Posts Tagged ‘Holly Thompson’

Translator in the Classroom

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Translators, like children’s authors and illustrators, can offer school visits!

HS Tomo Visit

Preschool kamishibai visit

HS Skype visit

In the past year I have offered visits at international schools in Japan and Thailand. The visits have been a great way to meet readers and entice them to explore new stories. They have also shown me that students and teachers are keen to learn about translation as a vocation.

In planning visits, I observed school presentations by noted authors and illustrators, including author Jack Gantos and illustrator Keith Baker. I listened to author Holly Thompson present about school visits at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Singapore. I also referred to the School Visits section of the SCBWI Publication Guide, now called The Book (members can download).

I learned that effective visits offer a concrete connection between my work and what students are learning in the classroom. To this end, I performed kamishibai for grade four students who read Allen Say’s picture book Kamishibai Man, and discussed translating “House of Trust” by Sachiko Kashiwaba for Tomo: Friendship through Fiction–An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories with a high school class about to read stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa in translation.

I learned that co-presentations with an author can highlight both the content and the translated nature of a book. Shogo Oketani and I took turns reading, in his Japanese and my English, from the original and translated versions of J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965, for elementary and high school students in Japan after J-Boys was nominated for a 2013 Sakura Medal.

ES/HS J-Boys visit

Finally, I learned that my visits can interest readers in translations besides my own, such as winners of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and the Marsh Award. I have shown students covers of books that they did not know were translations–such as the Babar, Pippi Longstocking, and Inkheart books–and asked them to guess where they came from. This exercise is a fun icebreaker!

I now take a page from Holly Thompson’s book by considering visits even as I translate. What props or activities could help me bring a work to life? What images from my research should I save for a PowerPoint? What passages would illustrate a particular translation challenge?

I encourage other translators to learn about and offer school visits in 2013. Observing author/illustrator visits and surfing the SCBWI website are ways to begin.

A Rainy Saturday to Remember

SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012 brought translators from all parts of Japan (and Thailand!) together for presentations, discussions, a workshop, and lively conversation on a drizzly day in Yokohama.

Translators at SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012

Featured speaker Alexander O. Smith emboldened participants to push beyond word-for-word renderings to recast works in English, using fascinating examples from game translation. Author and editor Holly Thompson probed ways to make Japan-born translations marketable in the U.S. YA market, and an eight-member panel discussed the making of Tomo: Friendship Through FictionAn Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. After a translation workshop led by Alex, Avery Fischer Udagawa wrapped up the day by leading a discussion on personal websites, networking, time-share editing, and our potential within the SCBWI organization.

Many of the participants were veteran translators, so this was an excellent opportunity to meet and catch up  and, more importantly, share ideas and get tuned in to new possibilities.

Watch for a write-up of this event in the summer 2012 issue of Carp Tales, the SCBWI Tokyo newsletter. Thanks to all who made Translation Day 2012 a success!

YA Anthology Tomo to Include Translations

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Tomo is an anthology of Japan-related YA fiction slated for release on March 10, 2012.

Titled in full Tomo: Friendships through Fiction–An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, the collection will benefit teen survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Its 36 short stories will include 10 from Japan and Tohoku translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, Deborah Davidson, Misa Lindberg Dikengil, Sako Ikegami, Toshiya Kamei, Hart Larrabee, Lynne E. Riggs, Alexander O. Smith, and Avery Fischer Udagawa.

Holly Thompson, editor of Tomo and Regional Advisor of SCBWI Tokyo, says the anthology “aims to bring Japan stories to young adult readers worldwide, and in so doing, to help support teens in Tohoku.”

To view the full list of contributors and read updates about this project, visit the Tomo blog.