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  • Writer's pictureStone Bridge Press

Excerpt: 15 years at Studio Ghibli by Steve Alpert

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Thanks to Books on Asia for sharing an excerpt from Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man, Steve Alpert's upcoming memoir of his time at Studio Ghibli.

"Temporarily Misplaced in Translation

When I first began learning Japanese I was struck by how beau­tifully it can express certain things in a way that’s different from how they might be expressed in English, and by how things that aren’t normally expressed in English can be expressed in Jap­anese. My idol was the Columbia University professor Burton Watson, whose translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry and fiction were the best. My dream was to have a career like his. That was before I learned that he had quit teaching to become a taxi driver. Also before I ever attempted to seriously translate anything.

Translating from Japanese to English or from English to Japanese is very hard. For a lot of reasons the two languages simply don’t line up right. Even the best translators are often performing a metaphysical leap of faith. Japanese is very vague. And English, a Germanic language, is more precise."

Read the full excerpt here.

Pick up a copy of Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man: 15 Years at Studio Ghibli here.



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