How far can a translator go to achieve the ultimate goal of conveying the author's intent in another language? For that matter, how well does the translator (or the reader) understand the author's intent? James Joyce' Ulysses has been translated into a number of languages, but considering the range of opinion about what it means in English, it seems pretty clear that few, if any, of these translations actually have anything to do with what Joyce wanted to say.
Japanese, like all languages, is evolving. And, like most people who appreciate a language, I am not very happy about the changes. No doubt Urg and Og said the same thing back when somebody invented polysyllabic words. After all, I invested quite a bit of my life into learning Japanese and I hate to have it pulled out from under me now that I've finally gotten to the point when I can use it decently. (Yes, I know I invested more of my life into learning English, but that wasn't my decision now, was it?)
Japanese authors write for Japanese readers, and not surprisingly, English authors write for English-speaking readers. Authors of all sorts use the slang, the cultural references and the rich vocabulary of their native tongues. Quite a bit of what makes a piece of literature so interesting, however, is the unspoken cultural milieu behind it, and the translator can be faced with a real problem in how to render it in another language... or whether to render it at all.
I am supposed to be getting ready to go on my summer vacation... three glorious days of getting up early to hurry up and do things, but without the dogs scurrying around underfoot demanding that we do things for them instead of for us. Two of the three days are a weekend, but I suppose I can't complain.