Taking the world less travelled

Why I’m Interested In Translation Over Interpretation

Posted by on Jun 11, 2008 in Language | 2 comments

I’m very much someone who communicates better in writing rather than talking. I actually feel somewhat stressed when I am going to meet someone new or I have to call someone I don’t know on the telephone. It’s not that I wont go an do it, I am lucky that I don’t have a social phobia. However, I do feel it on the edge of my mind and so I really don’t like to use the telephone much. Keeping this in mind, I don’t think that Interpretation is the job for me. I wouldn’t mind interpreting for friends and family, or just for a bit of fun, but as a job, even if the “fear” decreases with lots of practise (which I’m sure it would), I don’t see it as something that I would actually enjoy.

Translation on the other hand has challenges in it that I find exciting rather than daunting. Trying to adapt a joke so that it works in the target language sounds like a challenge hat I’m will to do. Trying to find an appropriate register for different dialects/accents within Japan sounds exciting. Transforming a fantastical journey I’ve enjoyed so that others who don’t speak Japanese can also enjoy would give me much pleasure.

In fact, in the next six months I’m hoping that I can push my Japanese larning to a place where I can start translating. Not professionally, but for a bit of fun. I would love to start off with manga, and then increase my skills to articles and then screen translation. That is one of the directions my Japanese language learning has always been heading towards, and it is exciting (for me!) that I feel like I am on the edge of being able to do this.

I am glad that everyone really enjoyed my other post on Translating and Interpreting. I had my exam for this course yesterday and I think I did very well. Over the following weeks I’d like to share with you some of the things I have learned from this course.





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  1. Harvey

    good stuff!

    My wife is currently doing interpretation on http://www.peaceboat.org/, and she says it’s really really tough. I still do translation, and though it’s not as exciting as interpretation, I like it. The best thing about translation for me is that I can do it on my own time. Get the job. Go to a cafe or something. Work on it. Leave. Get pizza. Go somewhere else. Work on it. Know what I mean? With interpretation you have to be right there at the job in order to get it done. You can’t move around as freely.

    good luck with your stuff! Now that I’m back in the states I need Japanese TV to keep the Japanese in my head going! I’ll be stopping by here more often! Cya!

  2. glue


    Thanks for those two posts about Translating and Interpreting!

    I’m looking forward for the future posts with details!

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