Welcome to the Momiji Tech Translations Blog
Hello and welcome to the Momiji Tech Translations Blog. I lived in Japan for nearly 10 years working as a network and systems engineer as well as a translator. I started out translating as an in-house translator for a publishing company just 1 month after receiving my notice of passing Level 1 (now N1) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験). I was truly excited to start translating and was still kind of feeling special because I passed Level 1 on my first attempt after only 18 months of study. See, I started at zero Japanese when I first came to the Yamasa Institute. Thanks to this awesome Japanese language school, I passed Level 2 after 6 months of study. I then proceeded to feverishly study independently in preparation for Level 1 the next year. The test was only available once per year then, and I most certainly did not want to have to postpone my life for an extra year.
However, I realized quickly that I was in a little over my head. Understanding properly written Japanese is a piece of cake compared to real-world business Japanese. I was also exposed to Japanese business culture, Japanese working environments, and the serious issues with the Japanese-to-English translation industry for the first time. So, after admitting defeat and accepting that I was not quite ready for the prime time, I decided to go back into IT while continuing to develop my skill translating on a part-time basis as a freelancer.
I started Momiji Tech Translations in 2012 and haven’t looked back. As of this writing, I have been translating Japanese for nearly 15 years. During this time, I have certainly had my share of challenges in developing my skill. At the same time, I have also had plenty of exposure to the translations produced by other translators. I decided years ago that I wanted to help new or inexperienced translators avoid some of the many headaches I have endured. I also have a strong and passionate desire to do whatever I possibly can to make positive change to the Japanese-to-English translation industry by raising awareness of the difficulties of translating Japanese, providing specific techniques in dealing with these challenges, and ultimately improving the overall level of English translations of Japanese. I am excited to start this blog as a way to finally start trying to make an impact!
In addition to what was just mentioned, I will also provide content aimed at freelancers, such as tips on software tools and other equipment, tips on being more efficient, information on getting started as a freelancer, tips on running your operation as a business—basically anything that could possibly help you become a better translator.
Understanding the 原稿 (content) is one critical aspect of good translation, and so this blog will also discuss advanced and real-world Japanese topics. As such, this blog will also be a great resource for advanced learners of Japanese.
This blog will also cover topics on English style, writing more concisely, sentence agreement, flow, making sure that your English actually communicates what you intend, and similar, and so this blog will also be a great reference for advanced learners of English as well as native English speakers not as familiar with these topics.
While the main website is available in both English and Japanese, there will only be one version of the blog, which will be written primarily in English. Having said that, my intended audience is both native English speakers and native Japanese speakers who translate Japanese into English. I hope readers get involved in the conversation through comments, and to facilitate such discussion I anticipate adding a forum in the future.
I look forward to the journey ahead and certainly hope you will join me because it will take everyone's effort and involvement to truly raise the level of English translations of Japanese.