Spicks & Specks

incorporating 'A Thousand Miles of Moonlight'
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Translation and Rewriting (Japanese-English)

Part 10

The First Principle of Japan's Policy on FTAs


My translation

Japan's policy on FTAs and economic partnerships has two strands. The first strand is alleviation of the relative disadvantages suffered by Japanese firms as a result of FTAs in other regions. One example is the economic partnership with Mexico on which we recently reached agreement in substance.

Official translation

Current Japanese policy on FTAs and economic partnerships is based on two main concerns. The first is that of seeking to redress the disadvantages that Japanese firms operate under due to the existence of other FTAs. The recent agreement in substance on economic partnership with Mexico is a case in point.

This is a short transitional paragraph, noting two policy strands or concerns, and then taking up the first of these.

The following vocabulary equivalents are worthy of note:

Japanese original Literal meaning My translation Official translation
2つの考え方に基づいて進めております '(we) are progressing (policy) based on two ways of thinking' '(Japan's) policy ... has two strands' '(Japanese) policy... is based on two main concerns'
不利を解消する 'alleviate the disadvantage' 'alleviation of the ... disadvantages' 'redress the disadvantages'
実質合意に至った 'reached substantial agreement' 'reached agreement in substance' 'agreement in substance'
この例としては 'as an example of this' 'one example is' 'is a case in point'

2つの考え方に基づいて進めております literally means 'is being progressed based on two ways of thinking'. In my translation, this is translated as 'has two strands'. However, it is somewhat overstating the situation to say that these are two 'strands' of policy. The official translation, 'policy... is based on two main concerns', is a more natural rendition.

A second point worthy of note is the use of '...is a case in point' in the official translation, where I have used the rather lame 'one example is...'. This is a quite obvious way of varying the expression in translation. Constant use of 'for example', 'for instance', or 'one example is' tends to reflect the fairly colourless presentation of examples in Japanese prose and does not help bring about variety of sentence structure or style.


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