2010年08月29日

interpreters a la carte

I had lunch with my co-worker/friend. It’s always nice to have a chat with someone who shares the same passion for interpreting. She said that she sometimes finds it very hard to work with a partner whose interpreting style does not agree with hers. She said, “It’s not that I don’t like him/her. I don’t dislike the person. But working with him/her is so frustrating that I would rather do it by myself than working together.” I understand what she meant. There are different styles for interpreting and sometimes it works great but other times it could create some frustration.
Following is some of interpreters I have encountered;
1) Too friendly interpreters…They become friends with English speakers and start to add their personal comments in their interpreting or start to participate in a meeting. Sometimes it works well, especially for English speakers who are not familiar with using an interpreter or having discussions with Japanese people because they feel they have someone on their side. But sometimes interpreters’ additional comments or personal opinions confuse other participants.
2) In a nutshell interpreters…Instead of providing details, they tend to summarize what people are talking about. Again, sometimes it works well when most of participants in a meeting are familiar with a topic being discussed and they want to know the main direction or decisions rather than granularity. But in some meetings details are critical and missing them could lead to a disaster.
3) Meek interpreters…They are good but unfortunately they lack confidence in their performance so that audience has some doubt about the credibility of their performance. Small voice also has the same effect. Even they are great at interpreting itself, inaudible performance can be fatal.
4) Actor/actress interpreters…They become like a speaker and they interpret with emotion. The interpreter for Mr. Troussier, the former coach of the Japan’s national soccer team, is famous for being one. They tend to be interpreters working for someone exclusively. I was sort of this kind before when I was working for an American boss. When she got excited, so did I. But someone once said to me, “It makes me feel I am being scolded twice, first by your boss and then you. Even though I don’t understand what she (my boss) said, I can tell that she is angry. So you don’t have to raise your voice.” I try to keep his comment in mind and stay calm when I perform.
People are different and people have difference penchant. I want to be an interpreter other interpreters want to partner with.
posted by バナナマフィン at 09:47| 東京 ☀| Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月17日

I am punctual

I often get up a couple of minutes before the alarm goes off. I take the same bus to go to the office and prefer to take my favorite seat. I have an afternoon break with coffee around the same time and I like to take the usual bus on my way back home. After dinner, I take a bath and it takes about 24 minutes. I noticed it when I saw the timer display for the ventilation fan I set before taking a bath. I always set it for an hour and after finishing bath quite often it shows “00:36” remaining. When I saw the same number for a week consecutively, I started to realize that I am quite punctual.
When I was talking to my friends/interpreters, some said that they hate routine. They try to change trains or routes when they go to the office because the idea of following the same routine drives them crazy. I was quite shocked to hear the opinion. I love my routine. I like leaving home at the same time, going to the platform, waiting for the train at the same spot, and hoping to grab the usual seat. When I said that, my friends say that that makes me suitable for an in-house interpreter rather than a freelance interpreter. Later I did some research and found out that quite a few freelance interpreters are, like my friends, dislike routine. I thought many people choose to become a freelance interpreter because they do not like to belong to one company and do not like to do the same thing every day. But I did not realize that they even do not like doing the same thing in their daily life. For me, following my routine is much easier. Trying to find a new route every time you go to office sounds quite tiring but some people find it hard to follow the routine. People are, really different.
posted by バナナマフィン at 21:42| 東京 ☀| Comment(3) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月11日

"Doesn't sound natural" again

“To launch” is a term often used for the introduction of a new product. My teacher however, doesn’t feel comfortable with using it when a sentence has a specific date. For example, he is happy with a sentence, “A company announced that it will launch a new TV model next spring,” but he is not happy with a sentence, “A company announced that it will a launch a new TV model starting the beginning of next month,” because, he says, that “to launch” is somewhat vague. He wants to use “to ship” or “put on sale” to clearly indicate that the product is really available at stores and can be purchased. He is a native speaker and if he doesn’t feel it sounds natural, maybe he is right. However, I am not convinced. I have seen and used “to launch” in such sentences many times before and I was wondering if his comment represents the feeling of native speakers or if it’s just his personal impression. This is a tricky part for translation. I want to understand basic rules first and then understand “case-by-case” usage. But sometimes I get confused by some comments because there are different comments and opinions among native speakers and I don’t know which comment I should follow. I remember the time when I was in Australia and frustrated with my teacher’s comment “doesn’t sound natural” because he failed to provide me with convincing explanations. This may be the case with teachers who are native speakers. I need logical explanation and I need basic rules first.
posted by バナナマフィン at 22:00| 東京 ☀| Comment(5) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月08日

Physical problems

As you get older, you start to develop some physical problems. Your throat gets rough and hurt easily, or you get tired and still remain tired the following day. I started to have a buzzing in my ears a while ago. I was practicing simultaneous interpreting at home using a headset, listening to the news and recording my performance. I may have done it too long or the volume was too loud. I realized that I had a buzzing in my ears. Since then, I have been having this problem whenever I use a headset for a long time. You may call it a sort of job-related disease. I got worried. I suffered from laryngitis several years ago and my throat is now much more sensitive than before. What if this buzzing gets worse? My ears and throat are the core part for my job. If I get problems with those parts, I can't continue to work as interpreter!!
posted by バナナマフィン at 17:01| 東京 ☀| Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月04日

online lesson

It's been more than 6 months since I started to have online English conversation lessons. I try to have at least one lesson a day and two lessons on the weekend. I already have some favorite teachers I have lessons with regularly and generally speaking, I am enjoying this online program. Sometimes, however, you can't have lessons with my regular teachers because they are all fully booked. When it happens I have to find a new teacher I can deal with. I try to find someone older with lots of teaching experience and avoid young teachers with no or little teaching experience. But quite often I encounter teachers who demonstrate very poor performance as a teacher and I get quite harsh on them. When I was talking to one of my regular teachers, she said that some teachers are afraid of me. According to her, some teachers “get very nervous and have butterflies in their stomachs” when they see my name on the list and they also say, “Muffin is a bit intimidating.” Actually this was not the first time to get such comments. One teacher once said that to me directly. I was bit surprised by it first and wondered what I had done to make them feel that way. But I recalled some lessons, in which I got so frustrated with teachers' ignorance and lack of seriousness that I went silence, just said yes/no or even suggested we end the lesson. I said to my regular teacher, “I think they need to learn how to provide a good lesson and they need to understand that our expectation is high.” I like this program and I hope they will make efforts to improve lesson quality and continue to grow. As long as I can have lessons with great teachers, I am happy and continue to be their student.
posted by バナナマフィン at 22:07| 東京 ☀| Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

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