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Foreign Translator Career

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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby gfunk » Sun 02.10.2008 4:49 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:

At OSU this is possible. We have a summer program called SPEAC which covers a full year of class in 9 weeks.

Wow that sounds intense, yet really useful. Over here the "largest" japanese summer program you can take gives you 13 credits. Which isn't bad but not enough. I'm still in pain from when I had to take physics, chemistry and japanese 101. I could really have used that speac thing :(
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby saraLynne » Sun 02.10.2008 9:22 pm

Salza600 wrote:
Thanks everyone for your great replies! I've pretty much learned now that I can't just get a degree in Japanese and hope to live there. I need to add another one with it. Now that's the part that is gunna be kinda hard. I really love learning languages more than math or science or any of those other subjects. Are there any degrees that would help me get a job where I would pretty much just be speaking different languages all day ? :D

For example (don't attack me on this) : Hypothetically if I could read in write in, lets just say, Hindi, Korean, and Japanese. What could I do then? Are there certain countries that Japan associates with alot, whose language they need to know to do trading (or something else) ?


This is just a guess on my part, but I think that being fluent in many languages best qualifies you for work in your home country, because that's where you'd have the most opportunity to translate them all into your native language. In other words, I believe in Japan, they would want Hindi and Korean translated into Japanese, not English, so they'd prefer a native Japanese speaker over an English speaker.

Not to say that it can't happen... I'd really start out close to home anyway to gain experience in translating. Maybe some folks who have actually done it as a profession can step in at some point and share how they got started. :)
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Salza600 » Mon 02.11.2008 12:15 am

Yeah, but I don't really want an office job translating document after document. I want to speak with other people. Like some sort of corperation that would call whenever they were having some sort of meeting with a foreign company. I could help them understand each other when they each speak. Anything like that out there?
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 02.11.2008 1:09 am

Now you're talking about being an interpreter, not a translator. Yes, there are career opportunities for interpreters. I hope SaraLynne will forgive me if I don't sit right down and spend the next six hours thoroughly researching this, writing your resume, and arranging job interviews for you.
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Salza600 » Mon 02.11.2008 1:17 am

Oh sorry, I didn't really know the difference between the two. Thank you for clearing that up for me :)
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby AJBryant » Mon 02.11.2008 1:34 am

Interpretation is a HELLA difficult job. I hate it. I've done it once or twice, and will NEVER do it again if I can help it -- and NEVER take a job in interpreting.

There is no time to think about framing sentences, selecting the proper word, etc. You have to do it on the fly. It requires a level of fluency and comfort with both languages that I don't even want to think about.


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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby OitaFish » Mon 02.11.2008 2:18 am

Salza600 wrote:
Yeah, but I don't really want an office job translating document after document. I want to speak with other people. Like some sort of corperation that would call whenever they were having some sort of meeting with a foreign company. I could help them understand each other when they each speak. Anything like that out there?


If you go to a site like this one, You can search for jobs in Japan based on your language levels (Japanese and English). If you read through the job postings and you can see what kind of stuff is available, what the job descriptions are, and what the requirements are.

Have you thought about sales or marketing? In the company I work for, our major customers are in the US, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany, and the Philippines (as well as Japan). All of those customers except the Japanese ones use English for business. Therefore, our sales and marketing teams must be fluent in English.

Those guys travel a lot, entertain customers, and use their Japanese and English skills to facilitate more technical meetings with other parts of the company (engineering, production, etc.). There are many companies in Japan that do business on a worldwide scale and at least in my field (semiconductors), English is the international language used.

You would probably have to shoot for something like an MBA along with fluency in Japanese to get a good marketing job. You also need to have the right people skills too.
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Cratz » Mon 02.11.2008 8:35 am

As AJBryant said, the job of interpreter can be very demanding. You have to have a very high degree of fluency. And if you are doing simultaneous interpretation, the emotional toll his very high. I read somewhere once that the majority of simultaneous interpreters quit the field after about 3 to 4 years because of the difficulty.

There is another type of interpreting, however, called consecutive interpretation. In this case, you would sit and listen to a speaker give their whole spiel, taking notes as they talk. When they are finished, you then turn and relate the dialogue to the listener in the target language.

I haven't done enough interpretation to say which of these is more common or pays more. But either one would, again, require serious fluency to pull off well.
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Salza600 » Mon 02.11.2008 5:06 pm

But see, that's the thing. I love to learn and speak foreign languages. If I have such a passion for it then I can get good at it. If it's so hard it also must pay excellent. Well good enough for just me to live comfortably at least.

Thank you OitaFish I will also look into the sales and marketing atergorie of things :D
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby gfunk » Mon 02.11.2008 5:43 pm

Salza600 wrote:
If it's so hard it also must pay excellent.

Not really... I mean it doesn't pay bad but don't think you'll be living in a mansion. If everything worked that way, miners would control the world.
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Salza600 » Mon 02.11.2008 6:24 pm

gfunk wrote:
Salza600 wrote:
If it's so hard it also must pay excellent.

Not really... I mean it doesn't pay bad but don't think you'll be living in a mansion. If everything worked that way, miners would control the world.


I know I was being sarcastic :p
If I can afford my own aprtement in the city ill be fine
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby gfunk » Mon 02.11.2008 6:52 pm

Salza600 wrote:
gfunk wrote:
Salza600 wrote:
If it's so hard it also must pay excellent.

Not really... I mean it doesn't pay bad but don't think you'll be living in a mansion. If everything worked that way, miners would control the world.


I know I was being sarcastic :p
If I can afford my own aprtement in the city ill be fine

Haha sorry... detecting sarcasm is not my strong point.
If you like what you're doing and make enough to get along, that's all that matters.
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby Salza600 » Mon 02.11.2008 10:42 pm

:D
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby OitaFish » Sat 02.16.2008 1:33 am

Salza600 -- I came across these sites reading a different forum. They may be of interest to you.

http://jat.org/past/working-with-translators/
http://www.swet.jp/
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RE: Foreign Translator Career

Postby two_heads_talking » Sat 02.16.2008 10:03 am

Cratz wrote:
As AJBryant said, the job of interpreter can be very demanding. You have to have a very high degree of fluency. And if you are doing simultaneous interpretation, the emotional toll his very high. I read somewhere once that the majority of simultaneous interpreters quit the field after about 3 to 4 years because of the difficulty.

There is another type of interpreting, however, called consecutive interpretation. In this case, you would sit and listen to a speaker give their whole spiel, taking notes as they talk. When they are finished, you then turn and relate the dialogue to the listener in the target language.

I haven't done enough interpretation to say which of these is more common or pays more. But either one would, again, require serious fluency to pull off well.


From my own experience as a Japanese Linguist in the Army. Simul/Japanese interpreting is just not worth it. the language is set up in such a way that unless you have a full transcript before hand, you are 2-3 sentences behind and at that point, you are lost.

It is far more common to "trade" sentences or paragraphs with the speaker. It is even better to get a full document up front and research any new words you might not be familiar with. And once again interpreting into your native tongue is much easier than interpreting into your second language.

I can go on with more specifics about interpreting, as there are many do's and don't's involved, but needless to say, it is tedious, and in the military the compensation wasn't worth the effort. I received more enjoyment from the challenge than I ever did from what my paygrade ever gave me.
Last edited by two_heads_talking on Sat 02.16.2008 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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