Showing posts from March, 2013

The trouble with translations

I will be the first to admit that it's often a lot easier to refer to a technique or kata by it's corresponding number. "Number 3" is just easier and comfortable for an non-Japanese speaker to say than "Gyakugamae ate", and it's also a lot easier to remember.

But if you have fallen into that habit, I would urge you to take some time and learn the Japanese terminology. Not only that, but do a little research on it, because frankly, the translations we've heard throughout our training are not always all that accurate.

Take the judo throw seoi nage, for example. If you're like me, you've probably heard it translated as a "shoulder throw." But if you look it up, you'll find something a bit different. (FYI, the translation source I was most commonly is Denshi Jisho, supplemented by Google, Babylon and others like that.)

It actually means something more along the lines of "to carry on one's back". Now, does that matte…