Re: Asian English

Subject: Re: Asian English
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 1994 23:59:32 -0700

I went back and searched my "files" and found a copy of an article from the
March 5, 1989 Sunday San Francisco Examiner, entitled "The Power of
Babel,"by Beth Hughes of the Examiner staff.

It's long (and copyrighted), so here are a few highlights.

Matchbook cover description of the profession: You CAN Make More than
$100,000 a Year While Working at Home!

There are fewer than 500 people in the United States capable of providing
english translations of japanese technical documents. Only about 200 work
full time and fewer than 100--many in the Bay Area--can translate the most
complex projects.

It mentions Edward Daub of the U. of Wisconsin as author of the only
textbook on technical japanese.

It mentions Mark Hamnock, president of American Translators International,
an agency in Palo Alto; Frederik Schodt of San Francisco, a technical
translator specializing in telecommunications and robotics; Robert Addis,
founder of AD-EX, a Menlo Park translation service.

There is a picture of and a brief interview with Don Philippi of San
Francisco, the "doyen of the hardcore japanese technical translators."

The article mentions $1000 as the going rate for a 10-page document. I
imagine it's a lot more now.

One of the reasons translation is so expensive is that japanese and english
are mismatched in structure. Translating into english often requires adding
ideas that a japanese reader was expected to discern between the lines.

Those are the highlights of the article, and it's all I know about the
subject. I'm pretty sure I got the article from Don Philippi, and I think he
would be a good person to ask if you want to know more. ...RM

Richard Mateosian srm -at- c2 -dot- org srm -at- radiomail -dot- net (510)540-7745

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