An etymological exploration of ‘translation’ in Japan

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This exploration of the semantic domain of ‘translation’ in Japan focuses on the evolution and interrelationships of selected key terms, as well as on terminological discontinuities, potential terminological insights into Japanese views on translation, and how these terms differ from standard English ‘equivalents’. The paper identifies three layers of translation terminology in Japan and notes the potential for discrepancies and rivalry amongst these layers. The etymologically derived implications of certain terms sometimes run counter to translational reality, a fact that calls into question the validity of relying on historical semantics as a source of theorising.


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