Work 2016

TMU Degree Thesis Rules

December 2016
Client: Tokyo Metropolitan University (through JTC)


Detailed rules on submitting a thesis to the Graduate School of Human Health Sciences at TMU. After wading through research papers to finish their thesis, students have to wade through 100 or more pages of notes telling them how to submit it. One department wanted 24 separate documents and a
CD. Good training for a lifetime of wading through documents! The translation ran to 28,000 words and was spread over about three weeks.

Reducing traffic speed with road markings

October 2016

Client: Kobe University & others (through JTC)


A research paper on ways of reducing traffic speeds and preventing rear-end collisions on road curves. Two cars were driven in convoy by non-professional drivers on a designated section of a two-lane highway, and their relative speeds were recorded when certain markings were used. The result was that drivers automatically reduced speed and the following distance increased when the road was marked transversely with diagonal lines at ever-decreasing intervals just before the curve. 4,200 words.

Buddhist Images at Preah Khan, Angkor Wat

Sept-Oct 2016

Client: Makiko Kubo, Nihon University (through JTC)

Two papers by this expert on Khmer art, for publication in a journal. Preah Khan Temple, part of the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, was built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century. Though now mostly in ruins, in its heyday it employed 97,840 servants and had treasure including 112,300 pearls and a cow with gilded horns. Makiko Kubo focuses on the numerous images of deities in the temple, and concludes that a variety of faiths including Hindu and Buddhism were amalgamated as a way of maintaining control over the king’s vast territory. The translation took three weeks and ran to 20,000 words.

Long live Shirota-ism!

July 2016

Client: Yakult (through JTC)


Most of our work these days involves longish repeat assignments – papers on labour law for the Japan Institute of Labour Policy and Training, aircraft and shipping accident reports for the Japan Transport Safety Board, horseracing law for the Japan Racing Association, and archive documents on the Senkaku and Takeshima islands for the Ministry of Justice, all via the Japan Translation Centre in Tokyo. So it made a pleasant change to translate a PR leaflet for Yakult’s Shirota Memorial Museum. The Museum traces the life of Yakult’s founder Dr Minoru Shirota and his pioneering research on lactobacilli to aid digestion. “Healthy gut – long life” is the motto he coined under the philosophy known as “Shirota-ism”. That may not stick, but Yakult has now become a global brand in its own right..

Stop Hate Speech!

June 2016

Client: Ministry of Justice (through JTC)

stop hate speech

Awareness of “hate speech” (discriminatory language aimed at specific ethnic groups) seems to be spreading globally these days. Such language always existed, of course. But now there are laws against it, and Japan is no exception. The Ministry of Justice had already launched a campaign against “hate speech” in Japanese, but wanted to spread the word amongst foreign residents too. This very short translation can now be found on the MOJ website here.

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