2022 年 2022 巻 51 号 p. 57-75
This paper seeks to explore the perception of learning, including the factors which contributed to the spread of self-learning and collaborative learning in the Association of Russian Interpreters in Japan. The research is based on the oral history interviews of three pioneer Russian language interpreters who have taken part in the activity of the Association of Russian Interpreters since the 1980s.
The paper briefly outlines the background of pioneer Russian language interpreters in Post-World War II Japan. Tokunaga Harumi, who was one of the founders of the Association of Russian Interpreters in Japan, highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge and continuous learning, and his beliefs significantly influenced Russian language interpreters’ attitudes towards learning.
Next follows a description on how the three interviewed interpreters acquired necessary competence through interpreting and translation work, and it focuses attention on the fact that all of them emphasized the role of background knowledge. The paper highlights the importance of extralinguistic knowledge, including worldly knowledge and the country-specific knowledge suggesting the future possibilities of interpreter training within area studies.
By analyzing the narratives, this study also demonstrates how the socio-political situation, i.e., the ups and downs in demand for interpreters at that time, was one of the factors which led to the collaboration of the interpreters. Characteristics of interpreter demand, such as the need to work in different spheres, have influenced not only the contents of interpreters’ learning but also the style of learning. This in turn fostered the spread of collaborative learning in the community of practice which enabled the interpreters in this study to exchange their experiences.