Learning as a Pretence and How Translations Should be done: Wednesday 6th July

Today in school we learnt how to fabricate lies. To be specific we learnt about the Japanese equivalent of a pretence, and some of the examples that we were given were interesting to say the least. A large part of the lesson was given over to how you could fool the TV license man into thinking that you were not at home/couldn’t speak Japanese/didn’t have a TV. Sadly I misheard this question, and thought instead that I was being asked what I would do if I were to meet a TV personality, but had seen none of his work. Needless to say the teacher was a little surprised as to why I would ask the TV license man for his autograph whilst smiling manically.


My school report, which basically translates as: Even though Sam has a 100% attendance record and works very hard, he is still prone to making basic mistakes and needs to watch out! Encouraging stuff.

This evening I attended a symposium that was themed around the importance that a solid scientific understanding has on society, especially in light of the recent tragedies in Tohoku and Fukoshima. The speeches were given in English and Japanese, with English translations (via an infrared radio) provided throughout, and the speed of these real-time interpretations was incredibly impressive. It got me wandering what a professional translator would say to the TV license man, although I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t ask him for an autograph.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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