Mike Karpa


Mike has translated books, novellas, and short stories from Japanese and Chinese, and, once, an Anna Akhmatova poem from Russian.

He has translated as an inhouse agency translator/editor and freelancer for over thirty years. As a specialist in technical (especially semiconductor), financial and legal translation, he has trained in both sciences and economics, including courses in semiconductor fabrication, digital circuit design, semiconductor device physics and photolithography at UC Berkeley Extension and Semicon West and coursework in Japanese political economy, economics, programming and financial accounting at Stanford University, where he completed an A.M. degree in International Policy Studies with an emphasis on China.

He has presented a talk on translating in a natural English style at International Japanese/English Translation (IJET) Conference 16, Chicago IL, and another on issues for translators in semiconductor fabrication at IJET 10, Austin TX, and served as program coordinator and member of organizing committee for IJET 12 in Monterey CA in 2001. In in March 2014, he presented a webinar for the Northern California Translators Association (NCTA), entitled Translation Techniques for Crafting Natural English from Japanese. He served on the NCTA board from 2013 to 2015.

He was Visiting Professor of Japanese Translation in 2003-2004 at what was then the Monterey Institute of International Studies Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation (and is now a campus of Middlebury College), where he taught classes on legal, technical and business translation.

In 2017, he served as a staff translator for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice working in a criminal investigation.


Read about the Internet changing both translation and the human brain in my article Translating in the Deep End from the ATA Chronicle.

Read more about how the bilingual brain performs translation in my article Slave to the Word from the SWET Newsletter.