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Annotated Link List
I dislike not only clicking on long-dead links but also clicking on links without having some idea of what is coming. That led me to this carefully selected and often-checked list of links.
All websites linked to are English, unless marked by language indicators (e.g., JA/EN).
- Kinokuniya [JA/EN]
Glossaries, Dictionaries & Words
- Merrian-Webster OnLine
- Not very extensive definitions, but quite useful at times.
- The Word Spy
- Although this is not a J-E glossary, this Web site and its associated mailing are devoted to recently coined words and phrases, old words that are being used in new ways, and existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new words and phrases that have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, press releases, and Web sites.
- World Wide Words [EN]
- A delightful look at words, produced by Michael Quinion, from a British perspective. Much to be gained and learn from by non-British readers. The website is currently an archive of a huge amount of past content, the author having announced in early 2017 that he is "written out." (Edited March 20, 2019)
Information & Time Management
- Noguchi Yukio Online[JA]
- Economist Noguchi Yukio's website. Noguchi is a time/information management guru. Site includes free refills for his pocket day planner.
- Jakob Nielsen's Usability Website
- Common-sense advice about making websites more useful. A must-read for people who think that a website with all the bells and whistles they can manage to implement is the best choice. (September 30, 2005)
- Becky! Internet Mail
- If you are still using that e-mail client that came with your computer, you might want to look at Becky! It is the best e-mail client I have used. (Edited March 20, 2019)
- Loaded with information on such topics search engine popularity ratings and methods of indexing. (September 30, 2005)
- Omniglot Writing Systems & Languages of the World
- Wide-ranging information, including links to sites with more information. (March 10, 2008)
- Glyph Wiki. All sorts of information on Chinese/Japanese logographs. (May 9, 2015)
- US Library of Congress Card Catalog
- National Diet Library [JA/EN]
- Most comprehensive collection in Japan.
- Meguro City Library [JA/EN]
- Kakinokizaka Branch is my go-to bricks-and-mortar library.
- Kanagawa Prefectural Library [JA/EN]
- Actually split into two locations, one near Kawasaki Station (focus being mostly on science and technical books) and the other near Sakuragicho Station in Yokohama (with a broader coverage of topics). These are lending library, unlike the National Diet Library and the Tokyo Metropolitan Library. (edited March 20, 2019)
- Kawasaki City Library [JA/EN]
- Lending library with on-line searching and reserving of books.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Library [JA/EN]
- Osaka Prefectural Library [JA/EN]
- Lending library.
- Aozora Bunko [JA]
- Copyright free or expired works.
- Patent Translation List [EN/JA]
- This list appears to be totally abandoned, having died out of lack of interest or perhaps the same cause as the death of the Honyaku mailing list—replacement by the behavior-manipulating platform run by the company Facebook.
- Honyaku Mailing List [EN/JA]
- Migration of translators to the behavior-manipulating platform run by the company Facebook was surely instrumental in killing this mailing list, which has only a few postings each month, with discussion participants numbering less than ten or so. As of this edit, there has not been a new post for several weeks. May the Honyaku mailing list rest in peace. (Edited April 12, 2019)
- National Public Radio
- Nikkei [JA/EN]
- Full access requires a paying account.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Searchable, full-text database of patents starting at 1976. All patents from the beginning of the US patent system searchable by patent number (pre-1976 patents as images only).
- Japanese Patent Office [JA/EN]
- As expected, this site is very far behind the curve in providing on-line patent information. The patent searching function of the JPO website has now been taken over by a different organization, as a result of what could best be characterized as an organizational shell game.
- Industrial Property Digital Library [JA/EN]
- Administered essentially by the JPO. This is the location of search functions that formerly were part of the JPO's website. The site (at least the Japanese part) finally has gotten to allow full-text searching.
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
- Professional association of more than 10,000 attorneys specializing in the practice of IP law.
- European Patent Office
- Their browser-crashing design of yesteryear seems to have been fixed.
- Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation [JA/EN]
- Publisher of many books about patents.
Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA) [JA/EN, but very little EN]
- All patent attorneys are listed, by geographic area. Provides a search function, enabling searching by various fields. Useful for finding the readings of patent attorney names appearing on patent documents.
- The Patent Attorneys Cooperation Association of Japan [JA/EN]
- A cooperative association providing some pages for benrishi to list their contact information.
- JAPIO [JA/EN]
- Specially privileged group, heavily laden with amakudari from the JPO, and which has a monopoly on specific services that it sells at extremely high prices, for example, high-priced copy services inside the JPO office. Japan's bureaucracy at its worst.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- Lots of documents available on-line.
- Kodansha [JA/EN]
- Chuo Keizai [JA/EN]
- time and date.com
- Date & time around the world, calendars, number of days calculations, distances, and much more.
- Official US Time
- From the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (December 5, 2005)
- Yahoo! Finance - Currency Conversion
- Includes historical graphs as well as current rates for major currencies.
- Index of Indexes
- This site provides a breathtaking amount of information on units. Its huge units index is more extensive than any I have seen.
- Postage Tables [JA]
- All types of postage tables applicable from Japan.
- Marketing Plan for Independent Professionals - Action Plan Marketing
- Although this site is provided from the US perspective and is not addressed to language specialists, it has lots of marketing tips that could help freelance translators do better in selling.
- Ziglar Training Systems
- Founded by the late Zig Ziglar, a bible-thumping motivational trainer. Has many products such as books and tapes that spread the motivational gospel according to Zig.
- Google (Advanced Search)
- High-quality hits; much less in the way of annoying ads and animations than found at some search engine sites. This site handles Japanese, and is clearly the leader in the search engine war.
- Google Ngram Viewer
- Allows you to search Google's huge database of book content for specific words and phrases, and presents frequency of occurrences thereof versus time, normalized to the number of books in each period of time.
- Partners with Google. Formerly had heavy emphasis on categories, but is now one of the leading keyword-searching sites. Watch out for pop-under ads for toilet-spying cameras and on-line gambling casinos, however.
- US Patent and Trademark Office Searching
- You might think of this as a "special" search engine, but with more than 10 billion searchable words in well-behaved files (including drawings) from patents, this source should be of interest to all technical translators.
- Goo [JA]
- An old standard. Nausea-inducing design, but provides lots of hits.
- Fresheye [JA]
- Nausea-inducing page design. Concentrates on pages that have been created or updated within the past 30 days. Front page usually has a number of ready links to pages concerned with items in the news.
- Vessel Finder
- Presents you a map of all the vessels worldwide. Click on a vessel to see particulars of the vessel (displacement, year of construction, course, speed). If there is a photo, click on the photo to get a page dedicated to that vessel. Maps tracking specific ships can be embedded into webpages, such as these webpages for the Asuka II and the Royal Wing.
- Osambashi (Yokohama)
- Provides schedules of ships that will visit Osambashi in Yokohama.
- Honmoku Pier (Yokohama)
- Includes many cargo ships.
Trade Show Venues
- Tokyo Big Site [JA/EN]
- It would be pretty hard to find a venue that is this difficult to reach and also this close to the center of Tokyo.
- Makuhari Messe [JA/EN]
- This venue was the thought to be the replacement for the Harumi trade show venue. Unfortunately, it was built very far outside of Tokyo and now competes with the nominally in-town venue Big Sight.
Many of the organizations run events that you can attend.
- Japan Association of Translators [JA/EN]
- Originally starting (and remaining) the only active translators' group in Japan that is not run by translation agencies or for-profit translation schools, JAT has undergone qualitative changes that run counter to the received wisdom of established professionals, particularly with regard to anonymity. The group was formed in 1985 (34 years ago) and appears to have had about two years of history repeated 17 times. To be fair to the organization, newer members might not care or might not need to care. But there are some strange aspects to the group. At one point not so long ago, members regularly hid their e-mail addresses from other members and it was possible to join without a knowable postal address disclosed even to other members. The Internet at its worst. Although I was one of the founding members of and served multiple terms as President of JAT, I left the organization because the group remained a social organization (nothing wrong with that) and continued to purport to be a professional group, but never truly became or acted as one (something wrong with that). (Edited April 5, 2019)
- American Translators Association
- Large multi-lingual group; has a Japanese-language division. Provides very little hard information and, in particular, no information on rates, thanks to translation agency members who turned the ATA in to the Feds some years back for holding a translation rates survey. The Chronicle published monthly by the ATA seldom has much of specific interest to Japanese/English translators and tends these days to be completely out-of-line with translators who do not work for agencies. I have left the ATA because its goals are clearly aligned with a translator demographic of which I am not a part, and paying yearly dues (essentially a license royalty) just to maintain the right to say that they certified me makes no business sense whatsoever. All I got from the membership and the certification was a constant stream of inquiries from bulk translation brokers who could not pay one-half of a reasonable rate. They evidently assumed ATA member translators work cheaply and are desperate; I suspect they are right in many cases. (Edited April 5, 2019)
- Institute of Translation and Interpreting (Japanese Network)
- This UK group has a private members-only site in addition to this webpage, which has a listing of contact information for members. (November 8, 2005)
- Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators
- Founded in 1987, AUSIT is still the only national professional association of practicing translators and interpreters in Australia.
- Canadian Translators and Interpreters Council
- Society of Writers, Editors & Translators
- Based in Tokyo, Japan, SWET comprises people engaged not only in the three professions of writing, editing, and translating, but also in teaching, research, rewriting, design and production, copywriting, and other areas related to the written word in Japan. JAT, which is dedicated to the interests of basically commercial translators, formed originally as a special interest group of SWET.
- Translation Journal
- Edited by Gabe Bokor, this on-line journal has articles of non-language-specific interest to translators, but it appears to be defunct, the last issue on the website being Volume 17, No. 4 (October 2013).
There are very few links here because almost no translators have any content on their websites that is of any real and lasting value. Most translator websites treat the visitor to what is really just hat-in-hand begging for work. That said, there is a strong argument to be made for not donating your translation to your competitors. The Internet does not require us to give away the store.
- Lee Seaman
- Lee is a highly respected pharmaceutical translator based in the Pacific Northwest of the US.
- Tom Gally [EN/JA]
- Former frequent contributor to the Honyaku mailing list. Tom's site includes an interesting compilation of comments from translators on how to get started in the profession, as well as a substantial article on translating narration scripts. In a recent (sometime in mid-2011) post on the Honyaku mailing list, Tom mentioned that he is no longer a translator.
Writing & Style
- Chicago Manual of Style
- Very well done website of this authority on writing style. I am happy to see that they are charging for the online manual. Another vote for "pay something to get something" approach.