Hiroshima, Mokusatsu and Alleged Mistranslations

Naimushin, Boris (2021) Hiroshima, Mokusatsu and Alleged Mistranslations. English Studies at NBU, 7 (1): 6. pp. 87-96. ISSN 2367-5705

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This paper revisits the issue of the importance of context and critical thinking in translation and translation training by examining the linguistic controversy over the translation of the word 'mokusatsu' in the statement of Japan’s Prime Minister Suzuki in response to the Potsdam Declaration. There is a widespread belief that the bombing of Hiroshima in August of 1945 was caused by a translation mistake. The author sides with the opposing view, i.e. that such an approach takes one word of the statement out of context in order to shift the focus of the problem from politics to linguistics. The message of the statement is unambiguous when analyzed in its entirety. As a result, it is obvious there was no translation mistake and the bomb was dropped for reasons other than translation quality. Sadly enough, the myth lives on as a textbook example of ‘the worst translation mistake in history” whereas it should be taught as an example of probably ‘the worst translation myth in history’.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Political sciences > International Relations
Language. Linguistics. Literature > Language
Translation studies
ID Code:4834
Deposited By: Boris Anatolievich Naimushin
Deposited On:25 Sep 2023 13:45
Last Modified:25 Sep 2023 13:45

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