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翻訳者

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RE: 翻訳者

Postby adam » Wed 09.20.2006 1:05 am

And therein lies the excitement!
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Mukade » Wed 09.20.2006 2:34 am

adam,

I read a statistic somewhere that most interpreters burn out after a few years. Apparently it's such a strain on your brain that you get emotionally worn out by your job.

But yeah, you can agonize over a difficult sentence, but eventually figure it out and put it into smooth English if it's written down.

But if someone says something that throws you for a loop and you need to interpret it right then and there - that's tough. Listen to the simultaneous interpretation of the Japanese news (usually at night - I'm not sure what time since I don't ever listen to it anymore) - those guys are stuttering, pausing and leaving stuff out all the time. It's not an easy job (not that translating microprocessor patent applications is anything to sneeze at...).

--------

Saiaku Akuma,

You mentioned that you were minoring in Economics. That would definitely be a skill that can garner you good paying work in the translation field. Go to a website like ProZ.com or TranslatorsCafe.com and look at the job offers for Japanese to English translations. The vast majority of them are going to be technical (as I mentioned before) or economic translations.

And I hear what you're saying about liking your work being more important that the pay - but at some point you have to pay the bills, y'know? You'd probably be best off translating economic/business-related material for the bulk of your income, and doing manga/anime on the side. Manga and anime aren't that difficult to translate, and there are a lot of people willing to do that kind of work - factors which will drive down the average per word rate.

Some in-house positions in translation companies will have a variety of work to do, though, so that might afford you the opportunity to experience different types of translation. You should start surfing the net for information on translation/translation theory/freelancing/etc. now, because it can be a difficult business to break into.

It took about three years of actively selling myself to different translation companies and the like before I started getting enough steady work that I could live off of translating. You may feel that you don't have the language ability as of yet, but that can't stop you from preparing ahead of time by finding out what the field is all about.

The two websites I mentioned above are good places to start to get info about translation in general. In addition, William Lise is an accomplished J-E translator who has posted some really helpful info on his website. It's a must-read for anyone interested in getting into this kind of work.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby AJBryant » Wed 09.20.2006 10:30 am

I will not do interpretation. Did it a couple of times. Never again.

We used to often get requests at the University for "translators" and upon hearing the requirements, would get really pissed that people wanted INTERPRETERS and not TRANSLATORS. It's really annoying that people don't know the difference -- especially when they are the ones who NEED the services of an interpreter.

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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Oyaji » Wed 09.20.2006 11:27 am

I will not do simultaneous interpreting, but I rather enjoy doing other kinds. It can be very challenging, but it can also be very rewarding.

The worst nightmare of an interpreter is when the speaker tries to use humor. I once attended a speech by an American business leader, and I felt so sorry for the interpreter.

This is how he started his speech:

Speaker: This watch was made in Japan.
通訳: この腕時計は日本製です。

S: The car I drive in America was made in Japan.
通: アメリカで乗っている車も日本製です。

S: The television we watch at home was made in Japan.
通: 自宅で見るテレビも日本製です。

S: And I was made in Japan.
通: ?え〜と、私も日本製です、というのは日本で生まれました。

S: Made happy in Japan.
通: (汗)あ〜〜、ではなくて、日本で幸せにされました。

One of the skills of interpreting is covering your mistakes, or the mistakes of your speaker's delivery.

One of the most interesting treatises on translating that I've ever read was written by Ralph Manheim, the translator of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", wherin he describes the difficult task of translating the ungrammatical, incoherent ramblings of a mad man in a way so that the translator himself won't be blamed.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 09.20.2006 11:46 am

AJBryant wrote:
I will not do interpretation. Did it a couple of times. Never again.

We used to often get requests at the University for "translators" and upon hearing the requirements, would get really pissed that people wanted INTERPRETERS and not TRANSLATORS. It's really annoying that people don't know the difference -- especially when they are the ones who NEED the services of an interpreter.

Tony


13 years in the army as a linguist and interpreting is what i did.. working with japanese was awesome, they would pause to let you keep up.. silly american soldiers would just plow through paragraphs at a time and then wonder why you aren't speaking anymore.. I had one Colonel get all bent out of shape when he had an inpromptu meeting in 1 hour and wanted me to translate 8 pages of military doctrine for tank maneuvers for a briefing.. I apologized and told him it would take me at least 16 hours to read his document and make the appropriate notes. He wasn't too happy with my answer so I referred him to my commanding officer who basically said.. "If the interpretor told you 16 hours, then it will be 16 hours.. and he is probably giving you the benefit of the doubt."

even after a brief review of the briefing, I found that there were many words and phrases I was not familiar with in English.. (Mainly armored troop movement and other code word phrases)

And lastly, if you do interpret, make sure they don't request simultaneous interpreting, it's just damn near impossible English/Japanese. It can be done, but you have better memorized the speakers document first.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Wed 09.20.2006 11:47 am

I hate the translations used on the train system here. The other day I was riding a train with a scrolling LED display showing information about the next stop. The English translation said:

"We will soon be making a brief stop at Yokohama Station."

And then the original Japanese came up:

"次は横浜です。"

Waiting for that long English sentence to scroll by just so I could see which stop was next made me feel very ansy. I've seen lots of other translations (caution signs, mostly) that are much much longer than they need to be and usually miss the point of the original message.

I remember one that said "Watch for sudden stops" :D
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Oyaji » Wed 09.20.2006 11:53 am

I believe it was in Kumamoto Castle where I saw a small sign on a low ceiling beam that said: "Watch ones head!"
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby AJBryant » Wed 09.20.2006 2:40 pm

Trains. Warning notices. Sigh.

How sad am I that one day I went looking for a website with Japanese train sounds?

God, I missed this Shinkansen chime and this Shinkansen chime.

I was surprised that there are several sites with train chimes and announcements. Gotta love Japan. :)


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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.20.2006 7:54 pm

My favorite was at 愛知万博 last year where they had a sign which read "Eaten Place" ... It was for the cafeteria. ;)
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Wed 09.20.2006 8:33 pm

Oyaji wrote:
I believe it was in Kumamoto Castle where I saw a small sign on a low ceiling beam that said: "Watch ones head!"


I guess that's not too far off-- we do say "Watch your head!"

We've kind of drifted away from "incorrect translations" to "Engrish" :D

What I meant to say (but forgot), is that the Japanese for "watch for sudden stops" said something like "Caution: In the case of an emergency, the train may stop quickly." I have a feeling they have native translators working for them -- so why are their translations pure crap? They're grammatically perfect, they just miss the points completely or are inefficient.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 09.21.2006 1:42 am

I have a feeling they have native translators working for them


Actually, according to an article I read recently, 90% of translators in Japan are Japanese, not native.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby KNH » Thu 09.21.2006 3:56 pm

Mukade wrote: And I hear what you're saying about liking your work being more important that the pay - but at some point you have to pay the bills, y'know?
Your point is well taken.

Mukade wrote: You'd probably be best off translating economic/business-related material for the bulk of your income, and doing manga/anime on the side. Manga and anime aren't that difficult to translate, and there are a lot of people willing to do that kind of work - factors which will drive down the average per word rate.
Yeah, I think I'm going to start focusing on that.

Mukade wrote: You may feel that you don't have the language ability as of yet, but that can't stop you from preparing ahead of time by finding out what the field is all about.
Yeah, it's definitely not there yet, as I'm going to take 3kyuu, but yeah, I'm definitely going to do the necessary reading on the topic.

Also, thanks for the sites. I've already read some seriously informing stuff.
Last edited by KNH on Thu 09.21.2006 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby paul_b » Thu 09.21.2006 4:28 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
Actually, according to an article I read recently, 90% of translators in Japan are Japanese, not native.

Yes, and Eleventy-four percent of them produce dubious Japanese->English translations.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby keatonatron » Fri 09.22.2006 12:13 am

I guess I had just assumed the train company was big enough to use the quality translators because their "brief stop" line is actually really good (just long), and they have recordings of native (sounding?) people saying the station names and making other announcements.
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RE: 翻訳者

Postby chikara » Fri 09.22.2006 12:19 am

Oyaji wrote:
I believe it was in Kumamoto Castle where I saw a small sign on a low ceiling beam that said: "Watch ones head!"

Which might not be correct "American" but is certainly correct English, even if a bit formal ;)
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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