From November 12th – November 27th, a total of 50 advanced Japanese language learners experienced a taste of professional Japanese translation, as part of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Plus course.
The course was led by Yoshiko Shimizu, a professional Japanese translator and interpreter, and former Course Director at the University of Bath. During the course, Shimizu-sensei taught participants some of the techniques and tricks used by translators in the field for a wide variety of different types of text, from legal contracts to product recall letters. Giving participants engaging exercises in both Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation, Shimizu-sensei demonstrated that translation requires a variety of different skills – not simply proficiency in a second language. She also gave an insight into the life of a professional translator, providing students with information and tips about how to succeed in the field. Finally, Shimizu-sensei gave some examples of amusing mistranslations in English and Japanese, some of which caused class-wide laughter!
Participants generally found the course quite a challenge, but enjoyable and useful to their Japanese studies. Emma Gallagher, a regular Japanese Plus participant commented, “This was an excellent course, really well taught. I picked up lots of tips.”
We would like to thank all participants and Shimizu-sensei for their hard work throughout this course – otsukaresama deshita!
If you are Japanese learner of approximately JLPT Level 2/N2 or above and are interested in taking part in the next Japanese Plus, please click here to sign up to our monthly e-bulletin to receive notifications of this and other Japan Foundation events. Click here to read more about Japanese Plus and view reports of previous workshops.