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Problem with translation of Regenerative Agriculture to japanese and our Project

 
Posts: 5
Location: Japan, Niigata, Joetsu
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When I arrived in Japan in 2014, no one was talking about Regenerative Agriculture. Natural Agriculture and Permaculture were little known, but there were groups that did Permaculture in many parts of Japan. When I moved to the countryside with my family, the farmers did not know Masanobu Fukuoka's name, someone younger knew only his name, but nothing about his technique. I knew someone who did Natural Agriculture, but it was clear that they were a minority.

I started a Regenerative Agriculture project called Kuroiwa Permaculture Farm, and already being at it, I discovered that my idea was similar to a farm in Sweden called Ridgedale Farm, I was very excited and even bought his book, not without some problems, I bought two times the book, my mother got my address wrong the first time because I didn't have a credit card. The second time I was able to pay with PayPal, but the book was worth it, I liked it because it had ideas very similar to my idea of ​​a collective farm.

Now that we have been with the Project for 4 years, we continue to have some problems, no people come. My wife had to work on another farm to help financially, and I had to apply for a grant from the Japanese government.

As if that were not enough, at the beginning of starting the Project I tried to find the translation of the word Regenerative Agriculture to Japanese, and I only found an article from Rodale Institute that translated as 再生 可能 な 農業, so we started to put that translation in the subtitles of our Youtube videos and in our articles in Japanese.
But lately the Patagonia clothing brand has become famous for supporting Regenerative Agriculture, and it has also started to advertise in Japan, I was happy myself and bought their organic cotton t-shirts. But seeing their video リ ジ ェ ネ レ イ テ ィ ブ · オ ー ガ ニ ッ ク · サ ー テ ィ フ ィ ケ ー シ ョ ン: パ タ ゴ ニ ア プ ロ ビ ジ ョ ン ズ of PatagoniaJP, I discovered that they translated Regenerative Agriculture as 環境 再生 型 農業 "Environmentally friendly agriculture". So now it will be known with that translation and not with the one we used first. Now I must add that word to all our videos and propaganda, and I don't know how this will affect us.

Luckily we have been at Regeneration International for a while marked as a Regenerative Agriculture farm on their Regenerative Agriculture Farm Map. I hope that this translation change does not affect us negatively, and that we are recognized, we have worked a lot on this project and we would like to be recognized.

What advice do you have for us and how can you help us to get people to come and collaborate in our project?
IMG-0273.jpg
Patagonia Shirt
Patagonia Shirt
 
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Posts: 492
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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Hi Emilio!

My husband is from Niigata. We will try to stop by your farm next time we are visiting his family.

Being the first to translate a word is tough. Most of the time I just write it in katakana and try to make it a borrowed word. I think patagonia's translation comes off as kind of industrial, like it's something that a bigger farming business would do. Your translation seems more accessible to anyone who might want to try.

Since it's still a new word, people will be searching the internet for what it means. If you haven't already, a short blog post or youtube video that's just explaining what both translations mean should help anyone using the new word to find you.

Anytime you can write "regenerative agricultureとは" it should put you higher in search results as that is the phrase most people would search for to find the Japanese explanation. Regenerative agriculture and permaculture are still not well known in Japan, as you mentioned, so you might get more interest by focusing on the individual components of your farm, like what you are growing or what animals you are keeping. You could try inviting people for 農業体験 nougyou taiken, farm experience, kind of like small workshops. A search turns up lots of sites to post experiences, even Jalan has them. Planting rice by hand is probably the most popular, but you can hold one for anything you do on your farm.

I'm finding that there are people who want to move to the country and live a permaculture life, even if they don't know the word permaculture, but it can be very hard to find a place that will accept new people in the neighborhood. "Trial stayトライアルステイ" is becoming popular. People can come live in a village on a trial basis, a couple weeks to a few months, to see if they are a good fit and if they will enjoy the village life or not. You might advertise a trial stay on your farm, or propose the concept to your town office.

Another thing I hope to try someday is set up an independent study program with a university. Students could come and do some kind of study or experience (自習)and get university credit for it. I'd also like to offer experimental fields for students to do their undergraduate thesis someday.

Permies is a great site for attracting people from abroad, once travel becomes less restricted of course.
 
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Amy's points are great.
I would add, as a professional translator-- a good translator researches usages and compares who is using what. I know personally I always take scientific or research uses more seriously than a commercial application, because the latter is much more likely to have applied spin or had some sort of corporate preference influence the choice of words (I've had companies avoid certain terms for the most bizarre of reasons).
So just because someone else uses another word, doesn`t mean your preferred usage is toast. The other thing is frequency- if you keep posting and using your usage on various platforms it becomes more common. Again, like Amy says using a bilingual combination may bring you more of the viewers you`re looking for.

If you are concerned about getting the proper number of hits on youtube, etc it might be useful to find out how their search algorithm works (i.e. is a partial match of a single kanji enough to bring up your channel?). In SEO terms it`s probably wise to add every variation to your site to get the most eyes, but again, I don`t think it means that your preferred term is bound for extinction.
 
Emilio García Barranco
Posts: 5
Location: Japan, Niigata, Joetsu
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Thank you Amy Arnett, I take your advise, I will try your recommendations. Yes, come to visit us. Write me to kuroiwapermaculturefarm@gmail.com

Amy Arnett wrote:Hi Emilio!

My husband is from Niigata. We will try to stop by your farm next time we are visiting his family.

Being the first to translate a word is tough. Most of the time I just write it in katakana and try to make it a borrowed word. I think patagonia's translation comes off as kind of industrial, like it's something that a bigger farming business would do. Your translation seems more accessible to anyone who might want to try.

Since it's still a new word, people will be searching the internet for what it means. If you haven't already, a short blog post or youtube video that's just explaining what both translations mean should help anyone using the new word to find you.

Anytime you can write "regenerative agricultureとは" it should put you higher in search results as that is the phrase most people would search for to find the Japanese explanation. Regenerative agriculture and permaculture are still not well known in Japan, as you mentioned, so you might get more interest by focusing on the individual components of your farm, like what you are growing or what animals you are keeping. You could try inviting people for 農業体験 nougyou taiken, farm experience, kind of like small workshops. A search turns up lots of sites to post experiences, even Jalan has them. Planting rice by hand is probably the most popular, but you can hold one for anything you do on your farm.

I'm finding that there are people who want to move to the country and live a permaculture life, even if they don't know the word permaculture, but it can be very hard to find a place that will accept new people in the neighborhood. "Trial stayトライアルステイ" is becoming popular. People can come live in a village on a trial basis, a couple weeks to a few months, to see if they are a good fit and if they will enjoy the village life or not. You might advertise a trial stay on your farm, or propose the concept to your town office.

Another thing I hope to try someday is set up an independent study program with a university. Students could come and do some kind of study or experience (自習)and get university credit for it. I'd also like to offer experimental fields for students to do their undergraduate thesis someday.

Permies is a great site for attracting people from abroad, once travel becomes less restricted of course.

 
I am not young enough to know everything. - Oscar Wilde This tiny ad thinks it knows more than Oscar:
Sepp Holzer's 3-in-1 Permaculture documentaries (Farming, Terraces, and Aquaculture) streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/141614/videos/Sepp-Holzer-Permaculture-documentaries-Farming
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