Translators Associations Asia Pacific: JAITS

The relevance of research in Japan

Translation Associations Asia Pacific: JAITSThe Japan Association for Interpretation Studies (Nihon Tsuuyaku Gakkai, JAITS) is a translators association with an academic principle. The purpose of its creation is the promotion of scientific and multifaceted research in the subject of interpreting, concerning both theory and education. In addition, another important purpose of this organisation is to contribute for better social recognition of the profession.

The translation association, formerly established on the 23rd September 2000, is the successor or the Interpretation Research Association of Japan (IRAJ). This was a more or less private forum of discussion, which had been launched on the 18th November 1990. The now extinct organisation had approximately 100 members, held 75 study meetings and was responsible for the publishing of 17 separate issues of “Interpreting Research”, the subject journal for over 10 years.

Basing itself on the relevance gained by these activities and other considerable achievements, IRAJ decided to reorganise itself into JAITS, becoming the first official academic translators association that focussed on interpreting research in Japan. In 2002, JAITS even became a registered member of the prestigious Science Council of Japan. At present, the Japanese organisation has 220 members, including 20 who live overseas.

To be a member of this Japanese translators association, you only have to agree with the Statutes of the organisation. To apply for membership, you must complete the application form available from the association’s website and submit it to JAITS’ secretariat. You will then hopefully receive an acceptance notice from them, after which you must pay the membership fee.

There are three membership categories at JAITS: Regular member (10,000 yen annual fee), Student member (3,000 yen annual fee) and Institutional member (40, 000 yen annual fee). Student and Institutional members are given the same rights and privileges as regular members.

The relevance of translation studies

Susan Bassnett explains the importance of translators associations such as JAITS. She says that in the 1970s, translational research was “merely to occupy a small corner of Applied Linguistics”. As far as Research Literature was concerned, the role played by translation studies was even more insignificant. Translational research is a relatively recent discipline in the world. Since the 1970s, it has been gradually separated from vaster fields, thus becoming a single discipline. In Japan, it was even worse. In the 70s, there were “not even smacks of translation studies”. Only in the 1990s did the subject become more developed.

For this reason, JAITS is committed to overcome this delay and make a significant contribution to the development of the subject in Japan.

Keep in mind that Japanese is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese immigrant communities all over the world. It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages.

Lexis is happy to receive and publish news on events and other initiatives by your translators association. Please send us the press releases by your translation association to the email address Lexis – Connections with meaning

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