News and Media Translation

Course Code: MTS101
Semester: Fall, Spring Day: Mon Time: 19:10-21:00 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Start Date: 2022/1/24 End Date: 2022/4/4 Elective certificate: Basic Translation Skills Medium of Instruction: English Location: Online Prerequisites: This course is for those who have a relatively good command of the two languages. Students need to have at least the TOEIC score of 850 or higher as well as Eiken pre-1 grade. And at the very least JLPT N2 or higher of Japanese speaking, listening and reading abilities required. Eligibility for this course is subject to instructor's approval. A small piece of text to be translated (approximately 150 words) will be provided to applicants via email. The translated text should be sent back by email to or faxed to 03-5441-9811). Students who have already completed one of the Continuing Education department's translation courses (JSL401, BTS101, or LTS101) are not required to take the translation test for enrollment.

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Course Description

This course focuses on translating news articles, editorials, or opinion pieces from Japanese into English and vice versa. It aims to help participants gain a better understanding of how news stories are structured, how to write clearly and concisely in English and Japanese, and what role translation plays in the media landscape today. In this age of the internet and social networking, we increasingly face the need to write with brevity to get our meaning across to a broad spectrum of readers. This is true of writing skills for translators. The journalistic style of writing – simple and easy-to-read – is a good way to improve conciseness in your writing. As they say, there is no "correct" answer when it comes to translation. There are only "better" ways to render an idea expressed in one language into an equivalent in another. We will learn this basic tenet of translation through the lens of journalistic writing. The course is designed for those aspiring translators who hope to improve their overall writing skills and are interested in translation in journalism. The course involves a variety of translation and reading assignments inside and outside of the classroom and requires active participation of students in group discussions.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand news translation in Japanese and English.
2. Improve text analysis skill.
3. Build up translation and overall writing skills in both languages.

Who should take this course

Those who has at least the intermediate to advanced levels of English language skills (for JP people) or equivalent levels of JP language skills (for those non-JP people); or have some translation experience (but not a must).


Naoto Okamura

Instructor Biography

Naoto Okamura is a freelance reporter-cum-translator. He earned a BA in intercultural communication from Dokkyo University and an MA from Waseda University with focus on journalism and international relations. For over two decades, he has worked as a translator in Tokyo and Hong Kong and has also had stints at English-language media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Nikkei Asian Review, and Automotive News, covering various news about Japan in English. His motto is that translation is not about switching words from one language into another. It is a form of cross-cultural communication. As such, translators need to bridge different worlds of perception and therein lies the beauty and challenge of the trade. He hopes to help students to grasp an intended meaning or message behind words and develop their overall translation/writing skills in both Japanese and English.