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Can’t believe I’m ranked second for “Japanese finger names”…

I was about to shut down this blog when I saw that people continue to come here to learn Japanese… especially about the names of fingers in Japanese! Glad to be of some use to this world.

👉👉👉 So I thought I’d share that I actually have a new blog: Frances Thinks and that this particular post on how I learned to speak like a native Japanese may interest you 🙂 👈👈👈

☝️☝️☝️Go where the fingers point, my friend, go☝️☝️☝️

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1. 経済大国 economic power
2. 伸び率 growth rate (中国GDP伸び率は予想より加速、)
3. 一人当たり per capita (一人当たりのGDP)
4. 金融(きんゆう)financial (金融引き締め策 tight-money policy)
5. 価格(かかく)costs (不動産や食料品価格上昇)
6. 所得格差(しょとくかくさ)income divide
7. 輸出(ゆしゅつ)exports
8. 経済低迷(ていめい) stagnant economy
9. 少子高齢化(しょうしこうれいか)graying population (low birth rate + aging)

from this op-ed: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/shukan-st/english_news/editorial/editorial.htm

A while ago, I found this inspiring article on alc.co.jp about a so-called “A-class” interpreter, Shio Sato. I liked it so much I decided to translate it in my spare time– I hope others can benefit from this story as well.

Original Article: http://www.alc.co.jp/hontsu_t/interview_02.html

通訳の仕事は、そのスキルによってランク付けがされる厳しい世界。佐藤志緒さんは、経験年数10年以上、同時・逐次のどちらの通訳も専門用語を含めて対応できる“Aクラス”の通訳者だ。

Interpreting is a harsh field where one is ranked according to one’s skill. Shio Sato is an “A class” interpreter, with over ten years of experience, capable of using technical terms in both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting.

厳しい経営環境のなか、企業がコスト削減を図った結果、日常的な通訳業務は内製化し、最近は「難易度が高く、クオリティの高さが求められる仕事」のみをプロの通訳者に任せる、という傾向が強まっている。そんな状況で、佐藤さんが“引っ張りだこ”なのは、あらゆる分野の仕事をこなす「オールランドプレーヤー」だからにほかならない。

In the relentless management climate, businesses aiming to cut costs increasingly insource day-to-day interpreting jobs, relying on professional interpreters only for difficult jobs that call for high quality. Amidst such circumstances, the fact that Sato is in great demand can only mean that she is an “all-round player” who can handle work in any field.

いまは会議通訳者として多忙な日々を送る佐藤さんだが、通訳の勉強を始めたのは、結婚・出産後のこと。「子育てが落ち着いてきたので、何か新しい世界を持ちたい」と考えていたとき、友人に誘われ、サイマル・アカデミーに通い始めたのがきっかけだった。

Although Sato currently leads a hectic life as an interpreter, she began studying to become an interpreter after she married and had children. “Since my parenting duties have settled down, I want to experience a new world,” she thought, and at a friend’s invitation, she started attending Simul Academy, the beginning of her studies.

レベル別に分けられた同校の通訳者養成コースで学ぶべく、まずはレベルチェックを受けると、図らずも最もレベルの高い「同時通訳科」への入学が決まった。周囲は外務省の職員や、既に社内通訳者として活躍している人など優秀な人ばかりだった。

The academy’s interpreter-training courses are divided into levels, and it was decided upon her placement test that she should take the highest course in the Simultaneous Interpreting Department. Surrounding her were only the best and brightest—members of the Foreign Minister’s staff, interpreters already actively working in companies, among others.

「前職で通訳のまねごとをしていたといっても、基本を学んだ経験はなし。練習もなく、いきなり実戦の場に放り込まれた感じでした」

“Although I had interpreted as an amateur in my previous job, I had never learned the basics. I felt like I was suddenly thrown into the battle field, completely unprepared,” she recalls.

最初に衝撃を受けたのは、初回の自己紹介のときだ。

Her first shock came when she introduced herself for the first time.

「先生から『君の英語は幼稚だね』と言われたんです。自信があったわけではありませんが、自己紹介くらいできると思っていたので、とてもショックでした」

“ ‘Your English is childish,’ my teacher said to me. I was shocked, not because I was confident in my English, but because I thought that I could at least handle a self-introduction,” she recalls.

「通い始めて半年はやめることばかり考えていました」という。通訳の世界は想像以上に甘くない。自分には向いていないのではないか―。そんな佐藤さんの背中を、ご主人や、共に学ぶクラスメートが押してくれた。

“For the first half-a-year, all I thought of was dropping out,” she said. The world of interpreting was crueler than she had imagined, and she worried about whether the job suited her. It was her husband and her classmates who gave her the supportive push.

「主人が『せっかく入校したんだし、1年は頑張ってみたら』という言葉をかけてくれて。通訳者を真剣に目指している仲間の姿にも触発されました」

“My husband said, ‘You’ve finally matriculated. Why not try and tough it out for a year?’ His encouraging words and also the sight of my peers earnestly aspiring to become interpreters inspired me.”

「何年かかるかわからないけど、私も本気で通訳者を目指す」。そう決意してから、佐藤さんの生活は“英語漬け”となった。家事や育児の合間を活用し、今まで以上に英語に打ち込んだ結果、少しずつ通訳の醍醐味が味わえるようになっていったという。

After she resolved to seriously aspire to become an interpreter, unaware of how many years it would take, Sato’s life revolved around learning English. She immersed herself more than ever before, taking advantage of time spent doing chores and caring for her children. As a result, she gradually came to experience the joys of being an interpreter.

「ピタッと合った通訳ができたときの爽快感、同時通訳の緊迫感…。通訳を楽しめるようになっていきました」と振り返る。

“I felt the exhilaration of coming up with the perfect interpretation, the urgency of simultaneous interpreting… I came to enjoy interpreting,” she reflects.

その後、佐藤さんは1年間の受講期間を経て、卒業試験にも合格。サイマル・インターナショナルの専属通訳者となり、現在に至っている。

Hereafter, Sato continued attending lectures for one year and passed the graduation exam. She became a private interpreter for Simul International, a position she still holds.

現役の通訳者であると同時に、妻や母としての顔を持つ佐藤さん。仕事の前日の夜10時にバイク便で資料が届き、翌朝9時には現場で仕事、ということもしばしばだ。

While Sato is an active interpreter, she has, at the same time, the face of a loving wife and mother. Frequently, she receives materials at 10 o’clock the night before a job via bike mail, and interprets at the workplace the very next morning.

それでも佐藤さんは、今日も通訳の現場に立つ。

Yet, Sato is still an interpreter today.

「相手が何を求めているのかを考え、それを実現し、喜んでいただく。私にとって通訳ほどやりがいのある仕事はないと思っています」

“My clients are delighted when I help them achieve their goals. I believe there is no other job that is more fulfilling to me than interpreting.”■

The two things I took away from her career story:
1. She didn’t start studying to become an interpreter until after she married & had children–It’s never too late to start achieving new goals!
2. Her teacher told her that her English is “childish”! Even so, she persisted and became the professional interpreter she is today.–Don’t let one setback kill your dreams; persist and succeed.

Please enjoy the rough translation 🙂

 

from ep8 of Nodame Cantabile

可憐(かれん)poor; pitiful; cute; sweet; lovely

かかる to depend on
将来がかかってる my future is at stake

カピカピ crusty; flaky; dried out
like rice balls after they’ve been left for a while

タイムサービス limited-time sale

経験済み very experienced

晴らす(はらす)to dispel/clear away; to refresh oneself
迷いを晴らす to clear doubt

晴れ舞台(はれぶたい)gala occasion
息子の晴れ舞台 my son’s time to shine

1. 球技(きゅうぎ)ballgame (e.g. baseball, basketball, etc)
2. 近隣(きんりん)neighborhood

近隣の迷惑です。サッカー・キャッチボール等の球技はやめましょう。
Please stop playing ballgames like soccer and catch. They are a nuisance to the neighborhood.

3. よける to avoid (physical contact with)

傘で雪をよける to use an umbrella to cover from snow

4. 煙突(えんとつ)chimney

From episode 7 of Nodame Cantabile:

1. 取り込む(とりこむ)to be busy
2. 匿名(とくめい)anonymous
3. 差し入れ(さしいれ)refreshments to someone carrying out a task
4. ハリセン (paper fan used as) a slapstick
5. 図面(ずめん)diagram; blueprint
6. 没頭 immerse oneself
7. 健闘(けんとう)good luck!; good fight (健闘を祈る)

Means “Precisely because”. The clause following usually expresses regret or some other unhappy emotion.

need to know this for JLPT N2 grammar

田中選手が今シーズン活躍するのを楽しみに待っていただけに彼の怪我のニュースを見て驚いた。
As I was really looking forward to seeing Tanaka actively playing this season, I was surprised when I saw on the news that he got injured.