Archives for posts with tag: japanese 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.”