Interview with Mami, Translator from English to Japanese:
First things first, we would love to learn more about you: why and when did you decide to become a translator/interpreter? Where did the idea come from, and have you ever considered doing anything else?
When I was working at a Japanese community newspaper in Vancouver, I had a few occasions to translate English articles to Japanese. Since I enjoyed this experience so much, I started to see becoming a translator as my next step, and so I took a translation introductory course. During the course, my nascent interest transformed to determination that I should pursue this career and do further studies.
How different is being a translator/interpreter from what you had expected?
To do English to Japanese translation requires a higher level of Japanese writing skill and wider knowledge of Japanese vocabulary than I have ever expected. Also, translators have to be very detailed-oriented.
What is, according to you, the best way to learn a foreign language? How did you learn your languages?
Read a lot, whatever interests you. I am reading news on the internet, a few magazines, and books in my fields of interests.
What are the challenges of being a translator/interpreter? What are the perks?
Not to make mistranslations is challenging for me. Even though it might sound basic, the definition of words is so different between fields and this is not simple, but very important. Therefore, I am always doing in-depth research about the topics I work on. Also, I am trying hard to make the resulting text look natural, using adequate style and wording that suit the context.
Thank you very much!