Abstract EN: Most Western translators of Japanese do not have quite a perfect understanding of the language. Some linguistic features of the Japanese language and its use by the Japanese also make it more difficult to translate than most other languages : its elliptic nature, its less than explicit logic, its grammar which provides few indications as to relations between nouns and noun clauses and few indications regarding time, its rapidly changing vocabulary and the rather loose way in which the Japanese tend to pose problems in translation . A third major problem for translators working from Japanese in the West is the lack of Japanese documentation and the difficulties encountered whenever they try to find Japanese resource persons to help them out with difficulties.Consequently, analysis is a must in translation from Japanese. Lexical analysis is mainly morphological in the case ofKango and phonological in the case of Gairaigo. Logical analysis of texts is necessary in testing meaning hypotheses, as the apparent "linguistic" meaning of text segments may be quite different from their true meaning. For complex, long or seemingly "agrammatical" or "illogical" sentences, the so-called "block analysis", which consists in identifying "blocks" encompassing noun phrases, identifying relationships between them, then streamlining sentences structurally and semantically until problems are pinpointed or solved, is an efficient analysis tool.
Abstract EN: Since the end of the sixties, numerous Japanese contractors have been active in heavy industry work in Algeria and other North African countries. This has opened a large market for Japanese-French liaison interpreters. Such interpreters are hired by specialized agencies in Europe and Japan. With one or two exceptions, they are Japanese nationals. Most of them are young and have no previous experience as interpreters. Neither are they properly briefed before they are sent to the site, but they become proficient in their work with experience. Their tasks range from interpreting at various levels to translation and even participation in negotiations and report drafting. Material working conditions are comparatively good, but the duration of contracts is short and long-term stability of employment is uncertain. The precariousness of interpreting jobs and the temporary nature of the Japanese companies' contracting work in North Africa make this activity a provisional and highly volatile one. Japanese liaison interpreters in North Africa do not feel like professional interpreters and do not aspire to become professionals.
Abstract EN: This article is the written text of a presentation made at a workshop on cooperation between authors and their translators at a symposium in Nice in November 1983 on the subject "French, a foreign language". Part of the author's ideas are based on his experience in translating the works of Michel Butor.Language imposes a certain vision of the world on speakers, but not in a rigid and non-modifiable way. In this respect, translation has always played and continues to play an important role in shaping Japanese culture through experimentation with new styles and new approaches. In Japan, translation of literature is considered as participation in literary creation : most translations of literary and theoretical texts are done by academics, critics and writers, and the translated text of a book is generally followed by a rather long essay by the translator. In France, translators are generally not considered as literary personalities and their social status is accordingly low, in spite of a number of significant exceptions. And yet, translation forces one to innovate conceptually and linguistically, and therefore culturally; hence the positive nature of its contribution to the host culture, in particular through cooperation between authors and their translators.