第80回 邦訳済みをあえて原書で読むのはいかが?

一行翻訳コンテスト2014.02.16

■オススメの一冊

『The Design of Everyday Things』
(Don Norman)

The Design of Everyday Things

では今月の1冊目。Don Normanの「The Design of Everyday Things」。こちらは紀伊国屋で面白そうなので買ってきたのですが、既に翻訳が出ていました。(ただし旧版に基づくものです。)日本人が英語がうまくならないという理由の一つは、母国語で高等教育が受けられることにあるのだと思います。この本は認知科学者が書いたデザインに関する本なんですね。要するに、僕たちは引いて開けるドアを押してしまったり、横開きのドアに正面から突っ込んだりすることがありますが、これは人間の操作ミスとかではなく、デザイン上の問題であり、マンマシンインタフェースとかヒューマンインタフェースの部分にこそ問題があるのだという指摘を行っています。今では当たり前のようにも思えますが、この本が書かれたのは’80年代なので、その意味で非常に先見性に満ちています。こんな感じ。

If I were placed in the cockpit of a modern jet airliner, my inability to perform well would neither surprise nor bother me. But why should I have trouble with doors and light switches, water faucets and stoves? “Doors?” I can hear the reader saying. “You have trouble opening doors?” Yes. I push doors that are meant to be pulled, pull doors that should be pushed, and walk into doors that neither pull nor push, but slide. Moreover, I see others having the same troubles – unnecessary troubles. My problems with doors have become so well known that confusing doors are often called “Norman doors.” Imagine becoming famous for doors that don’t work right. I’m pretty sure that’s not what my parents planned for me. (Put “Norman doors” into your favorite search engine – be sure to include the quote marks; it makes for fascinating reading.)

ちなみに翻訳は「誰のためのデザイン? 認知科学者のデザイン原論」(野島久雄訳、新曜社)です。

■オススメの一冊-2

『Give and Take』
(Adam Grant)

Give and Take

今月の2冊目はAdam Grantの「Give and Take」。こっちは1月に翻訳が出てしまった~。トホホ。でも紹介しちゃいます。この本は、今の競争社会においては貪欲でなければ生きていけないといった風潮に対して、別の選択肢を示すものです。著者はペンシルバニア大学の教授で、人間をgiver、taker、matcherという概念に分け、その特徴について検討していきます。日本には「損して得取れ」とか「情けは人のためならず」といった格言が存在していますが、今では新自由主義経済の思想のもとで、そういう考えは古いものと考えられるようになり、日本人の30%が福祉などに対して否定的という時代になってしまいました。でも本当は「人」という字はお互いが支え合うという意味から出来ているというように、自分が支えてこそ、人も支えてくれるんだと思います。この本に書かれているのはそういう意味の「Give and Take」なんですね。本文はこんな感じ。

Several decades ago, a man who started his life in poverty lived the American Dream. He came from humble beginnings, growing up in Missouri farm towns without indoor plumbing. To help support his family, the young man worked long hours on farms and paper routes. He put himself through college at the University of Missouri, graduated Phil Beta Kappa, and completed a master’s degree and then a doctorate in economics. He pursued a life of public service, enlisting in the Navy and then serving in several important roles in the U.S. government, earning the Navy Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal. From there, he built his own company, where he was chairman and CEO for fifteen years. By the time he stepped down, his company was worth $110 billion, with more than twenty thousand employees in forty countries around the world. For five consecutive years, Fortune named his company “America’s Most Innovative Company” and one of the twenty-five best places to work in the country. When asked about his success, he acknowledged the importance of “Respect…the golden rule…Absolute integrity…Everyone knows that I personally have a very strict code of personal conduct that I live by.” He set up a charitable family foundation, giving over $2.5 million to more than 250 organizations, and donated 1 percent of his company’s annual profits to charity. His giving attracted the attention of former president George W. Bush, who commended him as a “good guy” and a “generous person.”
Then he was indicted.
His name was Kenneth Lay, and he is best remembered as a primary villain in the Enron scandal.

おもしろそうでしょ。

■オススメの一冊-3

『The Silence of the Library』
(Miranda James)

The Silence of the Library

では今月の3冊目。Miranda Jamesの「The Silence of the Library」。ちなみに名前はミランダですが、著者は男性です(笑)。コジーものです。タイトルが「The Silence of the Lambs」のパロディーですね。これはシリーズの5作目に当たるようです。司書のチャーリー・ハリスとメイン・クーン種の飼い猫、ディーゼルが主人公。舞台はミズーリ州アテナで全米図書館週間に有名な児童向けミステリー作家が町を訪れることになったのですが……。スタイルはこんな感じ。

Lightning tore through the sky, and a brilliant flash of light struck the ground near the road. Sparks flew and a massive tree split and started to fall. The pert red roadster trembled as Veronica Thane urged it forward.
The huge oak threatened to land on her car, and only the girl’s swift reflexes saved her from sure annihilation. The car shot ahead as a section of the mighty tree struck the road behind it.
Veronica Thane’s hands tightened on the wheel as she peered through the sudden deluge of rain on her windscreen that rendered her all but blind. When another bolt of lightning briefly illuminated the dark sky, the intrepid girl caught a glimpse of a driveway ten feet ahead.

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