whenwhywhere (whenwhywhere) wrote in little_details,

"Whetter" or "Cutler"?

Hi guys, I'm wondering if you can help me.

I recently read a Japanese short story. The protagonist's profession is a "cutler" (刃物屋 / hamono-ya). He sells a bunch of cutlery, sharpens them, washes knives, etc. There's a translation up, and the translator translated his profession as "whetter".

In the end the translator asked if it was accurate to use "whetter" instead of "cutter" (he's not a native English speaker) I decided to do some googling, and it's really not helping. Technically both "cutler" and "whetter", "should" be the same thing but I'm not exactly sure.

To put it simply: Is someone whose profession is to sell, wash, and sharpen cutlery a "cutler", or a "whetter"?

Thanks. :)

Edit: Thank for all the help. I asked another translator and he explained that basically "cutler" translates to 刃物師, and whetter means someone who whets in particular; 研師.
If this person is specialized in whetting, he should be called 研師. But if he does all the process of making 刃物, then he's a cutler.

I've never seen these words used before, so I guess that's what really hit me.
Tags: ~languages: english (misc), ~languages: japanese
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