Romantic Princess Style

“All girls, everywhere, are princesses!” — Macoto Takahashi, 2017

This adorable book reminisces on the dream world of artist Macoto Takahashi. The tome is chock full of kawaii girls–pretty princesses from around the world–with stars in their eyes (literally) and ribbons in their hair. Although the English translation only extends to artwork titles and a message from the author, the romantic dream scenes need no words to stir up nostalgic feelings.

Published in 2017 by PIE International https://pie.co.jp/book/i/4964/ 

アジアンイラストレーション      ASIAN ILLUSTRATION

“46 Asian illustrators with distinctively sensitive and expressive styles”

Some dream-like, some realistic, some pure fantasy…all amazing artwork by Asian illustrators. Quite a challenge to translate the thoughts and concepts of each artist, as most of the text was originally written in Chinese, Korean or other East Asian language, and then translated into Japanese before reaching the MDK Translations doorstep. The joy of translating is being lured into a new world with each new project, and I feel doubly lucky when we get to savor inspiring art as we work!


Another beautifully designed book by PIE International https://pie.co.jp/book/i/5371/ Also available at Amazon and other online bookstores.

Paul Cox Design & Art

Collection of design and artwork by Paris-born Paul Cox. The sample page of NHK Radio textbooks for English conversation courses shows how Paul’s work has become a part of the Japanese culture. Another PIE International book with dotted with helpful English translations by yours truly!

ポール・コックス デザイン&アート 

Paul Cox.jpg

Available from Amazon as well as the PIE International website.

Medical Conference in China

I was honored to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Asia Dry Eye Society (ADES) Summit 2016 held in Xiamen (southern China) last fall. MDK Translations has been translating, editing, and taking meeting minutes for members of the ADES for several years now.  Although the depth of discussions was frequently over my head, I was familiar enough with the terminology to keep up with the pace. And as a sufferer of dry eye, I do not take the condition lightly! The experience of facilitating two full days of meetings and speeches reminded me of how nice it is to work with others (rather than hiding behind a PC screen all day). I aim to polish my facilitation skills in hopes of more opportunities like this. I must add…being a fairly noticeable foreigner with zero grasp of the local language served as a valuable reminder of how a few memorized greetings can help make friends and show respect for the country you are visiting.


Photo: With Medi Produce President and amazing colleagues

Omotenashi or Overkill?

A while back I had the honor of speaking for a group of ladies at the Kamakura YMCA who fancy English and the opportunity to improve their listening and speaking skills. They asked me to prepare a presentation about omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) from the non-Japanese perspective. I had a great time researching the topic and trying to come up images and descriptions with what I consider the true meaning of this now trendy term. I think part of the reason Japan works so well and is such a wonderful place to live and visit is the effort everyone makes to please and assist others, all part of omotenashi.  And the vision of a woman swishing down a narrow hallway in a chic kimono, tray of tea and sweets in hand, melts my heart. And don’t get me started on how polite and helpful one finds the staff at a Japanese MacDonald’s. That said, it drives me nuts when the waitress literally runs when I ask for a bit of ketchup, or bows and apologies rather aggressively when they don’t have any ketchup!

In the end, this wonderful group of English fans taught me that, until Christel Takigawa and the Japanese Olympic bid made the term omotenashi nearly ubiquitous, it was never a topic of discussion. Omotenashi was, and still is, the little things you do quite naturally to make sure your guest (be it a visitor to your home or a customer in your shop) feel comfortable and well-taken care of.



Cultivating Your Mini Network


Check out Marian’s article in the 通訳翻訳ジャーナル 2015夏号 for hints on working as an independent translator while collaborating with other  translators, interpreters and related professionals to build your business and offer clients comprehensive services. The article appears in the “JAT Column” of the Tsuyaku Honyaku Journal, a quarterly publication for translators and interpreters.
Available at Amazon and bookstores in Japan http://tinyurl.com/oqlvamo

Check out the summer edition to read about building your  own professional  network.
Check out the summer edition to read about building your own professional network.

Marian’s Radio Debut!

Marian’s Radio Debut!
Marian was interviewed by famed DJ Guy Perryman at the posh Alfred Dunhill Café in the swanky Ginza area of Tokyo a few weeks ago. Guy asked Marian all about the Japan Association of Translators (JAT) and its history, upcoming JAT events, and the translation/interpreting profession in general. The interview was broadcast on April 12 and interspersed with British pop music and fun banter between Guy and his on-air counterpart, Madoka Kato, for the London Hit Radio show (InterFM).

Marian with DJ Guy Perryman
Marian with DJ Guy Perryman