The Gr. 12 students were fortunate to have participated in an on-campus workshop by award-winning translator Alexander O. Smith, who is also a parent at YIS. Alexander has specialized in entertainment media for 20 years, translating video games, novels and manga from Japanese to English.
This workshop introduced the students to the cultural considerations involved in translations. They were asked to examine how to correctly convey ideas and sentiments, such as the idea natsukashii and the household item kotatsu, to English audiences while maintaining the context in which they are used in the original text. Students came to understand that translation involves the conveying of more than just the words on a page, and in doing so, were able to scrutinize nuances of Japanese culture that they may have taken for granted in daily life.