12 Unique And Fun Jobs Using Japanese — 46 Comments

  1. I’m not really a 野球 guy.
    But, it’s cool to know there are different jobs like this that require Japanese available. I’m interested in seeing more from this series.
    Apparently there aren’t many baseball fans on JALUP. Hopefully, we’ll find some jobs that can spark a little more conversation.

  2. What I love about translation is the freedom you can get just by having a job with translation. You can have the freedom of doing it within your own timetable, there are plenty of jobs out there and you can expand as well.

    The problem I’m having is breaking into the translation industry and getting work going. My problem is I don’t have much “Experience” with translation for Japanese to English as of yet. I do know Japanese (Have no problem reading, understanding and listening). Then again my speaking is lacking with my writing (so maybe I shouldn’t try going into translation at the moment). Then again, most people said all you really need is the ability to read/understand Japanese and have be good English writer (since that’s the skill that is being tested the most).

    P.S. some background info: been studying Japanese for close to 3 years now (it will be 3 years this fall). I’m taking JLPT Level 1 this winter and I’m working on getting my speaking/writing up on par with my reading/understanding skills by next year).

    • There are a few sites where you need absolutely no experience, or even having to take a test, to begin translating. Your work is rated by other translators and then if accepted by the asking party, you will get credit for it. Once you build up enough credit you can get paid. While these sites probably don’t pay as much as traditional translation services, it is a way to get experience while still actually getting paid for it, rather than just doing a personal project.
      I’m not sure if that is something you’d be in to right now, but I just thought I’d point out that there are other options than going straight to a translation agency if you weren’t aware of them.

      And while this job isn’t quite where I want to end up, it is quite interesting; something I would actually consider doing, perhaps. It is nice to see that there are jobs out there where the requirements basically come down to being awesome at Japanese and video games.

      • Thanks for the comment. I wouldn’t mind doing that actually. At the moment pay isn’t my concern, just building up experience and references is (I have 2 jobs, so money isn’t a problem). If you can link it or maybe send me a pm message, that would be really helpful.

        Thank you doushite!

      • Here are a couple, I’m sure there are more.  
        You’ll have to look for the small links that mention becoming a translator「翻訳者になる」(gengo) or translators click here 「翻訳者はこちら」(conyac).
        Btw, I totally don’t know how to send a PM.
        Good luck!

    • アメド, I was just curious about some of your stats as I’ve been considering looking at translation as well (not quite there yet) and I’m still kind of uncertain how my abilities compare to other people learning Japanese. When you say that you “have no problem reading, understand, and listening,” do you mean that you pretty much understand every word you come across in books and on TV and rarely need a dictionary? Thanks!

  3. ARGH!! Too bad my level of Japanese is neither high enough, nor do I think this position will last till I am good enough.

    Though, I don’t really care, since I do not see myself as working there. The pay isn’t high enough, and I’m rather ambitious.

  4. Nope. Too scared. I can’t swim and I have a phobia of water. But that looks like an easy job, but enjoyable. Using Japanese while sailing on a cruise ship for 6 months is amazing.

    • Yup, every job listed in this series is real. Unfortunately, this ad was from March, so I’m assuming they filled the position. You can try using the Craig’s List e-mail address. Maybe they are still looking for people?

  5. I have a question, is it possible to become a voice actor in Japan, if you are at native level. Acting is my passion and becoming a voice actor for anime (in Japanese, of course) is becoming much more intriguing for me. I’m not native level yet, but that doesn’t matter since I’m moving to Japan in 7-8 years, not now.

    • This sounds like a great question for “Hey, Answerman!” over on Anime News Network. The column has discussed breaking into US voice acting in the past, and the current author is very knowledgeable about the business on both sides of the Pacific. Good luck!

  6. I just submitted my entry after several nights of toil. I came to realise just how important having a patient editor is. I wish all other entrants good luck!

  7. Gaaawdh I wish my Japanese level had been higher!
    “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for them’ meddling kids! Next time…” – random Scooby reference..

    • I’m sure there will be future opportunities like this. I’ve seen a few open application contests like this in the past. So all that is left is to keep kicking ass at Japanese.

  8. I once managed a 700,000+ word translation about a games software and imagined it must have been more interesting for the translators than the usual drone (contracts, medical reports and financial papers) I usually get. But translation can be great since you can work where and when you want. I’ve been doing it for the past 20+ years and love the freedom of taking my job anywhere. The best way I found to enter this industry is by approaching as many translation agencies as possible: Easiest way to match up you areas of expertise with demand, rather than rely on a limited number of providers.

    • Thanks for providing some info about the industry as I know many people here are interested in breaking into it.

  9. The winners were announced a few days ago. The winning translations are available for anyone curious, along with some comments from the judges. Since there was no announcement here I assume none of the winners are jalupians?

    • Not that I know of. But I’m sure the readers that did enter from here worked really hard and hopefully it was a good experience.

  10. It’s always good to know more jobs available to Japanese learners (and natives!). It can get tiring when all people can think of and suggest is English teaching. For a job using Japanese this seems like a great opportunity as it looks as if you’d be speaking Japanese pretty much all the time. Thanks for posting alternative jobs using Japanese :)

    • Yeah, there is definitely a lot more out there. People just need to look, and they’d be surprised at some of the exciting opportunities that may be waiting!

  11. Another great job opportunity in (I admit) a slightly unexpected place. Thanks for sharing and showing the diversity out there.

  12. Ok, baseball interpreter sounds like an amazing job. I already love baseball and I would die of happiness if I could do that. A good few years away but I can dream, right?

    • Definitely dream and work towards making that dream a reality. This type of position will continue, and as long as you get your Japanese high enough, gain experience, and can show your baseball specialty knowledge, you have a shot in the future of getting a job like this.

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