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翻訳者

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翻訳者

Postby KNH » Wed 09.06.2006 9:18 pm

Yeah, I know this question gets thrown around a lot, so I hope no one beats me with a stick or something, lol, but seriously, I’m not asking anyone to tell me what to do or anything. I just want to hear some opinions on the matter.

Ok, after this fall semester is over, I will have three semesters left until I graduate (assuming all goes well). I’ve been in college long enough to know that time surly flies, so it’s definitely best to plan ahead.

After I’m done with college, I want to apply for JET, or a similar program, that allows me to get to Japan.

I’m one of the guilty people who’s using JET to get to Japan, certainly; however, it’s not something I’d take lightly; I’d definitely give it my all.

I would hope to do that for two or three years. After that, what is it I wish to do? Well, I wish to translate manga, anime, games, etc.

Now, my reasoning for posting this is to just find out from whoever wishes to reply, am I perhaps wasting my time, or is that a really competitive field? Or maybe I should look elsewhere?

Any response will greatly be appreciated~
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Thu 09.07.2006 2:45 am

First of all, you can only do JET for one year. Second of all, you have to apply pretty soon (BEFORE you graduate).

If you wanted to translate manga and games, I have a feeling you would be better off working in your home country. I assume they export the products as-is, then do the translations in the destination country.

Translating is usually a good job because there is always a large need for it, but... It can be very gruelling and not really satisfying. (Games or artistic things might be fun, but see point #1). Also, you have to be REALLY good at Japanese to be able to translate, and I'm not sure if you'd be able to gain the skills you need just by being a JET (you'd have to go to a full-time Language school for a year or more).

I think your hopes and goals are fine, but you need to make a more specific plan of what you want to do. "I want to translate" is an okay goal, but how will you get from where you are now to the point where you have enough knowledge to actually do it?
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby natemb » Thu 09.07.2006 3:37 am

Where I live (Kyoto), you can be a JET for up to 3 years. I was under the impression that this was true for all of Japan; someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

But like keatonatron said, it's very unusual to master Japanese just by doing the JET program. I know many third year JETs with very poor Japanese, and I personally have been in Japan for a year and a half doing the same job (ALT - Assistant Language Teacher in public schools), and I'm now between 2kyuu and 3kyuu level in Japanese proficiency, which is very far from being able to translate (although I hope to be at 2kyuu level when I take the test in December!).

That said, I believe that if you come to Japan with a decent Japanese level and live in a rural area, where you will be almost totally immersed in Japanese and make an effort to study and not hang out with other foreigners, it is certainly possible to pass 1kyuu after 3 years, at which point I think you could start getting some translating work.

Again, though, this would take a combination of language immersion and very diligent studying, and most ALTs I have met (including myself) have other priorities that prevent them from acheiving that (i.e. socializing, home responsibilities, etc).

However, if you are serious about this goal, I definitely recommend persuing it. If you come to Japan with an open mind and ready to learn, you will almost certainly gain much from the experience, regardless of whether you stay on track to translate or end up choosing a new path.
Last edited by natemb on Thu 09.07.2006 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Thu 09.07.2006 5:09 am

My mistake. You can do the program for three years! (You sign a one year contract, then you can renew).
Last edited by keatonatron on Thu 09.07.2006 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby paul_b » Thu 09.07.2006 5:18 am

If you want to perfect Japanese through JET dont do the ALT (language teaching) scheme - learn Japanese first well enough to do the 'cultural assistant' scheme (I forget the name).
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Ezrach » Thu 09.07.2006 9:19 am

CIR, is what you are referring to Paul, which stands for "Coordinator for International Relations". It is a really competetive position, and you'd be better off if you had some background in government based education.

From the official site:
"CIR (Coordinator for International Relations):Those engaged in international activities. These participants are placed in offices of local governments or related organisations such as international associations, universities, convention bureaus and so on.

The duties of the CIR are carried out under the guidance of the division management in local government offices in prefectures, cities, towns and villages.

The following is a brief outline of CIR duties. However, they may vary greatly in emphasis and content from one Contracting Organisation to another. They may include all or just one of the following duties:

a) Assistance with projects related to international activities carried out by local governments. Such activities may include: translating, editing and proof-reading pamphlets in a foreign language; assisting with planning, designing and implementing international exchange programmes; assisting with official guests from abroad and interpreting at events for overseas visitors or for local foreign community residents.

b) Assistance with language instruction of government employees and local residents (*1).

c) Assistance with planning and participation in activities of local private groups or organisations engaging in international exchange.

d) Assistance with or creation of exchange activities related to local residents' cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

e) Other duties as specified by the Contracting Organisation.

*1 Language instruction of local residents refers to foreign language lessons and foreign culture classes for children and/or adults"
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Oyaji » Thu 09.07.2006 10:45 am

I was a CIR for three years many moons ago, and it really is a mixed bag. Some CIRs sit at a desk all day translating, while others get out in the community and participate in a lot of activities. Some are assigned to small rural towns basically as Japanese speaking ALTs, because the local authorities don't want to deal with the problems of having a foreigner in town that can't take care of his/herself.

I was fortunate to get a good posting with a good balance of translating, interpreting and working with community groups, and it did indeed lead to my current career.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby KNH » Thu 09.07.2006 10:46 am

Ah, I see. This is some good information!!!!

As for the CIR, I'll definitely look into that.

Yeah, I’m pretty serious about the whole translating thing. It’s what has kept me motivated for the past 3 or 4 years that I’ve been studying Japanese.

I know I could say “Oh, when I go to Japan, I’ll study like a mad man,” but that might not necessarily be true. As you have said, natemb, things could prevent me from doing that.

Perhaps I’m fearful to seriously view other options, as that would possibly suggest I’ve been studying Japanese under false pretenses.

Also, I forgot to mention that my minor is Economics. Perhaps I should also be considering doing something with that as well.
Last edited by KNH on Thu 09.07.2006 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Thu 09.07.2006 7:41 pm

Saiaku_Akuma wrote:
Perhaps I’m fearful to seriously view other options, as that would possibly suggest I’ve been studying Japanese under false pretenses.


Translating isn't the only job that requires Japanese you know.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby KNH » Sat 09.09.2006 2:37 pm

Yeah, you're right, keat-san. My eyes are open to a lot more possibilities. Thanks!
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby chchan45 » Sun 09.10.2006 7:46 pm

Note that for CIRs, your Japanese must be at least JLPT L2 standard when you apply. The interview will be conducted in Japanese and you will be working in a Japanese environment.

From anecdotes, positions for CIRs are more competitive than ALTs. If you do not have language skills close to JLPT L1 standard you might as well not bother. However, if your native language is not English (like me), this is the only route you can get on the JET scheme.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Mukade » Tue 09.19.2006 10:50 pm

I've recently started breaking into the translation field myself. It can be very competative, especially for freelancers (who can work from anywhere in the world). Translating games and manga can be lucrative if you can hook up with the right company. I just applied for an in-house position with a company here in Osaka, in fact, that does manga and anime translations (amongst many other things).

If you want to make good money, the most lucrative translation fields are technical. The translation of medical, engineering and computer technology patents from Japanese to English are amongst the highest paying in the world, in fact.

To this end, you would be better off majoring in a technical field and minoring in Japanese.

If you are happy with less money doing manga and the like, however, then I would look at some translation programs, in addition to studying Japanese. Also, get copies of manga in Japanese and English, translate the original into English, and check your results against the professional translation.

And do that over and over and over and over again. Nothing helps build translation skills like doing it.

And good luck!
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby KNH » Tue 09.19.2006 11:13 pm

Ah, congratulations, Mukade-san.

Yeah, I'm still looking at being a freelancer as well. But I would prefer to do anime and manga for a company, though. Also, money isn't a problem for me. I would be doing it 'cause I would supposedly love what I do. I find that to be more important, anyway.

Yeah, the changing major thing sooo wouldn’t work out, as I’m a junior – about to be a senior, and I despise school very much, so I wish to finish as soon as possible.

But thanks a lot for your informative input. It’s much appreciated.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby adam » Tue 09.19.2006 11:37 pm

Is there any reason why everyone always mentions "I want to be a translator" but never mentions anything regarding interpreting. Interpreting seems like a much more interesting field, pays more, has more socialization, more variety, and increases your contacts. Any thoughts on that?
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.20.2006 12:49 am

Is there any reason why everyone always mentions "I want to be a translator" but never mentions anything regarding interpreting. Interpreting seems like a much more interesting field, pays more, has more socialization, more variety, and increases your contacts. Any thoughts on that?


Because whereas almost anyone with linguistic proficiency can do translation, interpretation (especially simulataneous) is hard as nails. It's not even enough to be fluent in the language, you have to have a very special set of skills to be able to do interpretation.

I've had to do *VERY* light business interpretations for my work (product descriptions, demonstrations, all in my field which makes it easier) but I can't imagine doing any important interpretation. One of my friends is a freelance interpreter, and she says that it takes about 2 weeks of study to get ready for a single meeting. Mainly because you have to learn all the 専門用語 for the meeting -- there's no time to look anything up, or to wonder about a translation.
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