View Full Version : Japanese Office Diction

11-08-2007, 09:06 PM
I'm trying to figure out the best way to translate 就任歓迎会 into natural sounding English, and was wondering if anybody here had any ideas. It would be easier if it wasn't for the context... The original passage that I'm taking it from reads thus:

彼女と初めて会ったのは [/text bubble] 父の就任歓迎会で社長さんの家に一緒に連れられていった時 [/text bubble]

Clearly it's saying, more or less, "The first time we met was when I came along to my father's inauguration party at the company director's [CEO's, if you prefer] house."

And that doesn't exactly sound bad... but I'd like to figure out something that more accurately represents 就任歓迎会 insofar as 就任 is here referring to an office position.


11-12-2007, 02:07 PM
In fact, I don't think neither English nor French have an exact equivalent for such a word. I think it's one of the numerous cases, where you need to be unfaithful, litterally speaking, to the translation, and add up some lines, if you want to keep the original meaning.

As a reference, and because I'm learning Japanese primary through my native language, I tried to translate that sentence in French. That gave me :

"La première fois que nous nous sommes rencontrés, elle et moi, ce fut quand je vins avec mon père à la maison du chef de l'entreprise pour la fête célébrant son entrée en fonction dans l'entreprise".

In English, my French sentence translates (rather litterally) as :
"The first time her and I, we met, was when I came along with my father at the CEO's house, for the party celebrating his [my father] office entrance in the company".

In French, we fortunately have a rather simple translation of 就任, which is "entrée en fonction" (= to take office, in English). Unfortunately, its English equivalent is harder to pull in the English translation, so I think we'll have to resort to manipulating the sentence a bit.

Here's my suggestion of a translation for this sentence :

"The first time we met was when I came along with my father at the CEO's house to the party held up in honor of my father's office entrance in the company."

It's a bit long, but, for the time being I can't think of anything better.

I'd also like to be honest with you, and fairly warn you : I'm on my 3rd year of Japanese studies, so my skills still aren't the best. Plus, while I have a good grasp at English, I'm still not a master at it.

So, while it's a pleasure for me to try helping you, please take my opinions on the translations with a grain of salt.

11-13-2007, 08:39 AM
got to agree with acenoctali, we're not talking about just translating languages here, we're talking about introducing foreign culture to non-japanese people. and since the culture is different, obviously you're gonna get words where u dont have the direct equivalent (if you've tried translating stuff like itadakimasu, gochisousama, otsukaresama desu etc you'll know what i mean)

so basically in these situations i don't see y u can't take a few liberties and add a few words so that english speaking people can better understand the meaning. remember the whole point of translating is to enable people who dont speak the language to understand what the speaker is saying in his (the reader/listener) native language. if you're able to do that in a smooth and natural sounding way, albeit with a few 'add-ons', i don't see anything wrong :-)

11-13-2007, 08:18 PM
Mine: "I first met her when I was taken by my father to his employer's house upon the occasion of a party celebrating his being given the post".

Although for the reasons already given above, I suspect all of the alternative takes submitted will in the end be more or less the same as what was provided in the first post.

Or as Barret-san phrased more eloquently,

"Translations are like either a wife or a mistress: Faithful not beautiful, or beautiful not faithful."


11-13-2007, 10:55 PM
Or as Barret-san phrased more eloquently,

"Translations are like either a wife or a mistress: Faithful not beautiful, or beautiful not faithful."

lol....gotta love that saying....hahahaa sexist (i hope there arent any feminists here. that would just be a killjoy) but still funny....btw who's this barret person?

11-14-2007, 09:54 AM
I'd like to hope a feminist in these modern times will have a little more humor than that ;-).

He's a sempai from another Japanese forum.