confronted with a difficult dilemma which it seems to be unable to solve on its own.

JICST has just recently begun to study positively a policy of (1) continuing as is its current Japanese-language database services, while (2) trying to translate the databases into English. If this policy is adopted, however, JICST will be required to expend more than twice as much effort as hitherto. It knows that English is the international standard for database services and that translation into English will be inevitable someday if its databases are ever to become international. No doubt it feels it necessary to begin preparing for that now.

National Security Fears

However, JICST is also extremely apprehensive about the consequences of internationalization of its databases. The following are some of the things that worry JICST:

  1. After internationalization, will it be possible to continue using JICST's own software?
  2. Who will own the copyrights of the CAS software?
  3. What will happen to the databases which each member center purchases from outside suppliers?

Even more fundamental problems have been raised. One opinion which has been expressed is this: "If JICST, Japan's only comprehensive scientific and technical information center, enters into a relationship which makes it subordinate to an American agency, this would be undesirable in terms of the nation's information policy." If foreign-made software is used, Japan's database market might come to be monopolized by foreigners. It is even feared that if permission to use the software were to be rescinded, the databases in the network might become unusable, and the much-feared state of "information cut-off" would result. As we have seen, the Japanese are highly fearful of a possible information blockade against them (see no. 14, p. 15) and have even coined a word for it (the neologism joodan)

A Japanese newspaper article mentions, as examples of American high-handedness, telegrams received by the Mitsubishi Research Institute during March and April, 1980 from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicating that the U.S. President had decided to suspend all sales of National Technical Information Service (NTIS) products and services to the U.S.S.R. and to Iran. Mr. Shinohara, the MRI director in charge of technical information services, recalls that he had a vague feeling of apprehension (sora-osoroshii mono wo kanjita) at the intent of the U.S. government to make even a small Japanese agency like the MRI follow the U.S.'s national information strategies.

Another incident involved CAS, which in 1981 tried to force JAICI to disclose the names of businesses which were using CAS data in Japan and the items which they were trying to access. The Japanese side refused to comply with the request. The ostensible reason for CAS's request was "market research," but many Japanese felt that the true intentions were to find out the secrets of the Japanese chemical industry. The newspaper article concluded: "Not only on the nation-to-nation level, but even between business enterprises, the advanced information war is going forward intensely, centering around high technology." (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, October 4, 1983)

In view of all of these complicated political problems which necessarily involve matters of national strategy, JICST, which is a mere tokushu hoojin of the Science and Technology Agency, cannot make any decisions on its own, and it has left all decisions to its parent agency. The STA says that it will "study the matter in a forward-looking manner" (maemuki ni kentoo suru) but it is watching developments circumspectly. That is not a very encouraging sign for those in the West who are hoping to access Japanese databases.

The STA says that its main fear is the following: CAS software is to be the software for operating the network. If that software is used for JICST's databases, will it become impossible to access them in the Japanese language? If it is impossible, then it will be necessary to create a new system for Japanese-language access. The STA thinks that, rather than adopting the CAS software, the participants ought to hold consultations and decide which software to use. Obviously, the STA thinks that it is undesirable, from the standpoint of national security, to allow CAS to obtain hegemony over the network.

Translating the Databases

Japan has about 40 database suppliers, but almost none of the databases have been translated into English so that they can be supplied to overseas users.

No wonder the JICST authorities are starting to feel anxious about translating their databases, now that they are being presented with the chance to participate actually in the STN International network. The demand from overseas for access to Japanese databases has been growing stronger and stronger (see no. 16, p. 17). The situation has ugly implications, with accusations being made that Japan is obtaining a "free ride" in information flow, since Japanese users can freely access any foreign databases they wish but Japan supplies no databases of its own to foreigners. But translating entire databases into English would require immense expenditures of money and labor. Is the STA willing to foot the bill just in order to make its databases available to foreigners?

On the other hand, a vast world-wide network such as STN International would hardly be thinkable without Japanese participation, and the Japanese side is being forced to make some very serious decisions. It would greatly benefit Japanese users if such an international network were established and they were able to obtain easy access to scientific and technical information from so many sources. However, the political implications are undeniable: Japan's databases would definitely be placed at a disadvantage in sales competition in comparison with overseas databases, which are organized in English, the international standard. There are those who point out that if Japan were to participate in an international network, Japanese clients would flock to it in preference to the local Japanese databases.

Under the surface of things, a large-scale information war appears to be moving ahead quietly, concludes the article in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun.

(In writing this article, in addition to the articles in the October 4, 1983 and June 13, 1984 issues of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun I also consulted a number of other articles from my files, including one about the JCST Working Group published in the February 8, 1984 issue of the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun.

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Kyodo News International (KNI), the New York-based branch of Kyodo Tsushin Sha, has announced that it will collect Japanese scientific and technical information information and financial information and organize it in on-line databases for users in the U.S.

KNI will collaborate with NewsNet, a Pennsylvania information retrieval service specializing in information in newspaper articles, and will use Newsnet's computers and network. KNI is now consulting with Japanese publishers and organizations which might supply the information. KNI hopes to be able to include in the databases, not only scientific and technical information and financial information, but also information about Japanese life and various books as well.

The databases will contain only titles and abstracts of articles and monographs, but the full texts will be provided to readers requesting them. It is uncertain when the service will begin. The article does not mention whether the databases will be in Japanese or in English, and if they will be in English who will translate them. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun June 8, 1984)

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As mentioned in our March issue (no. 13, p. 16), the Institute for New Generation Computer Technology (ICOT) is sponsoring a four-day International Conference on Fifth Generation Computer Systems (FGCS'84) in Tokyo. The conference sessions will be held at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku from November 6 to 9. The first two days, which will be in Japanese and English with simultaneous translation, will be devoted to announcing the results of ICOT's research and development work and to panel discussions by leaders of Fifth Generation research projects from various countries. The final two days will be all in English and will be devoted to technical sessions. Guest lecturers on the second day of the conference will be Alain Colmerauer of Marseilles University, France and Ezra Vogel of Harvard University, U.S. The technical sessions will feature papers by Yuzuru Tanaka of Hokkaido University, Rodney Burstall of Edinburgh University, and Daniel Bobrow of Xerox PARC of Palo Alto, Calfornia.

ICOT will demonstrate, either at the conference site or at the ICOT site, its sequential inference machine (PSI), its relational database machine (DELTA), its experimental system for natural language comprehension, and its experimental system for knowledge representation and knowledge-base management.

Thanks to Ron Granich of Kyoto for sending me the ICOT leaflet about the conference.

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In the last issue we printed Mr. Kohei Shimomura's article advocating a logical restructuring of Japanese texts for translation into English. Mr. Shimomura included an original Japanese text with two examples of English translations: one a straight, sentence-to-sentence translation, and the other a reconstruction. Mr. Shimomura included examples of other "long, full-house" sentences which we could use to practice applying his principles of logical reconstruction.

Concerning Mr. Shimomura's statement to the effect that "...we [Japanese are proud of writing such a long and full house sentence," Haruko Smith of Mill Valley, California, expresses disagreement:

Count me out of this "we." And please add to your "Good English is good English, period." "Good Japanese is good Japanese, period." Nagattarashii and kudoi sentences are not considered wonderful even by the Japanese standard. A good Japanese sentence is indeed simple, clear and tight. I am sure that you agree. The art of writing a good sentence is referred to, in the trade, as the art of eliminating.

Roey Munoz of Austin, Texas writes the following (June 13, 1984) about the questions raised by Mr. Shimomura:

I would like to comment on the debate over "reconstruction" of Japanese sentences translated into English. Obviously, some degree of reconstruction is required or the English translation will sound quite similar to the example of machine translation included in the same issue of the newsletter. I feel this is natural and automatic on the part of the translator. However, Example B presented as the "reconstructed" example seems to have gone beyond the bounds of translation into outlining, rewriting or what have you. By definition, to me, the job of a translator is to translate a document, not to rewrite it, comment upon it or change it any more than is absolutely necessary to get the contents across in proper English.

In his article in the July 1984 issue of Kōgyō eigo Mr. Shimomura includes some more examples of original Japanese texts with sample translations (pp. 42–47). I am reproducing below two examples of these texts with their sample translations and am inviting the readers to comment on them. I believe the English translations are by Mr. Shimomura himself.


XYZ-1 plays back jazz music lively. XYZ-l has quick response to pulsive tones. The quick response is attributable to the following two reasons: One is the conical-domed woofer made of non-pressed cone paper developed by us in cooperation with ABC Co., Ltd. in West Germany, and the other is soft dome speaker units with a newest design which are used for mid and high ranges. The soft dome units on XYZ-l overcome the conventional valuation that soft dome units are suited for classic music, especially for the strings. XYZ-l is a unique loud speaker in the today's trend that hard dome units are mainly used for mid and high ranges.


Focalplane Shutter.
The focalplane shutter functions just in front of the film surface, i.e., the focal plane of the camera lens. The focalplane shutter consists of two opaque curtains, leading and trailing curtains, which are made of foil metal, plate metal or dark fabric. The focalplane shutter allows light to reach a film in the camera through an optical slit formed by the above two curtains. The focalplane shutter controls film exposure by slit width and/or slit running speed; the slit-width method prevails today over the slit-speed method.

* * *


Donald L. Philippi

How many tenses does Japanese have: two, three, four? What are the differences in usage of tense forms between Japanese and English? These are some of the questions I would like to try to address in this article.

Tense and Time

It is natural to think of time as extending from the past to the present and then off into the future. Tense, however, does not refer to this flow of time as a natural phenomenon, but rather to the manner in which a speaker of a given language positions himself in relation to an action or state in time, i.e., whether the position occupied by the speaker was prior to, concurrent with, or after the action or state referred to. All languages are able to express these temporal relationships in one way or another, but not all of them provide their speakers with an apparatus for distinguishing them morphologically i.e. by changing the forms of the verbs by means such as inflection or agglutination. Most of the Indo-European languages, which rely on inflection for many of their grammatical markings, seem to provide inflected forms for a number of past, present and future tenses, and some of them have quite elaborate tense structures, providing for tenses which do not exist in other languages (aorist, imperfect, pluperfect, etc.). In some non- Indo-European languages, such as Chinese and Ainu (which are, I must add, genetically unrelated to each other), tenses are not distinguished in the verb morphologies at all. Morphologically speaking, the past, present and future are the same. However, time can be distinguished in these languages by adding marker words (meaning "now," "yesterday," "tomorrow" and so on) or by using particles indicating completion or future.

Japanese Tenses

How is tense handled in Japanese? Arguing from an analogy with English grammar, one might expect the language to have morphologically marked past, present and future tenses. Indeed, in 1916 the Koogohoo (Grammar of the Spoken Language) written by Ootsuki Fumihiko and published under the auspices of the Ministry of Education did provide for a three-tense system like that of English in which Japanese verbs were given a present tense (the final form or shushikei) a past tense (the form ending in -ta), and a future tense (the form ending in -oo or -yoo). However, this simplistic view, which is based on superficial analogies with the school grammar of Western languages, was soon challenged and is no longer accepted.

The predominant view held today is that contemporary Japanese verbs have two forms which express tenses: the ru form and the ta form. At least this is how it is explained in the grammar I consulted (Nihon bunpoo jiten published by Yuuseidoo, first edition 1981). Both of these forms can be used finally (at the end of the sentence) and attributively (modifying a substantive). The ru form is the form under which a verb appears in the dictionary (as hashiru, neru, aru), and the ta form is obtained by adding the tense ending ta to a conjunctive stem (renyookei) of the verb (hashitta, neta, atta). Although these two forms are considered, from the morphological point of view, to be tense forms, they can in certain cases express meanings which do not necessarily correspond with the expected tense. For example,


expresses volition, not tense, according to the grammar dictionary.


is said to be an imperative.

Sometimes the tenses are used rather oddly. For example, in response to the question "Have you read that book?", Ano hon wa yonde imasu is said to mean "I have read that book," not "I am (right now in the process of) reading that book." Compare Ano hon wa yonde imasen which would mean "I have not read that book," not "I am not (at the present moment) reading that book.") In these cases the present progressive has a past meaning. I think this indicates that the results of the past action continue to be in effect: "I have (or have not) read the book and therefore it is (or is not) familiar to me now." An even better example would be: Kyoo wa asa gohan wo tabete imasen, which means that the person did not eat breakfast today (in the past) and the effects of the missing meal are still present at the time when the statement is made.

Non-final forms such as the conjunctive (renyookei) or attributive (rentaikei) do not in themselves express tense but are subordinated to other parts of the sentence. Imperatives are not distinguished as to tense.

The "Imperfect (ru) Form Used Finally

The modern Japanese ru form, which Martin calls the "imperfect" or "nonpast" form, is derived historically from the attributive (rentaikei) form of older Japanese. That is, most sentences which once ended in ari now end in aru (older kane ari = modern kane ga aru, 'has money'). (Samuel E. Martin, A reference grammar of Japanese, p. 238) When used in the final form (shuushikei) the ru form is used in two different ways, depending upon whether the verb is a verb of action or a verb of state. Here again I am referring to the grammar dictionary I mentioned above.

(1) The ru forms of verbs of action in final position cannot express the present time. They can express only the future. The grammar gives the following examples of future sentences:


This means, according to it, that someone will run across the playground.


This means that someone will study. Both refer clearly to future actions. To make a verb of action express the present, it is necessary to convert the verb to the form in -te iru which imparts a continuative aspect. For example:


(2) The ru forms of verbs of state in final position can express either present or future. Consider the following examples:

  1. 机の上に本がある。
  2. 明日試合がある。
  3. 今お金が要る。
  4. 明後日お金が要る。

Of these, examples (1) and (3) have a present meaning, while (2) and (4) have a future meaning. Nouns or adverbs with a temporal significance (ima, ashita, asatte) can be used to differentiate verbs of state between present and future meanings.

Thus, basically, one can say that the ru form of verbs of action in final position corresponds to the future, and the ru form of verbs of state in that position can express either present or future. However, the ru form can also express things which are done habitually, as in the following example:


It can also express events which necessarily happen under definite conditions, essential truths, or facts which are stated to be generally true, as in the following examples which the grammar dictionary gives:


Since generalized statements are very frequently met with in technical writing, we will have to discuss below in some detail how to distinguish between sentences ending in the ru form which are to be translated in English in the future tense, and ones which are to be translated in the present tense.

The "Imperfect (ru) Form Used Attributively

In the attributive form (rentaikei) the ru form of verbs behaves somewhat differently than in the final form (shūshikei) While the ru final form of a verb of action can express only a future meaning, the ru attributive form of such verbs seems to express either a progressive action or a state, as in the following examples:


In these examples, furu and nagasu seem to have a progressive meaning, and shikiru seems to indicate a state.

The "Perfect" (ta) Form Used Finally

Now let us turn to the ta form, which Martin calls the "perfect" as opposed to the "imperfect" or "nonpast." When it is used in the final form (shuushikei) it imparts a past meaning to both verbs of action and verbs of state.


It can also be used to refer to events or actions which habitually occurred in the past:


A special use of the ta form is to express discovery or surprise:


The "Perfect" (ta) Form Used Attributively

When the ta form is used attributively (rentaikei) it may be used to refer to an action or state in the past, as in these examples:


However, in other cases the ta attributive form seems to have no past meaning at all; it merely refers to a certain state:


In these cases, it would make no difference if these words were converted to magatte iru michi or shiroku nutte aru kabe.

What About the "Future Tense"?

As we have seen, the ru final form of verbs of action ordinarily express a future sense, and the same form of verbs of state can also express a future sense. There are, however, a number of other forms which have forms like ikoo, daroo, deshoo. Are these forms of a future tense, as was supposed in the 1916 school grammar authored by Ootsuki?

Today it is accepted that these are not tense forms. They are rather forms expressing either presumption or volition and are obtained morphologically by adding auxiliary verbs (-oo, yoo, daroo) to one or the other form of the verb. They can be classified into two types: tentatives (forms which express a presumption on the part of the speaker about something imagined or uncertain) and hortatives (forms which express the speaker's volition, an invitation or a proposal).

Tentatives have the sense of "probably" or "I think" and can be formed by adding daroo or its polite form deshoo to the imperfect or perfect. Here are some of the examples given by Martin:

Yobu daroo. "I think [someone] calls, will call."
Tochi o kau deshoo. "Maybe he'll buy land"
Tochi o katta deshoo. "Maybe he bought land"

Here is an example taken from a technical text:


The author is talking about a certain stage of research in ceramics, and the sentence is undoubtedly about the future, but the main thing is that the author thinks it likely that probably the companies will all continue their efforts to produce some characteristic features at this stage. The author is expressing his presumption or prediction of what he thinks likely. Japanese sentences ending in daroo or de aroo may express a probability but not a certainty.

Hortatives have the sense of "let's," or "let me, I think I will." They are formed by adding -oo or -yoo to the unreal stem (mizenkei):

Saa neyoo. "Let's go to bed"
Yameyoo. "Let's not [do it]"
Saa hayaku ikimashoo "Come let's go quickly"

Tentatives and hortatives are dealt with in great detail in Martin's A reference grammar of Japanese (pp. 605–615). It is clear that it would be a mistake to consider them to be a "future tense," although tentatives can be translated by the English future tense, as long as the translation also incorporates components like "maybe" or "probably."

Verbs in ru: Present or Future

One of the most difficult problems in Japanese translation is to determine whether a verb in the ru form in the final position has a present or a future sense, or rather whether we are to translate it into English with a verb in the present tense or the future tense. We are told that verbs in the ru final form can express a future meaning, but that the same form can also express habitual meanings, events which necessarily happen under definite conditions, essential truths, or facts which are stated to be generally true. In technical writing, statements of the latter types are obviously very frequent, since the object of such writing is usually to make general statements about things which are true.

General Statements

In Japanese, there are a number of adverbial expressions which are used to introduce a general statement. Some of them are ippan ni (wa), futsuu, gaishite, oyoso (ooyoso) and yoku. If a sentence contains one of these, we may assume that it is meant to state a general truth — a statement to which there are few exceptions — and not to predict something in the future. For example,


This means that, as a general rule, when one is grinding ceramics, one works with the grindstone at a lower peripheral speed than is the case when grinding metals.

Yoku means often or frequently. For example:


This means that water-soluble liquids are frequently used as the grinding liquid. Or take the example given above:


The machine might translate that sentence as "A woman talks well." It really means "women usually talk a lot."

There are other ways of expressing things that occur sometimes. For example, if a sentence ends in baai ga aru, koto ga (mo) aru, or koto ga oii, we know that the author is stating something which occurs sometimes or often. If something never happens, the author can state this in a sentence ending in koto wa nai. These are also statements of general facts.

Future Statements by the Author

on the other hand, if the author uses the ru form without any of these expressions and is obviously talking about something which will occur after the time when he made the statement, we may assume that he is using the verb in a future sense.


Here the author is saying at the beginning of a chapter that he will here explain the characteristics and performance properties of the "new materials" tools which are currently in practical use. Kaisetsu suru is used in a future sense. The author is telling us what he will do in the rest of the chapter.


Here again the author is telling us that he will sum up for us the specifications of some thermistor elements and give them in Table 3, which we would expect to find below.

If the sentence contains a word indicating a future time ("in the future," "from now on") , this gives us an unmistakable signal that the ru form of the verb is in the future tense:


Other Ways of Expressing Future

The form in -te iku is used to express a future meaning with a sense of gradual change or transformation:


Here the author is saying: "It is perfectly clear that the international warfare over new materials will gradually grow more and more heated."


Here the same author is talking about the "information revolution," which he says "will probably continue for at least one more generation and which will surely change human civilization fundamentally."

Japanese Conditional Sentences Translated by the Future

In English there is a tendency, I think, to use the future tense to express general statements which have conditions attached to them. ("Good results will be obtained if this method is used.") Such general statements in Japanese would contain a conditional expression (either a verb ending in -ba or the particle to) and would end with a verb in the ru form.

For example, in a description of "hot extrusion" in making ceramics, the author compares the effects of hot extrusion with those of forging:

したがってエクスツルージョンが可能であるならば、大きい変形によって フォージングにより得られる以上のセラミックスの性質の改良が期待できうる。

I would translate this using the future in English: "Consequently, if extrusion is possible, it will be possible, thanks to the large deformations, to expect improvements of the properties of the ceramics beyond those which would be obtained by means of forging."

In a description of precision machining techniques, an author writes:


Here the author is saying that certain things will happen if large amounts are manufactured. I would prefer to translate this with a future verb: "If large amounts are to be manufactured, the tools will wear down during machining, and the machine tools will undergo thermal deformation. This will also lead to adopting production methods suitable for mass production, and the mounting of the workpieces, among other things, will become sloppy."

Here is another example:


I would like to translate this also with the future tense: "If it is possible to form such a pattern, an etching pattern with almost the same dimensions as the dimensions of the photoresist pattern will be obtained. Therefore, precise control of the pattern dimensions will be possible, and the technique will be extremely useful in manufacturing VLSIs."

In both of these examples, the sentences ended in the verb naru which seems to point the translator towards using a future tense in the English translation. Here is another example of this verb (p. 69):


"If a product is required to have a high working precision, the production costs will increase rapidly."

The opposite could also be stated: "But if such requirements are absent, the production costs will be lower."

In both cases I would use the future in English.

* * *

Obviously, any translator must have a firm grasp of such basic grammatical facts as the tenses of verbs, and I have tried to state some general principles and to give some examples to show how 'this knowledge can be applied in our day-to-day practice. Please correct me on any points where you disagree with my analysis.

For my description of the Japanese tenses I relied on an article in Nihon bunpoo jiten [Dictionary of Japanese grammar], edited by Yasuo Kitahara et al., published by Yuuseidoo, 1981. I also referred to Martin's A reference grammar of Japanese as I mentioned in the text.

The examples were taken mostly from a textbook on ceramics and a popular book on high technology.

* * *

Finally I give an example of a Japanese text which incorporates a number of the tense forms I have mentioned. Those who would like can make their own translations and send them to me for publication in the next issue. It might be interesting to compare a number of different translations to see how each translator has handled the tense problems.

 セラミックスは金属材料などとは異なり、本質的にぜい性を示すので、材料中に 微小欠陥が存在すると、その先端において粘弾塑性変形によるき裂進展阻止が不可 能になり、力学的には不安定な材料とみなされている。また理想的な引張応力状態 を試験片に与えることがきわめて困難なため、セラミックスでは曲げ試験を中心に 強度評価が行われている。以下に最も実用的なバイオセラミックスであるアルミナ セラミックスについて述べる。

* * *


The July 1983 issue of TermNet News, the journal of the International Network for Terminology (TermNet), published in Canada, contains a report entitled Observations on Terminology in Japan by C. Galinski, Vienna.

"In the field of Japanese terminography," the report says, "some three hundred terminology commissions of a number of specialized associations and learned societies have compiled specialized vocabularies for their respective subject fields. Many of these vocabularies have been published. The Tokyo publisher Shuppan Nyuusu-sha has brought out a list of dictionaries and encyclopedias; this 1982 publication has 6,092 entries on reference works of various sizes, nearly all of which pertain to special fields and are either monolingual or multilingual dictionaries. An evaluation of the production of specialized dictionaries and vocabularies during the last five years shows an average annual increase of more than ten per cent. Surveys by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture reveal that more than fifty terminology commissions are doing terminology work at any given point in time. This means that, taking into account works prepared by publishing houses and other bodies, there is a total annual output of some two hundred specialized dictionaries or vocabularies in Japan."

The report continues to say that it has been learned that "increased emphasis is being placed on terminology work, the dissemination of information on methods and on the applictions of computers in terminology work, the systematic training of terminological specialists, and the role of computational linguistics in terminology. The importance of terminology for automatic or machine-assisted translation and for large-scale handling of scientific and technical data is certainly a factor here. In this respect, the efforts and achievements of some seventeen project teams in the area of automatic translation or machine-assisted translation are quite remarkable. Moreover, there are apparently twenty or so projects relating to computerization of natural language (including special languages) and another twenty projects concerned with computerized lexicography. At least three of these can be considered preparatory work for terminological data banks. Some publishers of lexicographical works — Sanseido, Shuseido and Iwanami, for example — make use of electronic tools of different kinds and degrees of sophistication for lexicographical compilation and photocomposition. Infoterm has contacted the above-mentioned groups and companies in order to exchange information about modern methods in computerized terminography.

"The 80's are often called the 'decade of language' in Japan. This shows the emphasis that both the government and the nation as a whole place on language problems in international communication. Considering Japan's success in a number of sciejitific, economic and industrial fields since the Second World war, if efforts are concentrated and plans carried out systematically, a great deal of progress in computerized terminography can henceforth be expected in Japan."

The report then goes on to give an overview of the work of the National Language Research Institute and of the terminological work of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

TermNet News is an irregular publication of the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterin). The editor is Austrian Standards Institute (ON)—Infoterm, Postfach 130, Leopoldsgasse 4, A-1021 Wien, Austria. Thanks to Fred Schodt for sending me the article.

* * *


The Magnetics Society of the IEEE plans to become the first IEEE society to offer a journal of Japanese translations, according to Clark E. Johnson Jr., president of the Society. Testifying before the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on March 7, 1984, Johnson said that the Society has already embarked on a program to translate some 1500 pages of Japanese technical literature each year starting in 1985.

Mr. Johnson is chairman of Vertimag Systems Inc., a startup company based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Johnson also said that an appropriate Federal agency should furnish seed money to create a "translation service for Japanese technical journals," since "more and more of the Japanese research work is published only in Japanese journals."

"As a consequence," he continued, "we in the West are being cut off from significant and important research results." He said that an agency such as the National Science Foundation, which funded a similar program to translate Soviet physics journals some 20 years ago, should help initiate a Japanese translation service to assemble and distribute relevant Japanese technical literature. Until very recently, Johnson claimed, most Japanese research results in magnetics technology were published in English-language journals, but today the large majority of Japanese papers are printed solely in Japanese journals because the level of magnetics technology has broadened during the past few years. At the annual IEEE International Conference on Magnetics in 1983, Japanese researchers presented for the first time the majority of the technical papers.

Johnson said that the problem may not be restricted to magnetics technology, which is itself a multibillion dollar annual industry. "Personally, I feel there are a large number of Japanese journals in various engineering and physics disciplines that merit translation," he said. Many technical groups which might benefit from Japanese translation services do not have the funds to do so. Small start-up high-technology companies in particular will be at a disadvantage if translation services are not supplied. (IEEE "The Institute," 8(5), May 1984)

* * *


An article by Jim Van Nostrand in the June 4, 1984 edition of Electronic Engineering Times entitled "Federal Help Asked In Translating Japanese Technical Material" mentioned the testimony which was given at the hearings of the House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee in March.

The article reported that "the House committee was authorize scholarships for Japanese language studies; to establish new translating, abstracting and indexing services; and to create grants for colleges and universities that expand instruction in technical Japanese and for libraries that expand their Japanese collections."

William S. Budington, director of the John Crerar Library in Chicago, said that a study of more than 9,000 Japanese periodical and serial publications issued in Japan during 1980 found that 81 percent "are not indexed and are effectively hidden from us."

Michael D. Majcher, manager of the technical information center of Xerox Corp., said that estimates indicate that Japanese companies have deployed "over 1,500 software experts in the United States, supported by a collective budget of $25 million to $30 million per year, to provide information supporting their fifth-generation computer efforts."

In contrast, James V. Seals Jr. of the American Chemical Society said that "there is no agency in the federal government with clearly assigned responsibility for overall policy regarding scientific and technical information...The society finds itself competing with heavily subsidized government-industrial complexes in other nations. We are doing so without strong support from our government and, we fear, without sufficient government interest or concern."

Majcher said that monitoring Japanese publications is expensive. Xerox pays more than $1 per line, or in excess of $7,500 per year, to translate one Japanese journal on electrophotography, and the cost of a secondary service providing limited bibliographic information for a small number of journal titles has been quoted at over $500,000.

Susan Goldman, a research scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, said that the Library of Congress and other libraries should get financial support to hire and train qualified specialists in Japanese. She proposed giving universities funds to improve offerings in technical Japanese.

Thanks to Anthony Meadow of Berkeley, California, for sending me the article from Electronic Engineering Times and also the one from the IEEE "The Institute."

* * *


The article by James Reston which I mentioned in the last issue (no. 16, p. 16) was originally published in the New York Times of May 6, 1984 under the title "Reagan After China." I saw a reprint of the same article in the International Herald Tribune of May 7, 1984 under a different title.

In reply to Mr. Reston's article, the New York Times on May 22 printed a letter to the editor from Simon Schuchat, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Mr. Schuchat refers in his letter to the "apparent disinclination on the part of the corporations and banks to hire people with an academic concentration in Asian languages."

The letter continues: "Mr. Reston rightly notes that learning Chinese or Japanese requires a lot of time. While there are law and business students who attempt to combine Asian languages with their regular courses of study, I have observed that the time commitment almost always forces them to abandon their language study. If, on the other hand, they continue with the Asian studies, they discover — at least according to my own experience and that of my fellow students — that the corporate world considers their training of little value.

"Evidently, that world finds it more economical to rely on bilingual locals and intensive short-term training for their own executives. The attitude seems to be that anyone who can finish business school should be able to pick up Chinese or Japanese quickly, while the reverse — that someone who has gained fluency in these languages can learn accounting or marketing with equal ease — is unrealistic.

"What corporations seem to want is an M.B.A. with two years of Japanese or Chinese, a level barely equivalent to a year of high school French. Consequently, the more one concentrates on Asian studies, the more one's career options are limited to an extremely tight academic market, made tighter by the perceived lack of utility of what one is trained to teach."

Mr. Schuchat's letter concludes: "Simply pouring more money into language training will not alter the situation. Only a change of attitude in the corporate job market, whereby corporations acknowledge the value of language training and area studies, will enable America to close the language gap."

Betsy Kuga of Hoboken, N.J., who sent in the letter, comments: "Do you think the attitudes Schuchat attributes to American corporate executives actually exist? If they do, how do they affect us as technical Japanese translators? Perhaps it would be useful to look at our identity/image problem as a profession in terms of the broad context of attitudes to be found in American business."

In an article in a previous issue of the newsletter (no. 13, p. 13–14) I reported that Jack Seward interviewed American businessmen in Japan and found that "the upper echelons of American businessmen in Japan are actually afraid and suspicious of the JALS." (JALS are "Japan Area and Language Specialists.") In that article I too expressed incredulity that, in this day and age of increasing internationalization, any intelligent businessmen would adopt such a xenophobic attitude.

As to how this affects translators, I think we should remember that our very existence as a profession is unknown, not only to "authorities" like Jack Seward, but probably even to many who occupy positions of authority in the academic world. I have often pointed out that it is unfortunate that the academic community, while doing such an excellent job of preparing specialists in archaic Oriental lore for whom there are few academic jobs, is doing nothing to prepare technical translators, for whom there is a growing demand. If the letters from Mr. Schuchat and Mr. Wetzler (no. 16, p. 16) are any indication, Americans who have been educated in Japanese and Chinese languages at American universities are not even aware that there are career opportunities open to them as technical translators. They seem to perceive the range of choices as: either a teaching job or a job in an American corporation.

Language specialists who complain that American corporations do not wish to hire specialists in Japanese might be well advised to look elsewhere for employment. If technical translation does not appeal to Japanese language specialists as a career after graduation, I understand that a number of Japanese corporations are now actively trying to recuit Americans with Japanese language skills. The American corporations' loss could be the Japanese corporations' gain.

* * *


We have been debating from time to time whether J-E technical translation (or should I say "technical translation" in general?) is a rewarding profession. There has been much disagreement, but one answer might be that the profession may possibly be rewarding from the monetary standpoint and in cases where it suits the person's lifestyle.

Some readers have asked about vacations. Roey Munoz of Austin, Texas, writes (June 13, 1984):

In answer to your question about work schedules, holidays, vacations, etc., I believe the major attraction of full-time freelance work for me is the flexibility and freedom it permits. I work usually 6 hours/day, 6 days a week and pay little attention to seasonal holidays, with few exceptions. Nonetheless, I do insist on vacations — at least 3 weeks per year. So far, this system has proved very comfortable for me.

Another reader, Arnold Rusoff of Ithaca, N.Y. has the following to say about the joys and dangers of the freelance life:

In my style of work, times when I have free time are few and far between. I sometimes go months without a day off, always with the pressure of deadlines. Often at the end of a long project, I am so tired, I doubt whether it is all worth it. But then (like right now), I get a month or two off in which to revive myself. Since these times usually are in the summer or fall, I can thoroughly enjoy the benefits of the freelance, self-employed work mode. It is at these times that I can reflect on the last busy period and make resolutions on how to improve my situation so that my work is less taxing and more rewarding. My current most important goal is to regulate the pace of my work to more tolerable limits. I have almost burned out a few times in the past, but recently things have begun to improve significantly.

Concerning the question of whether or not this career is rewarding, I feel that it is largely rewarding although there are numerous drawbacks. I enjoy comparing the very different ways the same concept is presented in the two languages. The different way thoughts are formulated in English and Japanese often gives me insights I might not have had if I weren't involved with a second language as closely as I am. Being a translator allows me to read and be involved with documentation on today's most current research and technological developments. It would be very difficult, otherwise, to come in contact with this kind of documentation and still have the ability to work at home and gain all the other benefits of the freelance lifestyle. However, the pressure of deadlines, the frustrations of trying to make good English out of poorly written Japanese, the difficulties of trying to decipher scribbled handwritten kanji, cashflow problems and so on certainly are minuses.

But on the other hand, is it a fulfilling profession? When you are facing a stack of jobs with deadlines on your desk and have a headache or would rather be out sunning yourself at the beach, have you ever felt trapped or hopeless? You would be very unusual if you did not feel such emotions. And what about the dangers of burn-out?

My (DLP) main problem with the translation profession has always been that it tended to isolate me (before I started up this newsletter, that is). I would be working along all by myself, with few contacts with anyone else in the same profession, waiting for the assignments to arrive in the mail. Although it was rewarding financially, I felt trapped and unsure of the end value of the service I was providing. I seldom receive any feedback from the users of my translations and don't know whether my work is of any use to them. Like Tomoyuki Satoh, I even wonder sometimes whether anyone really reads my translations, or whether there is some mysterious deadletter office for filing away translations which no one will ever read. The newsletter has been very helpful to me, too, in overcoming this sense of isolation and satisfying my need for communication.

I was reminded of this when I read the following moving letter (dated June 6, 1984) from Haruko Smith of Mill Valley, California:

I am left shaken for hours every time the Newsletter arrives. It not only stimulates my intellectual and professional interests but also touches my emotions in many ways.

I started translating on a regular basis several years ago, not by choice, but out of necessity when I found myself penniless with a child to support. Being bilingual had always been helpful but I never wanted to be a translator.

Currently, I am a business consultant, columnist and translator/interpreter. Aside from the joy of expanding my knowledge (with each new field I tackle, I feel smarter!) and the satisfaction when I know I've done a good job, translating just doesn't do it for me. I've worked hard not to establish myself as a full-time translator. Even then, my desk is piled with work and I feel jerked around by deadlines all the time. It's an easy trap to fall into. If I don't fight it, I could easily settle into a comfortable life (in the sense that I'll never have to knock on anybody's door looking for work) of a full-time translator. After all, it does help support my ice skating, ballet and aerobics habits. And I never have to miss my son's Little League games. What is wrong with it, then? I am shameless in admitting that I want to do more with my life than just translating patents, specs and manuals for things that are so irrelevant to my being. I need to be working with something that I can believe in. It is so darn hard to feel passionate about a switching element or carboxylic acid ester. Thus my neverending search...

And to read the Newsletter and see you out there not just thinking, not just talking, but doing it — causing a change, having an impact gives me broader visions and a sense of urgency urgency to re-evaluate, to dream and to act.

I invite other readers' comments about this question, which I am sure must bother us all. If we long for a sense of passionate commitment, how can we stand it if all we are doing is translating boring patents and manuals all day long? Is this what life is really all about?

Arnold Pusoff takes a month or two off "to revive himself," and Roey Munoz takes a vacation of at least three weeks every year. Haruko Smith has another answer. She combines her translating work with other activities such as being a business consultant and a columnist. And with her many strenuous activities, it sounds as if her life is far more varied than many of ours. Probably not many of us find time for ballet and ice skating.

Another way of solving the problem is described by Betsy Kuga of Hoboken, N.J., who says that she has found a satisfactory way of integrating translation in a larger project. This allows her to have "control of a longer portion of the information pipeline."

As you may recall, in our issue no. 6, Betsy wrote that she had come to a generally pessimistic conclusion about the question whether technical translation is a rewarding profession. "After nearly a year of doing technical translation almost exclusively, following upon about five years of J to E general translation, I would have to say my answer to your question is no — unfortunately, this profession does not seem to promise many rewards." (See no. 6, p. 4–5)

I was delighted to learn that Betsy has since then undergone a change of attitude and now speaks about "bright prospects." Here is what she writes (May 24, 1984):

Now, about my change of attitude toward the translation profession over the course of the past year. Last summer when I wrote I characterized myself as a translation specialist but a generalist in terms of subject matter. I argued the case for generalists, saying a person with strong translation skills and good technical dictionaries could hold their own against someone with a specialty but scanty translation experience. By and large, the response to this argument from other readers was in favor of subject specialities. This made me think, and perhaps even changed the course of my career. I began to look more carefully at the possibility of developing a viable specialty in some area of technology, a specialty that would allow me to build on knowledge I had previously acquired. As it happened, early this year I had an opportunity to join Pacific Interface and receive training in computer graphics consultation and research work, and since that time I have been able to combine translation with the complementary skills of research and writing, much to my satisfaction. I have found that when a translation project becomes one component of a larger project it is more satisfying because I get to see the end value of the translation in the context of something larger. I am involved in choosing material to translate and dealing with why something is translated rather than just how it is done. I suppose this is analogous to forward/backward integration in an industry. I am now in control of a longer portion of the information pipeline. In addition, I feel my translations are much more efficient because they are all on similar subjects. Prospects for the future are bright.

I thought the readers would like to know a little more about Pacific Interface and asked Betsy to write something about it. Here is how she responded:

Pacific Interface was founded in 1979 by Laurin Herr, a Cornell University graduate who had extensively studied the Japanese language and culture. While the company originally offered consulting services in the area of TV and video production, its focus gradually shifted to computer graphics, and by 1983 the business consisted entirely of computer graphics work. Now, with offices in both New York and Tokyo, PI handles in-depth industrial marketing research, projects on both sides of the Pacific for American and Japanese clients who are mostly software and hardware manufacturers. The company has also contracted to do an English-language multi-client study covering the entire computer graphics industry in Japan, which will be made available in early 1985 in the United States. Another major aspect of recent activity has been computer graphics conferences: PI has made contributions to the programs of SIGGRAPH, Computer Graphics Tokyo '84, and several other computer graphics events in Japan. Future plans include expansion of the Tokyo and New York offices and the development of more customized research services.

* * *


by Arnold F. Rusoff

I'd like to touch on some of the discussions that have been going on in the newsletter. I, of course, am a specialist rather than a generalist. I have translated technical materials in other fields, but find that if you don't really understand the subject matter, it is hard to write coherently about it in English. Translations tend to be more literal and ambiguities due to the peculiarities of the Japanese are difficult, if not impossible, to resolve. However, if you understand the subject you are translating about, you can resolve those ambiguities or understand portions that are poorly written by the original author.

I often find portions of computer documentation that would be impossible to render coherently in English if I did not know what the author had intended, because there wasn't sufficient information in what he had written. I realize I'm treading on dangerous ground here, but the type of work I do requires a product well-written in English, suitable for publication and sale with the minimum amount of revision. For other types of translation, you may be more concerned with what the author actually said and how he said it although a similar native English speaking author would not have written the same material in that manner.

To end up with clear, readable English, I find that it often is necessary to rearrange text, break the Japanese up into smaller sentences, supply missing subjects, eliminate redundancies, and so on. I don't think that it is necessary to become too rigid in your approach like saying every sentence in the paragraph should have a subject that refers back to the topic sentence, but I do think a certain amount of rearrangement often is necessary. I also think that clear technical writing definitely is different in style than ordinary English prose. This is one of the big mistakes I think the Japanese computer companies have been making in their approach to the enormous problem they face in translating their work.

When I first came in contact with the "world of Japanese computer manual translation" at Fujitsu in 1976, the prevailing attitude over there was something along this line. "Only Japanese people can really read and understand Japanese; no American or other foreigner can. Any native English speaker can rewrite a translation done by a Japanese translator to make it into good readable English." Therefore, most translation work was given to Japanese translation agencies some of whom hired gaijin rewriters who often had no training in technical writing or knowledge about computers. You can guess what the results sounded like.

Fujitsu formed a subsidiary company named FIE whose duty it was to read, edit, and pass judgement on the translations Fujitsu received from the various translation companies. Many of the editors had no experience with the translation process, could not read Japanese, and sometimes were arrogant and even rude in their written comments about the translations. I think over the years this attitude has changed, and effort has been put into helping the translation companies produce better translations.

The fundamental problem as I see it is that it is very difficult for a nonnative English speaker to write natural sounding English unless they have extensive experience with the English language. It also is very difficult for an average native English speaker who does not understand Japanese grammar and have extensive knowledge about computers to rewrite Janglish translations and transform them into good technical English.

Anyway, I now have established a good working relationship with NEC Corporation, which has a much smaller documentation department. My goal is to produce translations that sound as if they were written directly in English and not translated. This means that I read a section of the text (sometimes a few paragraphs, sometimes a page or two), try to get the sense of what the author is saying, and write it in English, preserving as much of the original form as I can. I write notes for the documentation department about any parts I change, any questions I have about the original, or any suggestions I have for further changes.

This systems seems to be working successfully. There are times when I am swamped with work and desperately need someone else to help me meet the deadlines. Since I live in Ithaca where Cornell University is located, there are many skilled translators with extensive experience in the Japanese language whom I can call on locally. However, I have only found two or three who have any knowledge of or interest in learning about computers. Without both skill in translation and knowledge of computers, too many problems arise when translating Japanese computer documentation. I would love to hear from anyone who has these skills. There most likely will be times when I will have work to pass on.

This brings me to the subject of payment. When I started as a novice, I received 1350 yen per 200 English words. For almost all the translation work I do for Japanese computer companies, I get paid by a "200-word payable page." That means that every word has to be counted and the total divided by 200 to get the total number of payable pages. I now receive 2800 yen per payable page (approximately 6 cents per word) for large volume work which comes from a company that sends me work on a regular basis all year long. When I work for other companies, such as American translation companies, I receive between 7 and 10 cents per word, depending on the size of the project, the deadlines, and how much time I have between projects sent from Tokyo.

I usually translate between 1500 and 3500 English words per day. When I have tight deadlines (which is almost all the time) I work 7 days a week for about 5 or 6 hours a day. Although I have worked more hours than this per day, I find that I get too tired to be efficient, and the quality of my translation decreases. I therefore read with amazement about translators who do more than one million words per year.

I find that there is so much added work in order to produce a finished translation. The work has to be edited, checked for spelling errors, often vertical lines or special characters have to be added by hand or by using an electric typewriter, and so on. Also don't these other translators have account books to keep, bills to pay, letters to write to stay in business? Where does all that time come from?

People have written to the newsletter about payment procedures and have estimated salaries by multiplying 2000 words per day by so many days arriving at such and such a salary. What about the costs involved in being a self-employed person? The translator has to take care of his overhead costs, pay for his own health insurance, and so on. He has no sick leave, paid vacations, or retirement benefits. If he has no work for several weeks or months, he needs to be able to pay his bills so that he is still available when he is needed next. How have other people been able to resolve these problems? Is 5 cents a word sufficient? What is a reasonable rate for a professional translator so that his salary after expenses enables him to live a reasonable lifestyle?

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Is the job of translator glamorous? In Japan it at least gets plenty of media attention. In issue #15 we ran two profiles of Japanese translators that appeared in Kōgyō eigo. On June 4th, as part of a series on working women, the Nihon keizai shimbun showcased an article written by freelancer Yoshiko Ishizuka. As a mother of a five-year old son and an infant daughter, Ishizuka works as a regular housewife during the day, but at night she gets out her dictionaries and translates. She normally works from eight in the evening to one in the morning, and tries to adhere to a rough schedule of four to five days work for every day off, but, like all of us, falls victim to rush jobs and slack periods. Ishizuka says, and most of us would probably concur, that translation is hard, physical work — "arufuabetto to kakuto suru to kuta kuta."

Ishizuka is registered as a freelance English-Japanese translator with such translation bureaus as the Japan Convention Service, Inter Language Service, and also UNESCO. Her specialties are scientific/technical and business-related documents, and her work output per month is around 300–400 pages of standard genkōyōshi (400 character). Her average pay is around a thousand yen per page. The bulk of her work consists of translating training manuals for corporations introducing office automation systems, and computer software manuals. Since her husband is a technician, she has acquired a working knowledge of computers from him.

Like many translators, Ishizuka finds specialization necessary, but a broad, general education a major asset. As an undergraduate at Keio University, she majored in political science, but did post-graduate work in linguistic sociology. She acquired her language skills with a year abroad in the United States, and honed them later by working at a foreign bank where only English was spoken, and as the translator and interpreter at a ship company. She has worked freelance for seven years.

Ishizuka is part of a new breed of Japanese women: those who have merged traditional roles with the modern. Translating technical subjects, she stays at home and looks after her family, but also earns a living. At Japan Convention Service, Ishizuka says, one quarter of the registered translators are women, many of whom have studied computers on their own. In what seems to be a growing practice among Japanese translators, over twenty receive and transmit their work over facsimile machines.

What spiritual rewards does translation bring Ishizuka? As she says, one of them is being able "to work at home, and at the same time be on the front lines of the information age." — Frederik L. Schodt

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This is the title of a 19-page paper by J. Jelinek, University of Sheffield, and J. Hawgood, University of Durham, which was presented at the International Conference on Machine Translation held at Cranfield Institute of Technology in February, 1984. (See this newsletter, issue no. 12, p. 17.) Dr. Jelinek kindly sent me a copy of the paper.

The project, carried out by something called the AidTrans Consortium, is described as follows in the Introduction of the paper:

"The AidTrans Consortium already has, in the form of a set of books, a left-to-right (or top-to-bottom) multiple-path syntactic analyser which renders Japanese sentences in crude English. This system has evolved from a continuous research since the early '60s and has been successfully applied to teaching Japanese-English translation. It has also been emulated for other pairs of languages.

"In the first phase of our work, now completed, we have formulated a comprehensive Japanese script I/O keyboard applicable to PERQ or similar machines. We have also formulated an interactive program which elicits lexical and grammatical data and organises them into an Automatic Integrated Dictionary.

"Our present effort is directed towards the creation of transferrable personal software facilitating Japanese-to-English translation, a Japanese-English teaching machine and a scientific & technical Japanese-English data bank.

"In the third phase, we intend to formalise and incorporate into our system the principles of depredicational analysis to capture the formal links between units larger than sentence and thus allow a coherent translation of texts. At that stage, in an increasingly refined form, we hope to be able to produce a Japanese-to-English translating machine."

The paper describes the ultimate goals of the project as follows:

"Our ultimate (and perhaps unattainable) ideal is a fully viable translating convert modern technical Japanese into passable English without human intervention. The practical long-term aim (Phase 3) is a comprehensive computer-stored dictionary of modern Japanese (AID JE4), with programs to aid human translators by providing alternative paraphrases not just for sentences but for paragraphs and longer texts, using Dr Jelinek's concepts of depredication and read-forward to unravel implicit cross-references between sentences. We have no doubt that this aim is attainable, but acknowledge that Phase 3 may take 10 years. An intermediate 'large-dictionary' version might appear in 1991."

This is how the paper describes the "Japanese-English Scientific & Technical Data Bank":

"The lexical limitations of the first Automatic Integrated Dictionary are manifest by the fact that it contains only some six thousand entries, of which over a half are grammatical entries rather than genuine lexical items.

"While the dictionary remains limited in its coverage of vocabulary, particularly that of scientific and technical nature, the user has to look up a certain percentage of lexical items, mainly straight-forward nouns, in traditional dictionaries. Although the analyser does provide guidance as to where best to find the missing item and how to place its translation in the resulting 'English' sentence, the need to refer to outside data slows down the process and can cause errors.

"We are planning for an incremental growth of the AID, concentrating at first on all inflected items of Japanese and trying to incorporate all items of idiomatic nature, but gradually covering more and more purely lexical items. All the known productive principles of word formation and derivation have now been incorporated, thus significantly enlarging the lexical powers of the tool. This works fairly well on Japanese, which tends to abide by well-defined principles of forming scientific and technical terminology, and the 'English' rendering of such terminology tends to be comprehensible, if not directly usable. English is often haphazard and eclectic in scientific terminology, relying heavily on Greco-Latin word stock.

"The ultimate solution can thus only be achieved through a massive analysis of and excerption from Japanese texts and their verified translations, as well as the incorporation of all the existing specialised word lists.

"We are lucky in this respect, since probably the world's largest Japanese-English scientific and technical word list (= the Gerr File) is in our custody, contributing ca. 500,000 terms.

"However, it is to be expected that by indefinitely expanding the number of lexical entries available to the analyser, we are bound to slow down the process of analysis and increase the multiplicity of homonymy which needs to be resolved.

"The answer to this problem must be provided at a rate matching the increment. Partly, a speedy hardware will help. A frequency count on each item handled during the analysis and a presentation of results in the order of their hitherto frequency is another partial solution. Also, a detailed set of 'conditions for acceptance', which are carried by each entry and each English translation, will help to weed out some unwanted alternatives."

Those who would like to read the entire paper can write to me (DLP), enclosing sufficient money for copying and mailing, and I will send them a copy.

Incidentally, I have written to Dr. Jelinek asking for further information about the Gerr Files at Sheffield (see no. 13, p. 38) , and will publish it in the newsletter when I receive it.

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I mentioned in a previous issue (see no. 15, p. 47) that Macmillan, the large publisher which owns the Berlitz language schools, has acquired, or "merged" with, Agnew Tech-Tran, a translation agency located in Woodland Hills, California. John B. McRae, who works there as Computer Systems Manager (see elsewhere in this issue for his "Tips for Beginners"), has written us this description of the computers used by the new agency, called Berlitz/Agnew Tech-Tran:

Newsletter readers now know of the acquisition of Agnew Tech-Tran by Berlitz Translation Services. The polite terminology is "merger," but "acquisition" is really more accurate, except that Irene Agnew, the visionary and dedicated founder of ATT, is now effectively in charge of BTS in the U.S.

By the way, I might mention that at Berlitz/Agnew we have a Data General Eclipse S/140 minicomputer, ALPS word processing and computer-assisted translation software, and twelve overworked terminals. Because the system had been so badly configured and maintained, I've actually been able to make a real contribution to overall operations, and learn a lot in the process. The company has recently sent me to a short Data General course for system managers, and has sent me to the Peninsula to evaluate the Xerox Star. In addition to the DG, we have a Vector Graphic with Arabrite capabilities, a Texas Instruments Professional Computer, and a CPT word processor.

Agnew Tech-Tran has been using the Arabrite system produced by Gulf Data for several years. It uses a Vector Graphic micro with an Arabic character generator and software modelled on the English Memorite program. There are newer Arabrite systems, with dual-printhead printers for interspersed bilingual texts.

Berlitz uses CPT word processors, which also have dual-printhead machines and Arabic capabilities. They really like their CPT's; apparently they even do Turkish. I find the CPT's to be very archaic, in terms of the requirement to learn a whole slew of control-key commands. "Primitive" and "ridiculous" are other adjectives I would apply to their word processors, but it is true that they will handle a large number of languages.

In addition to these two Arabic wp systems, there is a very poor (allegedly) system called Raid somehow connected with the Saudi government. Finally, there is a very, very good system being developed in Glendale by a company named Fortex or something like that. Uses the Corvus computer and network system and apparently is a joy in many ways.

Since we do a lot of Chinese and Japanese at ATT, and will soon be doing even more, I have been trying to find out what Asian language word processors are available here. DEC claims that the Japanese operating system for their 350 is available and will be supported here, but I have yet to get any details from them. I have great hopes for Data General, since we have a DG mini-computer in Woodland Hills. Our local IBM Product Center claimed that they were getting several 5550's on March 1 and would call me, but we seem to have forgotten each other. I'll follow that one up soon.

As I mentioned above, we use ALPS word processing and computer-assisted translation (CAT) software at ATT. Fortunately, it only handles English, French, and German, so I don't have to use it. (The ALPS people say our computer isn't big enough to handle all the terminals we've got hanging off of it, so my perspective may be limited.) The nicest feature on the entire system is the ability to type a word in in the source language and have the target language equivalent pop up on the screen in the right place in the text. (If there are a number of possible equivalents, the user is shown all of them and selects one.) This is great for technical materials, especially where a number of translators are working on a large job and need to maintain consistency. I also have a brochure at the office on computer software designed for translators and for use on IBM PC's. No Japanese capabilities, of course, and I don't have an Incredibly Bad Machine.

There's an English word-processing program advertised in BYTE called The Idea Processor. It's from Idea Ware, 225 Lafayette St., New York 10012. I sent off and got a brochure on it, and it looks real good, since you have access to a "text database" while you are in word processing. Briefly, that means you can store, edit, and access your own file-card system as you write text. Think of the possibilities for online glossaries! If only it could handle kanji!

John writes that translators of any and all languages are encouraged to send their resumes to Berlitz/Agnew Tech-Tran at 6415 Independence Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 93167. Resumes should be accompanied by a cover letter stating their qualifications and experience and, most important, several short excerpts from past work. Resumes can be sent either to John or to Helen Horowitz at the address given above. Translators who have their own personal computers are especially in demand, he says.

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The editor is pleased to be in communication with Clive Smith, Director of a company called Mitaka in England. Mr. Smith writes (June 21 1984) that he had been working as a freelance translator from Japanese for three years before he and his wife set up their firm Mitaka in 1977 to handle translations and typesetting into Japanese. In addition to technical translation into and from Japanese, Mitaka offers business cards, designing, Japanese typesetting and printing, Japanese word processing, as well as an information service called JAPANSCAN. The latter includes monthly bulletins covering Bio-Industry, Food Industry, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Industry. Mitaka also publishes "Britain Today," a Japanese-language guide to investment opportunities in Britain for distribution in Japan. About 75% of Mitaka's turnover, writes Mr. Smith, is specialist (not necessarily technical) translations.

Mitaka is located at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and also has a London office at 188–189 Drury Lane.

According to the informational materials I received, Mitaka has the largest and most sophisticates Japanese phototypesetting facilities in Europe, with the largest range of typefaces available anywhere outside Japan. Typesetters are recruited directly from Japan.

Mitaka has also installed the first Japanese-language word processor in Britain (an IBM 5550) together with a hard disk unit to facilitate storage and processing of kanji data. The word processor is used for compiling engineering manuals, price lists, contracts, specifications, mail lists, and other materials which are to be updated and do not need photosetting.

Mr. Smith writes: "I am interested in hearing from translators, working either into or from Japanese, who are able to communicate by electronic mail. We have an IBM 5550 for Japanese text and various devices (including an IBM PC) for English text. Also, I'd be interested in making contact with any readers using IBM 5550's for Japanese word processing, and would like to compare notes."

Mitaka's address is:

3-5 Tavistock Street
Leamington Spa,
Warwickshire CV32 5PJ

Tel.: 0926 311126

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The readers of this newsletter in Northern California held a well-attended and. lively discussion meeting on June 21 in San Francisco. This was the first such meeting ever held in Northern California, and it was attended by about 22 people, including full-time translators, interpreters, linguists, and representatives of local translation agencies. Many of the participants had never met each other before, and time was set aside at the beginning for all of the persons to introduce themselves. The editor found this part to be especially interesting and was rather amazed at the variety of personal backgrounds which the participants described. Then the floor was opened to discussion, and a broad range of topics was covered, such as whether Japanese translators can benefit from joining existing organizations such as the ATA, the supply-and-demand situation for J-E translations, the low self-image of J-E translators, ways to enhance their visibility, the imbalance in the flow of information into and from Japan, systems for monitoring Japanese technical information in the U.S., availability of Japanese databases, and many other subjects. There was not enough time to discuss any of these topics to a definite conclusion, but there seemed to be a unanimous feeling that the meeting was a promising success and that further such meetings, held at suitable intervals, would be helpful. The editor hopes that other local groups of readers will be formed and hold meetings in their areas. Persons wishing to organize such groups should contact the editor for names and addresses of others in their areas.

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A reader sent me a clipping from The Philadelphia Inquirer, which has a column called Action Line. The column evidently gives legal advice to newspaper readers who write in describing their problems. The letter in the clipping was from a free-lance translator in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, complaining about a translation agency in Morristown, N.J. The agency contacted the translator and asked him to translate a technical manual from English into Spanish. The translator completed the job on time for a fee amounting to $631.35. He was told that he would be paid 30 days after submitting an invoice, but payment was never received. Long-distance calls and a registered letter demanding payment were not acknowledged.

The Action Line column suggested filing a suit against the company in small claims court in Morristown, N.J. and filing complaints with the New Jersey Department of Labor and with the Newark Better Business Bureau.

I have heard of other similar problems from other translators, and Roey Munoz writes that she thinks that "addressing this issue, which occurs all too frequently I fear, would be of interest and beneficial to the readers of the newsletter. Though I've not had this type of experience personally, I have gotten phone calls several times from fellow translators asking what they can do to get a company they have done work for to pay them. If you could warn the community of Japanese translators through the newsletter about companies who have done this in the past, it might prevent future translator rip-offs and maybe even force the companies who do this to straighten up. Of course, it would be preferable not to be sued for libel for printing such announcements!"

I get the impression that companies who engage in such disreputable practices tend to do so repeatedly. As a result, they quickly get a very bad reputation among the local translators, and this in turn makes it quite difficult for them to find any experienced local translators to do their work, especially in languages like Japanese for which there is a growing demand. Only a translator who was completely unaware of the company's bad reputation, such as a beginner or someone living in another state, would ever think of accepting work from them. They prey on the unwary, so to speak. Nothing much can be done afterwards, but the situation can be prevented easily enough. I suggest that, before contacting or accepting work from an agency unknown to you, especially from one in another city or state, that you call translators listed in the Directory in that area and ask them to give you what information they can about the reputation of the agency in question.

It is important not to accept the first job (unless you don't care if you ever get paid), since once dealings have been established they will expect more of you. One tactic which unscrupulous translation agencies often use is to assign a second job to a translator who has just completed one job for which he/she has not yet received payment. If the translator refuses to complete the second job until he/she has received payment for the first one, the agency will refuse to pay anything, claiming that "the translator is unreliable."

Another problem with such companies is that they seem to be (or at least say that they are) constantly having "cash flow problems" for one reason or another. The list of possible excuses for non-payment is a long one, involving everything from large bills owed to the IRS, faulty bookkeeping, computer problems, and so on. I would say that any company engaging in shady practices might be a very good candidate for bankruptcy in the very immediate future, and a translator would be well advised to steer clear of them for that reason alone. They might not be around long enough to pay anyone.

On the other hand, a reliable translation agency knows very well that it depends on having good J-E translators and on keeping them satisfied, if it wants to keep its clients and to stay in business.

I invite readers who have had these experiences to send in their advice and comments. Probably we ought to omit the names of the offending agencies in our newsletter, for legal reasons. Even if we omit naming them, in most cases a telephone call to a translator in the same city would be sufficient to find out enough information about the reputation of any local agency.

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Hisashi Kubota of Oak Ridge, Tennessee has written the following about word counts:

I would like to add my comments on word count. When I started working for JPRS some 30 years ago, I was told that the word count would be two Japanese characters per English word. That made for a simple accounting since the standard Japanese printed matter contained the same number of characters per line. Since then I used to rough draft double space using very narrow margins and found that three such typewritten pages were equivalent to 1,000 words. This turned out to be a very handy yardstick for counting long jobs (say 30–50 pages). I am a chemist by training and so have translated a number of chemical articles. One thing that stood out was that where there was a page of Japanese transliterations of American chemicals (particularly organic compounds), the 2 for 1 equivalence no longer held, and any such section had to be counted separately. Over the years I have taken the Japanese word count as the maximum and make adjustments for such words. Recently I have begun to use a word processor with Wordstar and Spelstar. Spelstar counts the number of words it checks, and this count thus far has agreed with my practices of the past.

Don Cyril Gorham of Silver Spring, MD writes (May 15, 1984) to express agreement with Tomoyuki Satoh of Austin, Texas (no. 15, pp. 13–15):

I wholeheartedly agree with the thinking, as expressed by Mr Satoh and, apparently, also by Mr Bender of JPRS last year, that a reasonably able translator, equipped with good reference works and the determination to spend the time needed to do the job right, indeed can do technical and scientific translation work... patent and journal articles of a technical nature.

Mr. Gorham also agrees with the remarks by Carl Kay of Cambridge, Mass, in the same issue (no. 15, pp. 15–17):

Also agree re the difficulty of making accurate summaries and the fact that an hourly rate, mutually agreed upon beforehand, is the best way to go. This would tend to apply to most cut and paste, graphic work as well as any instances where the word count factor is minor. As a matter of fact, this ippiki ookami has, since about 1978, been charging an hourly rate for translation, Jpn language research, depositions, conference interpreting and what have you. (However, I have not done any extensive single item translations, i.e. more than 60 pages long.) Since many of my clients are lawyers and public relations types, they understand the hourly system and are quite comfortable with it. In any event, we practicing translator/interpreters are a pass-through expense item that pales in comparison with the other costs passed on to their clients. I also agree that a competent translator can make a relatively decent amount of money, even at $40/K English words.

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by Frederik L. Schodt

The agenda for the American Translators' Association 1984 convention reflects the growing influence of Japanese-English translators. This year's meeting will be held in New York, from September 19 to 25, and in dramatic contrast to previous years, three sessions are devoted to Japanese-English translation problems. As currently proposed, they are:

  1. Japanese Translators Specialized Interest Group; a committee meeting chaired by Carl Kay, to be held on Wednesday, September 19
  2. Japanese-English Translations; a panel discussion attended by government and nongovernment personnel, organized by Don Gorham, to be held on Saturday, September 22
  3. Scientific Japanese; a workshop to discuss problems encountered in translating technical Japanese into English — such as numbers, tense, and sentence structure — organized by Hisashi Kubota and held on September 22

Other sessions recommended for Japanese-English translators are:

  1. Translating for Government and Industry; Virginia Fortney (head of Information Services for AT&T Bell Laboratories) will describe her work and make a "case for improved access to the scientific and technical literature of Japan"
  2. Fun and Games with Language and Pure Reason; Ruth Roland (Georgia Southwestern College) will describe the problems associated with coining neologisms in Asian languages.

I have been a member of ATA for the last four years, but frankly found that there was little of value to Japanese-English translators because of the predominance of the Romance languages. Lately, however, I have started reading the ATA newsletter with greater interest for two reasons. First, as this year's convention agenda attests to, there are now more Japanese-English translators in the membership. Second, as the technologies available to translators have become more sophisticated, even those of us who speak completely different languages (literally and figuratively) have a lot more information worth sharing. This is particularly true of word processing, telecommunications, and data bases.

The information on the convention is contained in the ATA preliminary program, titled Silver Tongues. Summary papers of most of these proceedings will be published and offered for sale later. More information can presumably be obtained by writing ATA Headquarters at 109 Croton Avenue, Ossining, New York 10562.

[John F. Bukacek, 9235 South Winchester Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60620 writes to say that he will attend the ATA convention and will be glad to report on it in TJT. He would like to know what other readers will be going to the convention. It would be helpful to coordinate coverage so that readers could write several articles on different aspects of the convention. — Ed.]

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How to get started at a career as a J-E technical translator? John R. McRae of Goleta, California (see elsewhere in this issue for his letter about Berlitz/Agnew Tech-Tran) writes the following (June 9, 1984) about his own experiences:

I recently completed a Ph.D. in Chinese Buddhism at Yale, which makes me very happy and proud (and, after ten years of work, not a little relieved). My academic training was philologically oriented, and included three years of study and research in Japan. Even with all that glorious work at Yale, academic employment is very hard to come by, so I decided to try my hand at translating. I did something which I would very much recommend any un- or under-employed readers to do: I made up a letter on my computer, built up a mailing list from yellow page directories, and sent out my resume far and wide. The result, after some waiting, was one — count 'em, one — real job. I began to work at what is now Berlitz/Agnew Tech-Tran around April, 1983. I sent out resumes and letters again on two later occasions, and am now having to turn down work...

Although I originally took only the Agnew Tech-Tran translation test in Japanese/English, I ended up doing some 300 pages from Chinese on geology. Some of it was actually interesting — at least it wasn't about potato chips or hair spray, which some of my cohorts at ATT have to do! After the geology ran out, I insinuated myself into a position in our computer operations department. That is, I got myself named Computer Systems Manager, a position for which I had no background whatsoever other than a lot of time on my Osborne 1 and a lot of interest.

I have been very lucky in my own experience in this field, and I found it difficult to believe that others were having trouble getting work after several years at it. I heartily recommend that readers get out there and sell themselves a bit — repeatedly. As mentioned above, I have sent computerized mailings out twice now, followed up with telephone calls, and now I am having to turn down work. Another suggestion: do the first job that is offered at whatever price is offered, if you can afford the time, then negotiate for more when they know you can do the work and get it in on time, etc. Obviously, make sure you do a good job that first time around, even if it takes extra time.

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In a previous issue I described a dictionary of Japanese mimetic words by Asano Tsuruko (no. 15, p. 34–55). Don Cyril Gorham writes about two other similar dictionaries which he has found to be rather interesting, although he says that he has only used them once in the past two years:

Gion-go Gitai-go Jiten: Yasushi AMANUMA, a professor at the Otsuma Women's College, Tokyo, published by Tokyodoo, Feb. 1978. 396 pages. Good when it comes to explanations about what the words mean; extensive examples given and sources cited. Yen 2,800.

Nichi-ei Taishoo Gisei-go (Onomatopoeia) Jiten: senior editor Yuuichi MITO; collaborators include Roy YOUNG of Melbourne (Australia) University, Wendy Edwards of Graceland College, and one Paul D. Medley, not otherwise identified. Published by Gakushobo Shuppan K.K., Tokyo, Oct 1981. 252 pages, including both a Jpn and an English index. Apparently compiled at the graduate school of Kansai Foreign Language University. Examples of the usage in Japanese are given, though rather briefly; in each case there is a recommended English language translation that you can use to base your own translation on, dependent on the context in which the word is used. Yen 2,000.

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The July 1984 issue of Kōgyō eigo, the monthly magazine published by Inter Press, contains a 12-page bonus: computer print-outs of 108 Japanese sentences containing the word baai together with their English translations. The examples were intended for publication in the company's dictionary Kagaku gijutsu jukugo hyogen daijiten but for some reason were not included in it. The examples evidently were originally English sentences found in an American magazine called Machine design and were translated into Japanese. Then Inter Press classified them according to the Japanese expressions used — in this case, expressions with the word baai.

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No doubt you have heard of haiteku ("high tech") and perhaps even baiteku ("biotechnology"), but have you heard of zaiteku? Probably not.

Well, here is a definition of the latter term:

企業、 ザイテクに知恵しぼる

 企業の間で“ザイテクカ”が花盛りである。ザイテクとは、財務のテクニックをキメ細く使 って金利負担を減らし、金融収益をあげること。財務の知恵で本業以外の分野でもかせぐこ とだ。低成長経済への移行から、企業が本業の分野でなかなか収益をあげにくくなっている。 加えて、世界の金融、資本市場から割安な姿金を調達し、さらに高利で運用できるようにな るなど、財務戦略の幅が広がっていることが、これに拍車をかけている。しかし、企業が居 ながらにして収益を生むザイテクに没頭するあまり、「本業がおろそかになって企業本来の 活力がそがれるのでは・・・」と心配する.声が出始めているのも確か。


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The April, March and June 1984 issues of the SWET Newsletter and also the SWET 1984 Directory have been received here. SWET is an organization for professional writers, editors, and translators as well as anyone interested in these fields. Membership is 3,000 per year (Japan) and $10.00 (overseas). Members receive the newsletter and the annual directory and are invited to attend all meetings and workshops.

The Japan Style Sheet published by SWET has been favorably reviewed in a number of publications including The Japan Times andThe Asian Wall Street Journal.

The mailing address is P.O. Box 8 Komae Yubinkyoku, Komae-shi, Tokyo 201 Japan.

Persons in the U.S. or other countries may join SWET by writing to Ruth Stevens, 6 East 39th Street, Room 1201, New York, N.Y. 10016.

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Frederik L. Schodt

I purchased an Epson QX-10 a year ago to use as a word processor, and one factor in my decision was the knowledge that the same hardware, with a few add-ons, is used in Japan for Japanese language word processing. In the last issue of the newsletter, I noticed that Clifford Bender of Kyoto had made a similar decision.

When I wrote to Epson of Japan, I was told that my machine could be enabled for Japanese with the following:

1) Kanji ROM card — JIS I level (Yen 35,000)
  " " ( 35,000)
2) JIS standard kana keyboard ( 43,000)
3) Japanese W.P. software (4 floppies) ( 80,000)
4) Operation and Reference manuals (2) ( 2,000)

The form letter sent from Japan obliquely said that the HASCI (IBM typewriter-style keyboard supplied with the QX-10) could be used, presumably for romaji input. In regards to my query about printers, a hand-written note appended to the form suggested that the U.S.supported FX-80 "probably" would work for kanji. I have strong doubts about this.

Of all the Japanese-made machines currently marketed in the U.S., the QX-10 at this moment may offer the best possibility for inexpensive, quality bilingual word processing, because of its design and the established sales-service network that EPSON has in this country. Unfortunately, none of the add-ons required are marketed in the U.S.; Epson of America knows virtually nothing about the Japanese model of their own computer, and they are not in a position to support or give any advice concerning the add-ons if purchased in Japan and sent here.

When I called the EPSON offices in Torrance, one official said he is receiving two or three inquiries about Japanese language word-processing per week, and frustrated by his own lack of information. He recommended writing the president, which I did. If any other readers own Epson machines, or are thinking along the same lines as I am, I urge you to write to:

Yasuhiro Tsuboto
Epson America, Inc.
23530 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505

Meanwhile, I would be very interested to hear from anyone currently using an Epson QX-10 in the U.S. for Japanese, or from anyone in Japan who is using the QC-10 for both languages. What type of printer, exactly, is required?

My address is:

Frederik L. Schodt
144 Parnassus Ave. #14
San Francisco CA 94117

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by Arnold F. Rusoff

At first, I did all my translations by hand; they were then typed by a professional typist. The work was slow and painful, but I didn't think it could possibly be done any other way. Several years later when I was in Japan, one of the translation agencies I was working through encouraged me to type my rough drafts directly and just cross off mistakes. I resisted the idea at first, because I didn't think I could type fast enough, or arrange the work on the page correctly, or any number of other reasons that seemed important at the time. However, as soon as I switched, I couldn't believe I had ever written my translations by hand. In a short time, I was translating "final draft" directly on the typewriter. This "final draft" really wasn't all that final, but the pages that were correct didn't need to be retyped. My wife, who has a Masters in English literature and has worked as an editor and writer for various magazines and journals, always edits my work after I have translated it.

As time went on and I got an IBM correcting Selectric, I found I could do a final draft on about 80% of the pages. If the early parts were edited and corrected immediately, similar mistakes in style or usage could be eliminated from later parts so fewer changes were required by the end of a project. However, my work is 99% computer-related documentation, which is often repetitive, consistent in style, and sometimes even written in a straightforward and clear manner in Japanese. This work lends itself to the methods I have experimented with.

Last year I began to think about getting a microcomputer with word processing software. I again procrastinated for a while because I was convinced that I couldn't really increase my speed and productivity all that much over what I was doing on the correcting Selectric. The cost was high, I was going to have to learn to use the equipment, and so on. I finally convinced myself that I should go ahead and do it because it would raise my speed by about 20%. How wrong I was! It actually raised my speed about 60% and in some cases actually doubled my speed. My daily work is now more pleasant, and many of the really awful tasks involved in my work have been eliminated or greatly reduced. I can't recommend a word processor strongly enough.

I use an IBM PC with 128K of memory, two double-sided, double-density disk drives, an NEC 3550 letter-quality printer, and Wordstar 3.3. One other indispensable program I use is Keynote, a keyboard enhancer that lets you assign various sequences of keystrokes to single keys or key combinations.

You have mentioned several other similar programs in the newsletter. Keynote has one feature I find essential that I don't know whether the others allow or not. While I am using an application (such as Wordstar) I can press a key which temporarily interrupts the application and places me in Keynote, where I can assign keynotes to keys. When I press [Return], I am back where I was in the application. So if I find that a word or phrase (such as the name of an operating system) is repeated often in a segment of text, I can interrupt Wordstar, assign the sequence at that time (typing it only once), and insert it by a single keystroke thereafter. I often have repeating sentence fragments that I assign in the same way. For longer portions of text I use Wordstar's block save and read feature. Keynote also lets me assign long sequences of Wordstar control codes to a single key so I can reset margins, line spacing, tabs, and so on by pressing a single key.

Composing on the word processor is much easier since words can be inserted or deleted at will. On the typewriter, I'd often start out on a long Japanese sentence one way in English and then change my mind on how it should be worded. My only choices then were to retype the page later or backspace out the sentence a character at a time with the correct-type key. With the word processor, the change is simple and immediate. Final editing also is a breeze and all spelling can be checked automatically and the words counted to boot!

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According to an article in the June 1984 issue of Language Monthly, Ferranti Computer Systems, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, England, have announced a Chinese English text processor, the Scholar II.

It claims to be a complete working system for text processing and telex applications in both Chinese and English. Text in either language can be entered at a simple typewriter type keyboard, with typing speeds comparable to those for western languages. Mixed input of Chinese and Roman alphabets and figures is permissible.

The Chinese telegraph system operates on a Standard Telegraph Code Book. The machine automatically encodes messages for transmission into standard Telex codes and decodes those received into characters.

The machine is said to have over 8,000 Chinese characters provided in the standard dictionary, and has a facility for adding new characters.

Fred Schodt sent me an advertisement he found in a computer publication for a "Chinese Card for Super 2000/Apple II." The card costs $199 and evidently enables the Super 2000/Apple II to display and print out Chinese characters. Mail orders can be sent to Super Computer Inc., 1101 S. Grand Ave., Ste. J, Santa Ana, CA 92705.

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Eventually all systems will have bit-mapped displays .... Bit-mapped graphics are absolutely the way in which the whole market is going. Non-bit-mapped systems are going to be a thing of the past.

Terry Opdendyk, president of VisiCorp, PC World, July 1984, pp. 287–88.

It has taken five years of stubborn discussion to obtain for the translators in my group a salary approaching that of our other academic colleagues (mathematicians, scientists and the rather amorphous German title, 'Diplom-Ingenieur'). Previously the translators were lumped together with the secretaries (and also treated as such!). The so-called 'bilingual' secretary has unfortunately been queering the pitch of the translator for many years and this is not a situation which will easily be changed. A simple formula for convincing nonlinguists that translators and interpreters have studied as hard as any other academics and are specialists and therefore worth a great deal would be most welcome. I have not found one yet.

Alistair Reeves, Hofheim, Germany, Language Monthly. June 1984, p. 12.

The automatic translation of documents from one language into another is a far more distant goal. Indeed, at the moment there is little cause to imagine that high-quality machine translation can be achieved. The faithful translation of a passage requires that the translator understand the passage both in its explicit content and in its implications. In a quarter century of intensive research there has been no significant progress in supplying a computer with such an ability. Low-quality translation of texts with circumscribed meaning (such as instruction manuals) is already a reality. Even there, however, the success of machine translation depends heavily on editing by a human proofreader.

Joseph D. Becker, "Multilingual word processing," Scientific American, July 1984, p. 107.

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Lucile S. Davison of Woodbury, Conn. writes (June 11, 1984) to say that "a listing of exact addresses of U.S. suppliers [of Japanese dictionaries] with their telephone numbers would be welcome." Carl Kay gave no exact addresses for Kinokuniya in San Francisco and NYC and for Tokyo Shoten in NYC. Lucile has bought dictionaries from ATS, Pergamon, and The Yale Coop Bookstore, but she wants addresses for Japan Publications Trading Co. in San Francisco and for Maruzen Co., Ltd., Tokyo.

Here are the addresses of three local suppliers in the San Francisco area:

Kinokuniya Book Stores of America Ltd.
1581 Webster
San Francisco, CA 94115
Telephone: (415) 567-7625

Japan Publications Trading Co., Inc.
300 Industrial Way
Brisbane, CA 94005
Telephone: (415) 468-0775

OCS America, Incorporated
1684 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Telephone: (415) 931-0396
(OCS also has offices in Honolulu, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, London, and elsewhere)

Lucile already knows the address of ATS, but for those who don't here it is (I don't have ATS's phone number):

Associated Technical Services, Inc.
Dictionary and Book Division
855 Bloomfield Avenue
Glen Ridge, New Jersey 07028

There is also a company called Japan Publications Guide Service, CPO Box 971, Tokyo 10091. According to a clipping from the Japan Times, they publish "Guide to Japan's Business and Technical Periodicals" and also offer a package consisting of a monthly newsletter, a Japan-English magazine directory and a catalog of Japanese-English books in print. They also handle the "Standard Trade Index of Japan," a directory of libraries in China which contain foreign books and documents, travel books and other publications of specialized interest.

Would readers please send in the addresses and telephone numbers of other suppliers they know of? DLP

* * *


Peter Evans of Tokyo, Japan writes (June 11) that Mr. Maxwell's explanation of Smartkey II (see no. 16, p. 48-49) "does not give the full story." He elucidates:

Mr Maxwell's description of Smartkey does not quite do it justice, and readers may find it more appealing if they hear the user of the program:

(1) Does not need to "lose" any keys. Smartkey does need its own "control" and "supershift" kets, it is true; but if either is pressed twice consecutively it reverts to its normal function.

(2) Can at any time reassign these two keys without in any way affecting any other definitions he has put into memory.

(3) Can do away with the supershift key for any or all definitions if he so wishes. For example, as I never use the standard underline key, I have substituted for it a dash — ("space-control-P-T-underline-underline-control-P-T-space" in WordStar). More interestingly, it allows one to rearrange one's keys into a Dvorak or French layout, or whatever. (The file for the former is kindly supplied free with Smartkey.)

(4) Can edit definitions, using normal word-processing programs, and then enter them in memory. "Smartkey One" did not allow this, and the tiniest error made while writing a definition could not be corrected. This problem accounted for much of the grumblings I heard about the earlier program.

There do seem to be the odd problems with definitions that put a lot of text after changes of format — the computer resents being force-fed text while still digesting commands — but these can be circumvented. Write the text, then zoom up and do the commands, then back down again. But again, there are other features of Smartkey that I haven't mentioned.

And all praise to a program that can bring a WordStar macron in an underlined word down from 16 keystrokes to two — or even one.

[See Arnold Rusoff's article above for a description of a similar program called Keynote. DLP}

* * *


Bernard Susser of Kyoto, Japan sent me a circular about a software package called CHARTECH which is an add-on to WordStar, turning it into a scientific-technical word processor with the ability to print Greek/math and other special characters and to display them on the screen. Each running version of CHARTECH can have 94 special characters active. Files of extra characters are included, along with utility programs for designing new characters. Various types of computers and printers are supported, and "under development" is foreign script word processing (Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, etc.). According to the circular, 8-bit standard CHARTECH is $95, and the 16-bit version is $150. There is also an enhanced CHARTECH selling for $130 (8-bit) or $180 (16-bit), the difference being that standard CHARTECH displays screen characters resident in the terminal, while enhanced CHARTECH forms screen characters in software. "Standard" and "enhanced" versions of CHARTECH will be available for the IBM PC this summer and will sell for $150 and $180.

For further information, contact the manufacturer:

474 Willamette St., Suite 201
P.O. Box 10545
Eugene, Oregon 97440
(503) 484-0520

* * *


Many useful contacts have been made through the directory, not only by persons who are looking for translators, but also by 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.

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

BRAND, Russell. Director, Seijo Language Center. 9-21-15 Seijo, Setagayaku, Tokyo 157, Japan. Tel. (03) 484-0257.

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, Lucile 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 Am. 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.

GORHAM, Don Cyril. 12900 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Tel. (301) 3849512. Jpn/Eng Eng/Jpn interpretation (consecutive) and translation. Liberal arts background; graduate of pre-WWII Jpn schools. Ten years experience as freelancer: economic, legal, political, and some technical (electronics, fishing, nuclear energy).

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)762-6532. 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, 45 Putnam Ave., 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.

McRAE, John R. 632 Colfax Court, Goleta, CA 93117. Tel.: (805) 964-9601. Ph.D. from Yale University (Chinese Buddhism). Computer Systems Manager, Berlitz/Agnew TechTran, 6415 Independence Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 93167.

MOFFETT, Linda. 749 Ash Street, Denver, Colorado 80220. Tel. (303) 388-0284. BA, University of Colorado Japanese Studies, background in chemistry and pharmacy. Specializes in chemistry, batteries, textiles, medical.

MUNOZ, Roey. 7401 Cannon Mt. Pl., 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. Tokyo office: #401 Tagami Building, 4-1-14 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, tel. (03) 376-3908. 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) 328-7344. Japanese-English 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.

RUSOFF, Arnold F. 209 Hudson St., Ithaca, N.Y. 14850. Tel.: (607) 2772292. Japanese to English translation of computer documentation. Eight years of experience. IBM PC with Wordstar.

SATOH, Tomoyuki. 2714 E. 22nd St., Austin TX 78722. Tel. (512)479-8460. M.A. Physics, The Johns Hopkins University. Now associated with Japan Information Service, Austin. 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. CP0 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 CIII). 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

In line with its plan to reorganize its overseas operations, IBM has decided to set up a "regional strategic headquarters" in Tokyo. The Tokyo headquarters, a division of IBM World Trade Americas/Far East Corp., will be headed by George H. Conrades and will be in charge of IBM operations in nine countries including Japan, China, and Australia. Two hundred employees will be transferred from IBM's main headquarters and stationed permanently at the Tokyo headquarters, which will eventually have a staff of about 350 persons. The 200 Americans will start arriving in Tokyo around the middle of September, and the headquarters will begin full-scale operations early in 1985. Japanese newspapers have been full of speculations about the significance of this IBM mass migration. Much attention is being focused on the reactions of IBM Japan to having 200 American overseers stationed in Tokyo on its very doorstep.

Marvin J. Wolf's The Japanese Conspiracy (see no. 13, p. 9-13) has reportedly been one of the best-selling English-language books in Tokyo recently, and now a Japanese translation of it, by Ken'ichi Takemura, has come out with considerable publicity. The translation is being published by Koobunsha, the publisher which puts out the series called Kappa Books.

Japan Information Service (JIS), an Austin-based technical translation company specializing in Japanese, will this September launch an abstracting and indexing service in conjunction with a "major U.S. multinational corporation" (name unspecified). The service will cover approximately 400 Japanese technical and trade periodical titles on a regular basis by the end of 1985. The coverage may expand to 1,000 titles by the end of 1986. The service is now recruiting potential abstractors/translators for the project. The address for contacting JIS is: Japan Information Service, P.O. Box 8486, Austin TX 78713-8486. Attn: Tom Satoh. Tel.: (512) 479-8460.

Edward A. Feigenbaum arrived in Japan in mid-June to participate in AI seminars in Tokyo (see no. 16, p. 17-18). He said in an interview that IBM has not yet made any evident moves in AI research and that there is a chance that IBM's market monopoly can be overturned if the Japanese and computer manufacturers other than IBM take the lead in developing inferencetype computers. (Nihon keizai shimbun, June 15, 1984)

Ron Granich of Kyoto mentions the following publications about machine translation:

Lexicography in the Electronic Age. Proceedings of a Symposium held in Luxemburg, 7–9 July, 1981. Contains an article by Professor Nagao of Kyoto University entitled "An Attempt to Computerize Dictionary Data Bases."

Practical Experience of Machine Translation. Proceedings of a Conference held in London, 5–6 November, 1981. Contains an article by I.M. Piggott entitled "The Importance of Feedback from Translators in the Development of High-Quality Machine Translation" and one by Francis E. Knowles entitled "The Pivotal Role of the Various Dictionaries in an MT System."

Scientific Information Systems in Japan. 1981.

All three titles were published by North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam and distributed in the USA by Elsevier Science Publishing Co., 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Don't miss the article by Joseph D. Becker on pages 96–107 of the July 1984 issue of Scientific American. It is entitled "Multilingual word processing" and describes the Xerox Star.

Correction. The name of the translation agency described on p. 35-36 in issue no. 16 is Atras Japan Corp., not Atlas Japan. Its new address is: 4 Kanda Iwamotocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101. Thanks to Preston Maxwell of Mitaka-shi, Tokyo for the correction.

* * *

Send in your tidbits, etc., and I will incorporate them in the next issue. The current subscriptions are for SIX MONTHS (from June through November, 1984). If you have paid only for the first year (ended in May 1984), your subscription has expired. Don't forget to send in your $20 if you want to continue receiving the newsletter for the current six-month period. 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.

July 1, 1984

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

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