Gianluca Sorrentino


ABSTRACT. Translating from Japanese poses many challenges in terms of rendition and cultural adaptation. This research paper, inspired by professional practice and teaching, will present some translation cases taken from real cases. Its aim is to shed light on strategies assuring a sound rendition as well as faithfulness to the source text (ST) and accuracy. Translators and interpreters need to put in place those strategies to have their translation sound flawless and natural. In doing so, they need to strike the right balance between the peculiarities of a language with SOV order, rich in imagery and where emotions mingle with tradition, strong respect for one’s feelings and the other.
What is really at stake in such translation cases is a well-balanced relationship with the other, the need to deeply understand and interpret thoughts, a given Weltanschauung as well as the values people attach to social relations, life in the modern society and respect for old traditions.
In order to accomplish this task, interpreters and translators do also need to leave apart their Western self-centered traditions and cultural background and start to embrace an open exchange of views and ideas, based on deep-rooted Zen, Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. Interpreting is not about conveying words, it stands out as a time and energy-demanding task and is all the more difficult when it comes to transferring ideas and thoughts originating beyond the extent of our collective imagination.

Key words: Source text (ST), Weltanschauung, Traditions, Respect for the Other, Imagery.

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