Reasons Why We Need More Than TranslationLet’s talk about English and Japanese, two completely different languages. The difference I mean here is much more significant than between English and French, or German, Spanish (my major in university), Italian, etc. These European languages share the same linguistic roots, vocabularies, and cultural, historical, and religious backgrounds. Despite their specific characteristics, they are relatively easily translatable from one to another without major hiccups.
On the other hand, Japanese is very, very different from any European language. The frustrating part is that the language is unknown to many global citizens, and most of you can’t imagine how different it is.
So let me briefly explain:
Those are just a few examples. They may not be convincing enough but hopefully have created a small fissure that can allow the idea to enter somewhere in your mind. As a creative English-Japanese translator for more than thirty years, I want to emphasize one simple fact:
If translation can’t bring the same thrill, power, and inspiration as found in the original work, what should we do? There’s one and the only thing: