Continuing with my reading of Underground by Haruki Murakami and comparison with the translated version by Alfred Birnbaum.
The following passage:
The translation by Alfred Birnbaum is as follows
Japan Railways [JR] was the big thing to aim for in terms of jobs. So many guys wanted to be Shinkansen [bullet-train] drivers. JR turned me down when I graduated, but Seibu and Odakyu and Tokyu and other private lines were generally popular, although the catch was that you had to live in areas served by those lines to get the job. Yeah, pretty tough. I'd always wanted to work on the subway and the Subway Authority was pretty popular. The pay's no worse than anywhere else.
Isn't this translation a bit strange? I think it goes beyond the choice of words and trimming down to the point of mistranslation. My personal understanding of the passage is
As for place to work for, as expected, JR was popular. It was not the case for me, but there were quite a lot of people who want to be Shinkansen train drivers. However, when I graduated, JR was not looking to hire so generally, places like Seibu, Odakyu and Tokyu were popular. However, for those places, surprisingly, there was a rule that you have to live along the train lines to be able to enter the company. Also, if you don't have experience working part time there then it's no good. Yeah, quite tough.
From the start, I wanted to work for the metro. The Subway Authority too is quite popular, since the pay is not bad comparatively, and also there isn't anything like you entering the company intending to work on the train lines but end up being transferred to sales.
Since I am trying to learn Japanese by myself, I generally don't have anyone to turn to to make sure that I'm on the right track so I resort to comparing my reading with translation (asking questions on places like here takes quite a bit of time to set up so I only use it sparingly and as a last resort), but so far my experience with published and sold translation like this has been kind of bad. Is my understanding of the passage on track here? Again, thank you for any help.