Topics for Bachelor's thesis

Hi!

I am writing here because I would like you to recommend me topics for my Bachelor’s thesis. I am currently in my last year of a Bachelor’s degree in Translation, and as my Bachelor’s thesis I would like to translate a document from Japanese (accompanied by a theoretical framework), but I do not know exactly which document. Above all, I need some document that represents a certain difficulty for the translator.

After thinking about it for days, I have thought about the possibility of doing specialized translation, and more specifically, legal translation. However, I don’t know what kind of documents it would be interesting to make a translation of and where to find the original documents. One option that had occurred to me was, for example, the translation of a rental agreement (賃貸借契約), but when I looked for original contracts in Google, the only things I found were templates (ひな形) that were not complete (some parts were simply ellipses). Therefore, does anyone know where I could find complete original contracts? Besides, what other types of legal documents do you think could be interesting to translate (and where do I find them)?

I have also thought about the possibility of doing medical translation, but I am equally lost. I don’t know what documents in this area are most often translated, so I don’t know which document could translate.

On the other hand, the possibility of carrying out literary translation seems to be quite remote, since the vast majority of original works have a number of pages too large. Ideally, the document to be translated should not have more than 15 or 20 pages. For that reason, I had also thought about the option that I have mentioned before of translating a contract, because generally its number of pages is usually less than 15 (at least the ones I have seen, which are not many). However, I am open to recommendations for short stories that have some translation difficulties.

In fact, any recommendation you can give me about anything that may be interesting to translate (any document from any field), even if I have not mentioned it, I will gladly accept it and I will be very grateful. The only condition is that it is possible to find and access the original document online, that is, not a document that I must be on site in Japan to obtain it.

どうぞよろしくお願いします。

These might not be your thing, but it’s stuff I’m familiar with, so it’s what came to mind…
If you want to stick with specialist translations, you could try equipment manuals or research papers.

While manuals are written to be understandable even with a low level of education, they are still filled with field specific vocabulary that can be a bit tricky to translate (mostly because it’s not in EDICT). The more complicated the machine is, the more difficult the translation will be, so pick something niche and industrial if you go this route. Common consumer goods a.) will be easier to translate, b.) are probably already translated.

I was looking at some products I did translations of from http://otake-ss.co.jp/index.html
Unfortunately, they still don’t seem to have their manuals on their website.

This company does though:
https://www.hikoki-powertools.jp/manual_view_domestic/category15.html
Haven’t checked to see if they have English language manuals available, though, so not sure it would fit your requirements… That frozen meat slicer looks like it’d be fun, though.
I think that at least demonstrates what I’m suggesting, though.

If the idea interests you, but the examples don’t, the term you’re looking for is 取扱説明書.

The other thing that came to mind was academic research. I’m looking for the work of a professor I visited at 名古屋大学 to see if its freely available (IIRC, I was looking at it before through IEEE or my college access, which I’m assuming you don’t have); even if you’re not interested in his papers, the source might have other stuff available. Can’t promise anything, though…
While articles that were originally published in international journals won’t be in Japanese, other papers that were published within Japan are typically in Japanese.
Of course, these would be of a more academic style and full of jargon, if that’s what you’re looking for.

An offshoot of the previous suggestion is to translate an article about a specialist field. In that case, just look for an article in a field that interests you and go through it.

Other than that… I don’t have any suggestions off the top of my head.
I hope this at least helps move your brain juices towards deciding something.

1 Like

First of all, thank you so much for your recommendations. I appreciate them a lot. :slight_smile:

About the idea of translating instruction manuals, I must say it’s not my cup of tea and, besides, all the manuals I’ve seen are slightly longer in number of pages than I’d like to.

Maybe translating research papers, depending on the topic and their extension, could be a more suitable option for me. Do you know where I could find japanese (e.g. literary, scientific, law, medical, pshychology) journals with complete articles written in Japanese for free? I’ve been searching for them, but maybe I’m not doing it right, because Google results are mostly journals with articles written in English and they are for a (little bit high) fee, so I can’t even see if they suit my needs or not.

I’m still looking to see if there are any freely available papers that would help you, but I’m not quite sure where to look.
I mean, you might be able to find stuff on sci-hub, but since this is for a thesis, that won’t do, since it’s… a less than legitimate way to read research papers.

It’s not research papers, but there are progress and findings reports available at:
https://kaken.nii.ac.jp/ja/index/
Since that’s a public funding source, grant recipients are required to give them a report. They’re not as long as a research paper, but the general idea of one is there.
Depending on the group, there may be more or less info, but that site has a decent search function, so you might be able to find something suitable.

1 Like

If you search on https://scholar.google.com/ with a search term in Japanese, then you will get links to research papers published in Japanese. Several of them will have links to PDF files which you can freely download.

Many of the articles come J-STAGE so you might also find it helpful to browse or search https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/ and https://www.jst.go.jp/

1 Like

@sholum @kumajochu Thank you so much for the links! :slight_smile: