Help the ‘Well Said’ translations

I appreciate the Japanese-language learning columns included in The Japan Times, and read them almost every week. However, I feel that two aspects of the “Well Said” column need improvement.

First, the bonus dialogues focus nearly every week on two men talking about dating women. As a professional woman working in Japan, I don’t find this kind of dialogue helpful in learning Japanese that is useful in my daily life. Although I find this topic and the situations described rather sexist, I wouldn’t mind if they appeared once in a while, but almost every week, for many weeks now, the two characters have been on the same tiresome and exclusionary theme.

Second, the English translation of the bonus dialogue seems poor and doesn’t make sense if it is just read in English. I am not a translator, but I read Japanese quite fluently and could make suggestions nearly every week regarding how the translation should be improved.

For example, in the Aug. 12 Well Said column titled “Zenzen yoku nai,” the final English sentence does not make sense in the context of the conversation. If you examine previous translations, you will find similar incongruities. Please consider improving this otherwise excellent resource.

shelley clarke
shimada, shizuoka

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.