Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I sit in front of a computer and translate Japanese to English for about six hours a day. My pay is meh and will never rise, but the good part is that at least I'm doing something I have some knowledge in and my coworkers are good people.

I think that in general, Japanese people are good workers. The problem, however, is that everyone has to be a super uptight perfectionist. For what Japanese companies pay, they are making a killing. My coworkers will check and triple check documents that no one cares about. They will offer commentary on the most mundane points.

The pressure to get things perfectly extends to all aspects of people's lives. When I tutor elementary and even kindergarten students, they will sometimes erase whole lines due to one mistake. On the one hand, there could be something said for writing something perfectly each time...perhaps the perfect way will burn itself into your mind. On the other hand, I can see kids tense up when they miss an apostrophe or a comma.

Anyways, back to work. What this means for me is that every word in the Japanese has to be reflected in the English and if it's not I have to explain why. I am constantly frustrated because it should be obvious as to why I left out certain words or phrases. I've lost count of the number of times I've translated clunky Japanese sentences only to have them cut later.

I've been here long enough to know that people aren't going to suddenly relax. However, for as much as they want to fit in every word "because...," I will continue to resist!


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