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Translation, publication, and volunteer


For these couple of years I have sometimes been asked by email when the translation of Painless Civilization and/or The Insensitive Man is completed. Every time I am asked that question I reply that it would take a lot of time to translate these books. Actually, I have got a lot of things to do besides translating, and in addition, currently we do not have enough human resources for translation for some reasons.

Those who send me email usually says that the above books are worth publishing as a book in English. I think so too. However, I don't have enough time to translate them myself. Believe it or not, it takes more than a couple of hours for me to write each blog post, and another hours to examine the grammar. Still, I am afraid you may find some strange expressions in each blog post. Now, imagine how many hours are needed to translate a whole book!

In each translation, first an English native volunteer translator translates some paragraphs into English, and then I read it and see whether there are misunderstandings about the interpretation of the Japanese text, and I request some corrections, and after that I receive the final version. This is painstaking work, but at the same time, it's fun to collaborate to make good translation. Of course it is possible, if I had abundant research funding, to ask a professional translator to translate the whole book, but I believe this is not the best way because I am not sure if the translator "loves" the work he/she is to translate. Instead, in the case of volunteers, they have chosen to translate a particular paper or book themselves. In this sense, they have a wish to translate the particular work, and I believe this is the most important factor for good translation.

And I am still wondering what is the best way to publish the translated text. Most convenient way is to upload to our website in the HTML or PDF format. However, I also wish to publish as a book from a publisher, and in this case it would be a good idea not to upload to the website. I have published books from Japanese publishers, but I have never published from a foreign publisher, therefore I do not know how to approach them at all. Which publishers do you recommend me to approach?

Anyway, we are continuing to invite volunteers to translate my Japanese papers or books into English or other languages (for more information please see our Japanese website), or to edit the translated English texts.

Related posts:*"La civilización indolora" and "la fundamental sensación de seguridad"
                       *Korean translation of The Insensitive Man

Photo: Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto

  -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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