me (tanigawa ) wrote in linguaphiles ,

Japanese translators

So, recently I've been translating a lot of corporate emails from Japanese into English, and I've run into a bit of a problem with names. Most often the author of the email will refer to their coworkers as 誰々様 or 誰々君 and that's all the information I have. Is there some sort of protocol for deciding gender in these situations? Occasionally I'll luck out and find the person in question's given name as part of their email address or signature or something, but often I'm stuck with just the family name. Given the unfortunate reality of the male dominated Japanese business scene I usually just stick a "Mr." in front and move on, hoping I've got it right. But that assumption bothers me.

As this is work done through an agency, I don't have contact with the client and usually the deadline is too near to try anyway. What do other translators do?
Tags: japanese, translation
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