Guest Article: The Disease of Gobbledygook


Yup, summer is unquestionably on the way. It's still cool at night, which is a relief, but my early-morning walks with the dogs are no longer in darkness: The sun is up, and often fiercely hot!

This time, though, I was able to get the blog written without getting all hot and bothered myself: Dr Valerie Henitiuk, associate director of the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, was kind enough to grant me permission to publish this article from the Winter 2004/5 issue of the BCLT's excellent journal, "In Other Words." The article is copyright In Other Words, and is reproduced below with only minor typographical corrections.

Note that I do not agree with everything he says, and in fact strongly disagree in a few details, but I'm confident you'll find it very worth the reading. I did!

Eternal Love Unrequited


Well, the cherry blossoms are all gone. The weather is beautiful, a bit hot in the sunlight and a bit cool in the shade. It would probablly be a lot nicer if I could go sit under a tree somewhere and read a book, but unfortunately they won't take this chain off my leg and I have to sit here at my desk instead.

This is Golden Week, a sort of spring break that just evolved in Japan from a conglomeration of Boys Day (May 5), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), and the Emperor's Birthday (April 29, although that was the last emperor, the Shōwa Emperor, they were talking about), with a few fill-in-the-blank days off in between. Most of Japan now takes this time off, and with the recent depression a lot of manufacturers are giving their employees two or three weeks off.


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