[JITF2020] Introductory Voice and Articulation Training for Interpreters

Yuko Hirai

She has been providing voice training courses for interpreters since three years ago.  Most of her students are interpreters in their twenties through seventies.  She gives lessons by adapting a training program for announcers into individualized voice training menus, paying attention to the requirements of each student.  She is a former newscaster at NHK Kyoto.  She was in charge of programs such as the Kansai-region information program “Gurutto Kansai Ohirumae (All around Kansai before Lunch).”  After that, she was involved in the reporting of economic news at the Tokyo branch of a foreign news agency.  She is currently active mainly in the Kansai region as an interpreter, translator, guide interpreter, moderator, and narrator.  She graduated from the Faculty of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University.  She stayed in Indonesia for one year as an exchange student while enrolled in university.  After graduation, she worked in Jakarta for 2 years at the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia.

Introductory Voice and Articulation Training for Interpreters

It goes without saying that interpreting is a business in which we are paid according to our vocal output.  Sometimes we whisper in a small voice so as not to interrupt the conversation, and other times we interpret consecutively in front of an audience with a microphone as if we are an announcer.  The demand for remote interpretation is also increasing, so it is advantageous to have a so-called easy-to-hear voice, or “a voice that rides well on a microphone” as it is said in the broadcasting industry.  It’s work that requires a greater range in voice volume and burden on the vocal cords than is generally understood.  In this lecture, I will introduce the voice training and articulation practice methods found to be highly effective in lessons for interpreters from their 20s to 70s, developed with thought to their concerns about voice quality and articulation.  I will carefully select and deliver a training menu that is fun, easy and conducive to anti-aging.  Please take this opportunity to get a vocal “facelift” and raise your income with a nice voice and smooth articulation! 

Topics to be covered in the lecture (tentative)

・how to find your voice that resonates well without strain

・vocalization – tips for vocalization to facilitate listening without damaging the vocal cords-

・why don’t Buddhist priests get hoarse even after reading Sutras for a long time?

・even a small voice can be made to resonate well so the vocal cords are relieved, especially by paying attention to nasal resonance

・articulation practice – hints for improving articulation

・tongue muscles, orbicularis muscles, lips

・articulation training that can be done anytime, anywhere without vocalizing

・practice that improves your articulation if you do it in your daily routine