Among the book pick-ups is a Japanese crime novel that I put down quickly because of slack prose in the English translation, e.g., "The guy fell back and lay sprawled on the ground, motionless, like the letter X." At the very least, the letter was unnecessary. Readers don't need to be told X is a letter. And lay is the wrong verb for an action scene.
I know neither Japanese not any other works by the author, so I can't guess at the reason for lapses. But I'm reminded again that a translator is not just a translator but also a writer, with all the demands that entails. If the original lags, the translator should have made it better.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012