Adam Rice

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IJET-15, Day 2

I somehow managed not to sit in on any of sessions during the first round on Sunday, chatting with fellow translators instead. 木村博子, the sole representative from Norway, gave me a small packet of sweet Norwegian smoked goat cheese. To think she schlepped all those little cheese packets all the way from Norway…As a traveller, I’m resolutely opposed to any check-in luggage, and fripperies like gift cheese would never make it anywhere near my packing list. Still, I appreciated the gift of the cheese, which was unusual and tasty.

I (along with a lot of my peers) was very keen on attending a discussion of the recently completed fifth edition of the Green Goddess, the J-E dictionary that is a standard reference for many translators. This included a retrospective look at the earlier editions, including the first edition, which apparently resembled a brick, with thousands of relatively small pages. This was evidently the first edition where a lot of Japanese-competent native English speakers were involved, and they helped cull out many of the goofier glosses that had apparently survived since very early editions (the spotting of which is a minor sport for translators).

Had lunch with a gaggle of JAT doers, Pai Hwong and Paul Flynn among them. Wound up sitting with Paul and discussing the JAT website–he wants to do there some of the same things that I want to do with the Honyaku website.

After lunch, I sat in briefly on another talk about TM, specifically Trados and Wordfast, but since neither really works on the Mac, it was of limited practical use to me. One of these days, I can imagine TM really being useful to me.

Also of little immediate use–but pretty darned interesting anyhow–was the last session I attended on Japanese regional dialects. The presenter really seemed to know his stuff, pointing out that certain phonetic changes are common features in Japanese, but appear in different situations in different dialects. The talk was mostly oriented towards interpreters who might need to cope with unexpected regionalisms from time to time, but would be interesting to anyone curious about the language.

After the last session, things just kind of ended unceremoniously with everyone drifting away. Not that I’m big on ceremony, but it would have been nice if there were a more organized way to say goodbye to everyone. I’m sure there must have been some kind of 二次会, but I wasn’t in the right place at the right time to get in on it.

Gwen stayed in Tokyo for the day, exploring the neighborhood. I headed back that way and we had a low-key evening. I discovered that someone in Bryan’s building had an intermittently available open wifi node, and so I was able to get my e-mail. I also was able to check on something that someone had mentioned to me the day before: that my site was down. Sheesh. This wound up being an ongoing irritatation for the next two weeks, not to mention a bit of an embarrassment: I have a bit of a reputation (deserved or otherwise) as being technically competent with this whole Intarweb thing. Being at a conference with colleagues, handing out business cards with my URL, having my Honyaku page being chatted about, and having my website go offline right then really made me wince.

3 Comments

  1. dragonfly jenny

    11 June 2004 at 4:27 pm

    The new Goddess is a development to be hailed indeed. Nonetheless, I’m sure many of us will retain a fondness for the legendary howlers of the Fourth Edition. “Finny tribe,” anyone? Also I wonder if the Fifth Edition retains any of the “Sukebe Jiji” factor of the Fourth. (You know, for example, like “Her breasts stood out in relief as though carved in white marble” under … oh, I forget what word that sentence appeared under, but that English sentence, well, stands out in relief as though carved in white marble!)

  2. “Finny tribe” is still in there–I checked. I pointed this out to Tom, and he was dismayed, but countered that he didn’t edit the Gs. I don’t know about the sukebe factor.

  3. Good Green Goddess story from somebody knee-deep in the project

    http://www.jat.org/jtt/gg5review.html

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