English to Japanese translation: SteelWatch’s “Sunsetting Coal in Steel Production”

2023 / 9 / 1 | Author: EcoNetworks

Report “Sunsetting Coal in Steel Production” © SteelWatch

SteelWatch is an NGO that seeks to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the steel sector. They engage steel manufacturers and governments with members based in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Japan.



Reevaluating steel production to stall the climate crisis

SteelWatch emphasizes that steel itself is not the issue, but that the problem lies with its current method of production.

To create iron, a form of coal called metallurgical coal is used as a raw material. This is different from thermal coal, which is used in power generation. The many issues with coal-fired power generation have already been pointed out, but problems with the steel industry’s production methods have not received much attention.

And yet, GHG emissions from the steel sector account for at least 7% of the global total emissions. The strategy that the steel industry has presented to cut GHG does not come close to achieving the scenario to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement. Greater action is needed in the sector.

Alternatives to coal for steel production are emerging, such as the expanded use of recycled steel and new technologies that substitute coal with green hydrogen.

SteelWatch released this report — the organization’s first — as a proposal to the steel industry and to the public. We at EcoNetworks had the privilege of translating it into Japanese.


Researching carefully to choose words that will reach the steel industry

For this request, the EcoNetworks translators team put particular consideration into translating technical terminology. This report is intended for individuals who work in the steel sector. If we do not use actual language from the industry in a natural way, the report will not compel those in it to act.

For this reason, we extensively studied the process of steel manufacturing and its related terminology. We also prepared a list to share within the team that, in addition to establishing consistent terminology, built up our team’s internal knowledge of the industry.

In order to fully understand the report for the most precise translation, we did not neglect the referenced material in the footnotes either. While time consuming, we reviewed the reference material and leveraged it in our translation.

The report “Sunsetting Coal in Steel Production” is available here.


Communicating the “what” to “whom” — translation that captures the intent of the report

The job of a translator is to grasp the purpose and message of the report — in terms of what it is trying to communicate and to whom — and render it in a way that the reader can receive it. Occasionally, we come across concepts that are still unknown in Japan for which there are no standard translations. Translating word for word in a superficial way may fail to get the message across. What is important is translating to convey the message of the report.

We hope to continue to use language to support the work of SteelWatch and other NGOs in driving society towards a more positive direction.

Feedback from client
Shiori Matsumoto
Asia Communications and Research Officer, SteelWatch

We created this report and asked EcoNetworks to translate it in hopes of informing a wider audience about decarbonization of the steel sector, an area that is still not very well known. We appreciate their careful work on this translation — especially their research into how the industry’s terminology is generally used in Japanese, which they have showcased in the final product. The accuracy of terminology in the report has a profound influence on the impression that experts and other readers have of SteelWatch. We would absolutely work with EcoNetworks again.