Archives for category: Translation

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 🙂

 

“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
寂しそうな男の子
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
汚れようがお構いなし
無意識の楽園
[A girl’s limbs are sunburnt, and her white dress
will get dirty, but she doesn’t care.**
An unconscious paradise.]

夢の終わりに待ったは無し
ある日君の名を知った
[At the end of the dream, there were no do-overs.***
One day, I came to know your name.]

So Goodbye Loneliness
恋の歌口ずさんで
あなたの瞳に映る私は笑っているわ
[So Goodbye Loneliness
Humming the song of love,
I am smiling in my reflection in your eyes]

So Goodbye Happiness
何も知らずにはしゃいでた
あの頃へはもう戻れないね
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.]

人は一人になった時に
愛の意味に気付くんだ
[When people become alone,
they realize the meaning of love.]

過ぎ去りし days
優しい歌を聴かせて
出会った頃の気持ちを今でも覚えてますか
[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
何も知らずにはしゃいでた
あの頃へはもう戻れないね
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
大事な時もう一人の私が邪魔をするの
[I’ll be fine living the way I am, right?
In important times, another me intrudes]****

So good bye happiness
何も知らずにはしゃいでた
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.]
——————————–
Vocab:
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)

Notes:
*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!

同手同腳
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.

 

http://static.clubt.jp/image/product/S0000035092/6761758.jpg

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

 

意味:すねること、自暴自棄になること。
To sulk/be peevish; to become desperate out of hopelessness

やさぐれるとは家出や家出人を意味する『やさぐれ』に俗語によくある名詞を動詞化する接尾語『る』をつけたもので、当初は家出することを意味した。しかし、やさぐれるは『やさぐれ』と同じく『はまぐれ』から派生した『ぐれる』と取り違えられるようになり、「すねる」「自暴自棄になる」といった意味になった。
「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.

http://zokugo-dict.com/36ya/yasagureru.htm

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].

暁星学園の建学[けんがく]の精神は、キリスト教の理念に基づく教育により、人格[じんかく]の完成をめざすと共に社会の福祉[ふくし]努める[つとめる]人物を育成[いくせい]することにあります。
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.

イエス・キリストは神と人を愛する生き方が人間に相応しい[ふさわしい]自己実現[じこじつげん]の道であると教えました。本学園の創立者アルフォンス・ヘンリック神父[しんぷ]は、このイエス・キリストの教えを学園教育の土台[どだい]としました。
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.

暁星学園に学ぶ生徒たちが、神の声を聞き、真理の光に導かれて、自己実現の道を力強く[ちからづよ]歩むことを願いつつ、教育を行っています。
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.

http://www.gyosei-h.ed.jp/mes.html

*This was a difficult sentence to translate so I got help from JREF friends. An explanation of “self-actualization” found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_actualization

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 (jisho.org)

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 http://www.2ch.net) 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: http://zokugo-dict.com/18tu/tundere.htm.)

Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsundere

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 nippon-media.net)

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
揺らぎそうになる
青春時代で
人生が変わる?
恋したいのに
臆病になる
問題山積みなんだ

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.

答えを導くためには
this feeling
切り捨てられない
all my love

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

ユメじゃないやいやいやいやい
手が届きそうな GLORIA
たまに見えなくなって
Cryやいやいやいやい
近道を探しても同じね
また迷ってしまうでしょ?

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?

成功者の声高々に
語るエピソード
他人事みたい
今のアタシ
小さな部屋で
考えている
空想の未来に…

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

問いかけてみるけれど
bad feeling
イメージ出来ないのが
all my love

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

負けてないやいやいやいやい
輝く先にGLORIA
近づいてるはずさ
Cryやいやいやいやいやい
もう誰のせいにもしないよ
全部抱きしめてゆく

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.

夢中になれなきゃウソね

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

wo~サクラが咲く頃にきっと
wo~新しい自分に出会えるの

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

ユメじゃないはずよ
報われると信じてる
本当は怖いけど

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

Cryやいやいやいやい
くやしいキモチがあるから
Get glory day

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

負けてないやいやいやいやい
輝く先にGLORIA
近づいてるはずさ
Cryやいやいやいやい
眠れない夜にひとり
膝を抱え込んでも
Baby泣いてる時間はない

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”