On the heels of the JTF Translation Festival in Kyoto and the 7th medical translation seminar organized by International Medical Translation Service, Inc., a small group of JAT members specializing in medical and pharma held an informal meeting in Osaka on Sunday October 28. Each attendee was tasked with preparing an eight-minute presentation on a subject of their choice in Japanese or English, followed by a short question and answer period.

Hiroko Kawakami led off with a review of a hands-on laboratory course she recently attended on the culture of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Nobumi Suzuki followed with a discussion of the potential and pitfalls of post-editing machine-translated documents, with a special emphasis on the pharma field. Shiho Koizumi then gave the audience a thorough explanation of a relatively recent concept in medical statistics: the estimand. Tony Atkinson spoke about the science of immune checkpoint inhibitors for which the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology was awarded. Ben Tompkins then introduced extracts from a useful writing reference that can be downloaded from the author's website for a small fee: Subtleties of Scientific Style, by Matthew Stevens (available from http://sciencescape.com/).


After a short refreshment break, Sako Ikegami discussed several medical problems involved in the treatment of older patients. Ken Wagner then followed with tips on handling line break issues when authors use hard returns in Excel cells and the translator wishes to use CAT systems such as Trados. Motoko Asano gave a presentation focusing on textual analysis of medical journal articles written in English from the perspective of English for Specific Purposes. Jay Kilpatrick provided an interesting comparison of Google Translate-processed and human-translated versions of two sentences taken from a highly-technical Japanese text on endodontics. Paul Williams capped off the series of presentations with a comprehensive examination of peripheral blood morphology and techniques for diagnosing various blood diseases.


Lively chat then ensued over a bento lunch until the organizers Sako and Ben had to chase the participants out of the room before our time expired. Thanks to everyone who attended what was a very informative and fun session.

Tony Atkinson

PS: If you have a meeting report or other information you'd like to share with the membership, please contact Tony Atkinson at president1@jat.org