Saturday, December 16, 2006


Man, is there a single article on the Matsuzaka press conference that doesn't mention the translator? Yes, it was bad, but is that really all the press can talk about? I especially like this, from the Herald:
Matsuzaka’s translator was universally panned by the English-speaking media, which discovered afterward that many of the pitcher’s responses were shortened, changed or butchered. Members of the Japanese media helped provide the accurate comments.
They discovered that afterwards? The five minutes of Japanese translated to one sentence fragment in English didn't give them even the slightest clue? The translator is named Tak Sato, and he was hired by Scott Boras...more evidence that Boras has no idea what he's doing with these international negotiations. What's weird is that even though this guy seems completely unable to translate Japanese into English, he apparently had no trouble translating the English questions into Japanese, given Dice's long answers.

Anyway, I for one don't understand why everyone is talking about how the Sox need to find Matsuzaka a new translator. I totally disagree - I think the Sox should hire this guy for the whole season. Given how remarkably lame most questions the media (esp. the Boston media) pose to sports figures, having Sato around can only be an improvement. Just imagine the dialogue:
HAZEL MAE: D-Mat, would you say that David Ortiz's three-run home in the 4th run took some of the pressure off of you, so you could concentrate just on getting guys out?

TRANSLATOR: (speaks in Japanese to Matsuzaka)

DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: (3 minute response in Japanese)

TRANSLATOR: In Japan, the bulldozers are only slightly smaller.
Hell, the guy shouldn't be relegated just to translating for Matsuzaka. Think how much better things would be if everything that Larry Lucchino said to the media went through this guy first. Same goes for Curt Schilling. And for Johnny Damon.


  1. Maybe Boras actually told Matsuzaka (through the translator) that he got a contract for $100MM over six years.

  2. Translating from a foreign language into ones native language is much easier than the other way around.

    Live two-way translation is a really hard skill, and the press conference translator just didn't have it.

    Which is a real shame, because there are many people who are good at it and photogenic enough for tv.