Archives for category: Translation

A while ago, I found this inspiring article on 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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.


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


“ ‘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.


“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.


“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.”


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.


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


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.


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.


Yet, Sato is still an interpreter today.


“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 🙂



“Goodbye Happiness” reflects on love, life, and times gone by. In her self-directed, “U-tube” music video, Utada Hikaru makes references to her past songs (the headphones from 「Heart Station」, the bear from 「ぼくはくま」, etc), in a set designed to look like her bedroom.

The lyrics, combined with the music video, lend the song a unique personal flair that’s… what can I say, hard to resist?! Here’s her video (Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel an itch to start dancing along!)

Please enjoy the lyrics & comment ^__^

甘いお菓子 消えた跡には
雲一つないSummer Day
[Where the sweet snacks disappeared,*
there is a lonely looking boy.
A cloudless summer day.]

日に焼けた手足 白いワンピースが
[A girl’s limbs are sunburnt, and her white dress
will get dirty, but she doesn’t care.**
An unconscious paradise.]

[At the end of the dream, there were no do-overs.***
One day, I came to know your name.]

So Goodbye Loneliness
[So Goodbye Loneliness
Humming the song of love,
I am smiling in my reflection in your eyes]

So Goodbye Happiness
それでもいいの Love me
[So Goodbye Happiness
I can no longer relive the times
I frolicked naïvely
but I’m OK with that. Love me]

考えすぎたり ヤケ起こしちゃいけない
子供だましさ 浮き世なんざ
[Don’t worry too much or give in to despair.
This transient world is but child’s play.]

[When people become alone,
they realize the meaning of love.]

過ぎ去りし days
[Let me hear the sweet song
of days gone by.
Do you still remember the way we felt when we first met?]

So good bye innocence
君のせいだよKiss me
[So good bye innocence
I can no longer relive the times
I frolicked naïvely.
It’s your fault. Kiss me]

Oh 万物が廻り廻る
Oh oh oh darling darling
誰かに乗り換えたりしません Only you
[Oh Everything is circling back to the start
Oh oh oh darling darling
I won’t move on to someone else. Only you]

ありのままで 生きていけたらいいよね
[I’ll be fine living the way I am, right?
In important times, another me intrudes]****

So good bye happiness
あの頃へ戻りたいね Baby
そしてもう一度Kiss me
[So good bye happiness
I want to relive the times
I frolicked naïvely, Baby
And then once again, Kiss me.]
お構いなし being unmindful
口ずさむ sing to oneself/hum
ヤケを起こす to become desperate
子供だまし mere child’s play/childish trick
浮き世 fleeting life; this transient world; sad world
なんざ=なんぞ+は= など (colloquial)
乗り換える to move on to (e.g. a new love interest)

*跡 differs from 後 in that 跡 focuses on where an event happened, not when. (learned this from friend on Jref forums)
**ーよう indicates a guess (推量を表して)
***待ったなし means “there are no do-overs”; 待った is Japanese for “backsies” (taking back a move in a game); Basically, Utada reflects on how she cannot change/re-have the dream once it is over.
****もう一人の私 means “another person in me”. I’m assuming she means “If I don’t live true to myself, that other person in me will get in the way.”

同手同腳 is a nostalgic song originally written and sung by Landy Wen, but covered by Taiwanese singer-violinist, 林宜融 (Annie Lin), who won 5th place in the 2nd season of 超級星光大道 (Million Star), a singing competition like American Idol.

同手同腳 literally means “same hand same foot” and thus implies the concept of “unity”. As in a three-legged race, when one member of the team falls, so does the other; the team cannot move forward unless both members stand and walk in unison. Thus, I chose to translate it as “Hand in hand, step by step”. Please enjoy the translation!

Hand in Hand, Step by Step

還記得 小小年紀 鬆開我的手迷失的你
I still remember when you were a child, you let go of my hand and lost your way.
在人群裡 看見你一邊哭泣 手還握著冰淇淋
I found you amidst a crowd, crying, with ice cream still in your hand.

有時候 難過生氣 你總有辦法逗我開心
Whenever I was sad or angry, you could always make me happy.
依然清晰 回憶裡 那些曾經有笑有淚的光陰
Still crystal-clear in my memory are those times of laughter and tears.

我們的生命先後順序 在同個溫室裡
We were born one after another, into the same greenhouse,
也是存在在這個世界 唯一的唯一
and in this world, you are my one and only.

未來的每一步一腳印 踏著彼此夢想前進
With each future step and footprint, we head towards our dreams.
路上偶爾風吹雨淋 也要握緊你的手心
Even when storms rage during our journey, I will still grasp your hand.

未來的每一步一腳印 相知相惜相依為命
With each future step and footprint, we will cherish and rely upon each other for life.
別忘記之間的約定 我會永遠在你身邊陪著你
Don’t forget our promise. I will always be by your side.

(Repeat above lyrics)

未來的每一步一腳印 踏著彼此夢想前進
With each future step and footprint, we head towards our dreams.
路上偶爾風吹雨淋 也要握緊你的手心
Even when storms rage during our journey, I will still grasp your hand.

未來的每一步一腳印 相知相惜相依為命
With each future step and footprint, we will cherish and rely upon each other for life.
別忘記彼此的約定 我會永遠在你身邊陪著你
Don’t forget our promise. I will always be by your side.

現在我唱的這首歌曲 給我最親愛的弟弟
The song I now sing, I give to my most beloved younger brother.
在我未來生命之旅 要和你同手同腳的走下去
In the journey of my future, I will walk with you–hand in hand, step by step.

When I googled やさぐれる I got a lot of cat pictures for some reason...


To sulk/be peevish; to become desperate out of hopelessness

「やさぐれる」 is the verbalization of 「やさぐれ」which means “runaway child” and originally it simply meant “to run away from home.” However, in time, it became confused with 「ぐれる」which means “to stray from the right path” and thus took on its present meaning.

Reading about a private Christian school in Japan called Gyosei Academy- Random readings teach you a variety of vocabulary. Plus, it’s always fun to translate random things just for practice. Translating shows whether you really understand the text, after all. Furigana in [brackets].

Gyosei School was founded in the spirit of nurturing, through an education based on Christian principles, individuals who work hard for social welfare and aim for mature character.

Jesus Christ taught that leading a life of love for the Lord and others is the path to self-actualization*. Alphonse Heinrich, the founder of our academy, based our academy’s education on this teaching.

Students of Gyosei Academy learn while wishing to hear the voice of the Lord, to be guided by the light of truth, and to vigorously walk the path of self-actualization.

*This was a difficult sentence to translate so I got help from JREF friends. An explanation of “self-actualization” found here:

意味:being on the surface sharp and sarcastic (ツンツン) but underneath lovestruck and fawning (デレデレ)characteristic of a gap between acted out actions and feelings in mind (

This particular character trait started in Japan’s ギャルゲー (lit. “gal game”) and エロゲー (lit. “erotic game”). These male-oriented games feature beautiful heroines who would at first act aloof and cold-hearted, but as the game developed, become affectionate and loving. Then, several forums (like started discussions about the ツンデレpersonality, coining and popularizing the term rapidly. (This is basically a summary of zokugo’s “tundere” entry. Read the original here:

Read more:

GLORIA is YUI’s most successful single, selling over 81,000 copies. With this single, YUI became the 2nd singer-songwriter to top Oricon’s Weekly Single Chart four singles in a row (the other one is Utada Hikaru, by the way). (photo creds to

The lyrics are basically about a young person trying to achieve his dreams, but feeling regret about the past and anxiety about the future. YUI offers words of encouragement but does not sugercoat the bitterness and hard work that lead to success. I believe this is one of her most personal songs, as it can also be interpreted as a tribute to her years of backbreaking perseverance (fighting illness, learning to write songs, singing on the streets, being discovered, and finally making her way to fame).

Enjoy the translation^^

魅惑の扉 将来の展望だって

The gate of fascination
makes even my view of the future seem shaky.
In youth,
life changes?
Even though I want to fall in love,
I shrink back in cowardice.
My problems pile up like a mountain.

this feeling
all my love

This feeling
leads to the answer.
All my love
can’t be cast away.

手が届きそうな GLORIA

It’s not a dream.
The GLORIA that my hand seems to reach
occasionally slips out of sight.
I cry.
It’s all the same whether or not I search for a shortcut;
I’ll still get lost, right?


The voices of the successful
boast proud episodes.
But they’re none of my business.
Now, I’m
in a small room,
The future of my dreams…

bad feeling
all my love

I start to question, but*
I have a bad feeling.
I can’t imagine
all my love.


I’m not losing
There’s GLORIA in my shining future;
it should approach me.
I cry.
I won’t blame anyone anymore;
it’s all my fault.


If you can’t lose yourself in trying,
it’s all a lie.


wo- When the cherry blossoms bloom, surely
wo- I’ll be able to find my new self.


It shouldn’t be a dream.
I believe that it’ll all pay off.
but it’s actually frightening.

Get glory day

I cry.
Because I feel regret and vexation,
I’ll get glory day.


I’m not losing.
There’s GLORIA in my shining future;
it should approach me.
I Cry.
Even when I hug my knees
in the loneliness of sleepless nights,
Baby, I have no time to cry.

*The translation should actually be “I start to question the future of my dreams” but due to the way I split up the verses, I decided to make it “The future of my dreams, I start to question”