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Japanese to English: 未来へ飛躍する自由・自治都市 堺 / Sakai, a City of Ultimate Potential on the Path to Tomorrow Detailed field: Tourism & Travel
Source text - Japanese 古代には、世界最大規模の陵墓「仁徳天皇陵古墳」が築かれ、中世には、海外交易による経済的発展を背景に自治都市として歴史に名を刻み、千利休の「茶の湯」文化や、「情熱の歌人」与謝野晶子を輩出するなど、豊かな歴史文化を生み出してきた堺。
Translation - English In ancient times, one of the world’s largest tombs, the Nintoku-tenno-ryo Tumulus, was built in Sakai and during the medieval era Sakai prospered as an autonomous city which developed economically through international trade. It was also blessed with a rich culture, being the birthplaces of grand tea master Sen no Rikyu, and the passionate poet Yosano Akiko.
Sakai was municipalized in 1889 and developed dramatically as an industrial city during Japan’s high economic growth period. In April 2006, Sakai became the 15th ordinance- designated city in Japan.
In the city a great number of companies from various fields including petrochemical, energy generation, metal works and machinery make Sakai one of Japan’s leading industrial centers. On top of this, more companies with cutting-edge ecological technologies are moving to the city, forming a new cluster of industries with state-of-the-art value-added technologies. We are committed to spreading this effect to the whole city for Sakai’s sustainable development.
Japanese to English: 私の家族 / My Family (Winning essay contest entry) General field: Other
Three years ago, my father collapsed due to subarachnoid hemorrhage. As an aftereffect, he currently suffers from higher cerebral dysfunction and right side paralysis. I didn’t want my friends to know about my father’s disabilities, so I came to avoid any topic concerning my father. I didn’t let my father come to any gatherings, including even my enrollment ceremony at junior high school, as well as sports days and other school events. I couldn’t accept the fact that my father had a disability.
Father can read to some degree and exchange conversation with us. He sometimes tries to communicate with me by using notes in faltering handwriting. He often misspeaks and repeats the same questions many times. I try to be patient and answer him each time, but his understanding is so poor, I sometimes lose my temper and yell at him or even ignore him. I know it’s wrong, but I couldn’t help comparing the father in front of me with the father from several years ago when he was healthy. I was afraid of my friends finding out about my father’s speech and physical disabilities, and couldn’t accept the idea of them feeling sorry for me and my father. One day, when we were on a family trip, I overheard someone say, “What a pity! I feel sorry for such families whose father is crippled. Maybe a disease caused his speech and physical disabilities.”
For some reason I felt so angry when I heard this. It’s true that my father is disabled and needs help, but he does not deserve such words of humiliation. Then I suddenly came to my senses. Wasn’t I also looking down on my father just as they? The very attitude that I felt affronted by…
That’s how I came to realize my bad attitude – I didn’t let my father attend any gatherings; I was unable to accept my father; and I built an invisible barrier against him without realizing it. Today, the term “barrier free” can often be heard, but there are actually many kinds of barriers – physical barriers, which are visible obstacles; societal barriers, such as restrictions on eligibility for qualifications or licenses; and social barriers, such as prejudice against people with disabilities. It is difficult for me to eliminate those physical and societal barriers, but perhaps I can remove a social barrier now. I can start by listening to my father not just with my ears, but with my heart too, and making a sincere effort to understand his feelings. I’d also like to talk openly with my friends about my father, and invite him to attend gatherings and events together. I cannot change the world, but I can make small and steady efforts, which I believe if built up over time can lead to a truly barrier-free society.
Bachelor's degree - Victoria University of Wellington
Years of translation experience: 7. Registered at ProZ.com: Aug 2012.