Many people who are passionate about Japanese dream about making that Japanese a major part of their lives. To do that, the most obvious solution is to use Japanese in whatever career or job you pursue. And when fluent Japanese comes to mind, 2 careers stand at the forefront: translation and interpreting. Even if you had never thought about these careers before studying Japanese, everyone thinks about it at some point. You spent months and years mastering Japanese for free. What if now you could get paid for it?
I’ve held back on articles discussing translation for a long time.
First, I didn’t want to give advice before I really got to know the field. And second, there is enough information to start a second blog on the subject, so the thought of writing a “becoming a translator” post just seemed so daunting that I’ve pushed it off until now.
However, I finally think I’ve solved both issues.
- I have slowly gained significantly “more” experience over the years
- I’m going to discuss translation in a long series of articles, in no particular order, and in a way I find enjoyable.
Mainly what I want to accomplish with this series is a set of easily accessible articles about Japanese translation that provide a fresh and fun perspective. I’m hoping to be able to make a lot of this relevant to use of Japanese in general, even if you have no desire to become a translator.
My qualifications to talk about this?
I’m not some super long veteran pro who has been doing this his whole life, and I have no deep ties to the industry. But I think this gives me a completely different angle on things. I want to make translation feel as close as possible to you and within reach. Not some “you need experience to gain experience” irritating cycle of not getting a job you want.
I was an amateur/volunteer free translator for a few years when I lived in Japan. After returning to the U.S., and finishing up some additional schooling (unrelated to translation), I have done about five years of professional freelance translating, mostly in the “non-exciting” sector (finance, law, manufacturing, etc). As many of you know (or don’t?), I still do it now. It’s one of the professional things I do (among others) that I split my time between Jalup with. As this site increasingly takes up more time, I do less translation (which is completely fine by me).
I have many mixed feelings, opinions and ideas about the field so this won’t necessarily be a super “go be a translator!” series, but I will try to make it as valuable as possible.
Translating in the cards for you?
Enough of my not-so-super intro. I will get into more thrilling details next time. But to start this off, I want to hear from all of you. Do you or have you ever had any interest in becoming a Japanese translator?