Leading Manga Translator Frederik L. Schodt Gives Lecture

Update´╝ÜFebruary 10, 2017

Frederik L. Schodt, a leading manga translator in the United States, who has translated many Japanese manga including "Astro Boy" by Osamu Tezuka, gave a talk on "Reflections on Manga Translation" on February 7 (Tue.) under the joint sponsorship of the university and the Japan Foundation. The lecture was part of a class on "Introduction to Translation" given by Prof. Beverley F.M. Curran (Media, Communication and Culture).

Mr. Schodt was a graduate student at the College of Liberal Arts, Division of Languages (at the time) between 1975 and 1977. Looking back on the days he had spent on campus, he explained how he started translating manga and also discussed changes in manga translation since then.

As an example of cultural differences and ensuing difficulties in manga translation, Schodt noted, showing specific materials, that Japanese manga had been changed to read from left to right before they became popular in the United States, instead of from right to left as in Japan. He said translating jokes was the hardest part of his work. He added that it is important to convey the "image" in each scene in manga instead of translating Japanese words themselves.

Several students asked questions after Schodt spoke. And at a meeting held after the lecture, participants asked him about the future of manga translation and translation in general.