2nd JLPP Translation Competition English Quotes

Just a quick post to share some knowledge. I’m working on my translations for the 2nd JLPP Translation Competition. It’s a little late to get started if you haven’t already, but if you’re working on 「昭和が発見したもの」, then this might be useful.

In the essay, there are several quotes from foreign scholars given in Japanese. I think it’s a mistake to try and translate these yourself. The translations really should be provided by the JLPP, in my opinion, because not including them tests your Google skills rather than your translation ability.

At any rate, I believe I’ve managed to track them all down (so far), and I thought I’d share them. Here they are:

Isaiah Berlin: “I have lived through most of the twentieth century without, I must add, suffering personal hardship. I remember it only as the most terrible century in Western history.”

René Dumont: “I see it (the twentieth century) only as a century of massacres and wars.”

William Golding: “the most violent century in human history”

Peter Gay: “It remains one of the achievements of which the dismal twentieth century can rightfully boast: it has raised Mozart’s music—all of it—to the eminence it deserves.”

Hope that helps.

2 thoughts on “2nd JLPP Translation Competition English Quotes

  1. not including them tests your Google skills rather than your translation ability.

    OR MAYBE they’re actually testing you, to see if you can come up with better English formulations than Isaiah Berlin and William Golding!

    Seriously, you could argue that in 2015 the ability to Google up the English original of a quotation given only in Japanese (with vague attribution) is part of “translation ability” in the broader sense — maybe more of an auxiliary professional skill than something that should be considered in a translation competition, but still.

  2. I totally agree, and I had a discussion with Durf about this via Twitter. Being able to Google is key because so many clients are unreliable. Ideally these quotes are information that the client/competition would provide, but I see how it can be part of the test. I’m super curious about how they would decide to evaluate these sections of the contest. Would they just dismiss any translations that didn’t find the quote? Or would it knock the translation down a level and they would still consider the totality? In my mind, I’d probably be thinking the former but trying to perform the latter.

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