…..annnd look what i randomly* stumbled across at the bookstore tonight.
Ash Hardell’s “The ABC’s of LGBT+” in Japanese!
even Amazon Japan doesn’t seem to have it yet, but somehow Kinokuniya has it? which makes absolutely no sense, but hey! not complaining.
it’s a complete translation of Ash Hardell’s book, including a lot of ace and non-binary terminology such as aceflex, quoiromantic, genderfluid and maverique transliterated phonetically into Japanese approximates.** even the [English] pronouns section is translated into Japanese, which i kinda have feelings about as to how helpful that and / or phonetic translations will be for Japanese people who will be approaching this book from a cultural and linguistic context that is not the same as that of a native English / germanic or romance language speaker. that said, at a glance, there does seem to be added explaination of English grammar to help non-English speakers better understand gender neutral pronouns in English.
but yeah, i say all of the above not necessarily to suggest that the book’s inclusion of English gender neutral pronouns and phonetic transliterations of other English terminology is a bad thing. far from it. it’s just… interesting from my POV as a native English-speaking linguistics major living in Japan who’s watched time and time again as Japanese people try to digest recently coined and imported English LGBT+ terminology made up of affixes and references for which they have zero prior context or understanding of.
i’m sure this book will be ‘Rocket Science’ for Japanese readers in an additional way on top of what it is for your average English speaker, not just because of the aforementioned language / cultural happenings, but also because this book discusses a lot of things that i think have yet to be prominently discussed in commonly available Japanese books. i look forward to being there for all the reactions i get from people as they read this book after i hand it to them while trying to Explain A Thing. i wish i’d had this book back in July when i met with an LGBT+ NPO who wanted me to clarify a list of 30something imported English words that they found online, but at least it’s here now.
the only real comments that i have at this point, having not yet actually sat down to read the Japanese translation, is that:
– the book’s Bestselling Status and Amazon US rating + Ash’s YouTube video playback count are totally touted on the second sleeve of the book. awesome!
– on the top part of the book’s sleeve reads “13歳から知っておきたいLGBT+” or “LGBT+ things you’d want to know from 13 years old and up” and like…. where did that come from?? why is that disclaimer even there? especially in Japan of all places where “age appropriateness” seems to be the last thing on any publisher’s mind? very odd and incredibly unfortunate, imho.
tl;dr: this book is very much a welcome addition to my bookshelf and huge congrats to @ashhardell on the release of their book in Japan. 🙂
*because that’s where i live. in various bookstores.*** when i’m not at a) home, b) work, c) Starbucks, d) Tokyu Hands / LOFT. i find the most interesting stuff in bookstores all the time, not even a quarter of which makes it on here zzzz…
**i would not write “maverique” as it has been transliterated in this book (see photo 6), but eh. this kind of mistranslitration thing happens a lot in Japanese.
***despite the fact that i cant seem to finish a book to save my life because Exhaustion. Working In Japan.