This last month (April…and arguably March because I forgot to post a link roundup) has had a lot of articles about good translations.

Specifically answering the question: What makes a good translation?

Despite what some may think translators are constantly asking themselves this question. Always trying to answer it for themselves and others. As well as tweaking their own work, getting better and better every time they translate.


What Makes a Good Translation?What Is a Good Translation?

Katy Derbyshire asks the question “what is a good translation?” to nine literary translators. Then discusses why this question is so important.


Be a better translator: 10 tips to take you to the next level

In the wake of Self Taught Japanese’ literary translation competition, J.D. Wisgo give 10 tips for novice translators to improve.

Focusing on practicing techniques and review tricks.


Voice From Japan: Aoko Matsuda

What Makes a Good Translation?Two podcast episodes by Polly Barton interviewing writer Aoko Matsuda and translator Motoyuki Shibata. Discussing Aoko’s writing and the themes in her works.

The second episode Polly talks with translator Angus Turvill and how he tackles Aoko’s work. The importance of translating, or not translating, certain elements.

I admit I am bias because Angus Turvill taught me during a literary translation summer school when I was just starting out.

Listening to their translations and discussing Aoko’s works is incredibly interesting and great for reflecting on literary translation.


The Units of Story: The Beat

Shawn Coyne talks about how to write stories. This is not a series of articles about translation but writing well in English.

I’ve been trying to read more about writing well in English to improve my own translations. This was a series linked to me by a translator editor and it a fantastic read.

For more books on translation and English writing I’ve put together this reading list for Japanese English Translators.


The Moon Is Beautiful Tonight: On East Asian Narratives

A discussion on themes in East Asian literature. As well as similar themes in Western narratives, but how they’re approached in different ways.

This article just made me want to read even more novels from Japan and China! As well as lament that we don’t have more novels translated into English!


3 Challenges of Translating Tourism Content

A very short article about three important things to reflect on when translating tourist texts.


多読が楽になる⁉ 英語マンガの擬音語で覚える英単語 180選

[In Japanese]

A fantastic piece in Japanese looking at how English translators tackle SFX in manga. It starts with differences between Japanese and English SFX. Followed by a fantastic chart of Japanese SFX, how they’re used, what they mean, and English equivalents.

What Makes a Good Translation?


What Makes a Good Translation? – Translation Link Roundup [March & April 2018]