Achieving Equivalent Meaning and Equivalent Impact in Japanese>English Translation
Presented by Professor James Davis, CT
Professor and Director, Technical Japanese Program
Dept. of Engineering Professional Development
University of Wisconsin-Madison
ATA 58th Annual Conference Session J-7
Thursday, October 26, 2:00pm-3:00pm
Summary (Contributed by _____):
Professor James L. Davis (University of Wisconsin-Madison) discussed the tension between the competing demands of equivalent meaning—conveying a comparable understanding of information to the source text—and equivalent impact—producing a comparable effect in the reader to the source text—in translation.
Professor Davis presented a series of short excerpts from Japanese business and political news articles, highlighting specific phrases, including idiomatic expressions and specialized terminology, and discussing the merits and demerits of multiple possible renderings of these words or phrases in English. Tone, audience, and established English-language usages were presented as major considerations in weighing different possible translations. Professor Davis concluded by emphasizing the importance of considering multiple options and always bearing context in mind to crafting a successful translation.