The purpose of this research is to explore professional interpreters’ perceptions of their career development. Interpreters offer crucial services and perform work that is essential in present-day situations of increasing globalization. Interpretation is recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as a professional occupation that requires extensive knowledge and advanced skills. However, the work of interpreters is neither sufficiently understood nor regarded with high social recognition. To explore ways in which interpreters can fulfill their mission of social contribution and simultaneously attain personal career-related objectives, we conducted a survey of professional Japanese interpreters in 2017. Potential directions that could be beneficial for interpreters wishing to further advance their careers, as well as for prospective interpreters, were investigated in this study through a qualitative analysis of the feelings and thoughts expressed by the interpreters about their work in the abovementioned survey.
One of the growing concerns in police interpreting is the use of “bilingual” law-enforcement officers as interpreters for interviews. While such countries as the U.K. and Australia refrain from this practice, their use is increasing in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and Japan. Despite the often claimed advantages of this practice, such as response to urgency, confidentiality, technical knowledge, interrogation efficiency, and costs, the fundamental issues continue to be their qualifications and translation accuracy. This paper looked into these issues, using the data originally collected for the “hearsay” issue research of police interpreters (a total of 228 federal and state cases from 1850 to 2018, by 242 interpreters, 70 of whom officer interpreters). The result shows that for all the gravity of their interpretation tasks, most of them were barely qualified for the job from a technical standpoint, with no formal training or sufficient experience, not to speak of certifications. Also, potentially serious translation issues were identified, with a significant difference between their performance and that of non-officer interpreters, though many of the non-officer interpreters were also untrained, ad-hoc bilinguals.
This is a case study to elucidate how translation contributed to the process of framing the concept of 国民 “kokumin” （“nation”） in the mid-Meiji era（1868–1912）. We conducted a contrastive analysis of Kuga Katsunan’s translated work Shuken genron（Study of sovereignty, 1885） and its original French text Étude sur la souveraineté by Joseph de Maistre. The study demonstrates that Kuga used the word 国民 “kokumin” in place of “nation” to portray an image specific to Japanese society in that era, which was transitioning from feudal domination to a modern nation-state. We contextualized the result of the analysis in the social and cultural framework of the era, and found that the concept of 国民 “kokumin” embodied by Kuga had been deeply related to sociocultural and political factors including the idea of family registration, monarchism, and a national language, which were established during the process of Japan’s modernization.
In this study, the high-proficiency Japanese learners with an average length of four years in Japan were selected as the experimental subjects. The Japanese sentences containing isomorphic synonyms or homographs were used as the experimental materials. Meanwhile, repetition task in Japanese and Japanese-Chinese oral translation task were used. The study explored the process of Japanese-Chinese oral translation by comparing the reading time of isomorphic synonyms and homographs. The experimental results showed that there is no significant difference in the reading time between isomorphic synonyms and homographs regardless of the different types of the tasks. In addition, there is no significant difference in the reading time between post-reading repetition and post-reading oral translation. Therefore, it can be indicated that the high-proficiency Japanese learners do not code-switch with Chinese when reading Japanese for oral translation. In other words, the results of this experiment support the vertical approach of Japanese-Chinese oral translation.
This is to explore a complex process of sight translation between English and Japanese based on the empirical data. First, the paper reviews the literature of sight translation, in general, and its process research, in particular, in translation studies, and then explains the pilot experiment designed to collect and analyze audiovisual records of students’ sight translation performance. Our findings have revealed that some linear and progressive sight translation strategies are distinctively taken, possibly and perhaps, to overcome syntactic difficulties between English and Japanese, which implies the significance of sight translation for a pedagogical purpose.
This report presents the results of a questionnaire survey conducted in 2017 by a project team of the Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies. The survey had two purposes: （1）to investigate how Japanese interpreters learn skills and become self-reliant professionals and（2）to extract data and information useful in providing guidance to people contemplating careers as professional interpreters. No full-fledged academic research has been conducted on the experiences of professional interpreters in Japan, making it difficult to offer effective career development guidance to prospective interpreters. The 199 survey respondents had received their primary training as interpreters in Japan and had provided paid interpretation services. The surveys covered their age, gender, motivation, length and content of training, work style, income, stress and satisfaction.
The purpose of this paper is to report on the interpreting class held on August 2nd, 2019 in Aichi Prefecture. This class was part of the third annual course organized by Aichi Prefectural Board of Education for local high school students who applied to participate in this course in advance. The aim of this course was to train future volunteers for several international sporting events scheduled to be held in Japan. The interpreting class was held on the last day of this 3-day course. This paper reports on some of the activities including role-play activities in which 40 high school students participated and on the results of the questionnaire survey conducted after the class.
This paper, consisting of two parts, explores the history of translations of the Hebrew Bible. The first part briefly reviews The Bible: Japan Bible Society Interconfessional Version published in 2018 by the Japan Bible Society. In this study, three questions are considered: 1）Why was a new translation needed? 2）What kind of characters does the new translation have? 3）Which translation theory was adopted for the new translation and why? The second part of the paper presents the history of the Hebrew Bible in antiquity by describing the translations of the Hebrew Bible and highlighting the differences in the story of David and Goliath（1 Samuel 17） between a Hebrew text （the Masoretic Text of the Leningrad Codex） and its ancient Greek translation （the Septuagint）. It further attempts to explain why such differences emerged during the transmission history of the Hebrew Bible.