[JITF2020] How Do Translators/Interpreters/Guide Interpreter Think about How to “Survive the Age of COVID-19”?

Hidesada Shimazaki

National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter (English).  After graduating from the Faculty of Economics of Keio University, he experienced working at a management consulting company and as deputy director of a glass artwork museum, and engaged in overseas travel planning and escorting (approx. 500 days) and the export of microscopes.  He studied in the United States for 1 year when in high school and in France for 1 year after becoming a working adult.  He started freelancing as a guide interpreter from the end of 2009, and for the past few years, he has escorted foreign tourists nationwide from Hokkaido to Okinawa for more than 220 days a year.  Focusing on tours with historical and cultural themes, he also serves as an on-board guide for ocean cruises and as a hiking tour guide.  Main works include: “Tsuyaku Guide to Iu Oshigoto – Shigoto no Hajimekata kara Gijutsu wo Migaku Kotsu Made (The Job of a Guide Interpreter – From Getting Starting to Polishing Skills)” (ALC, 2016) , “Dare ni demo Dekiru Omotenashi no Eigo (Hospitality English for Everyone),” (Kodansha, 2017).  He also gives lectures for guide interpreters.

Fumiko Iguchi

Translator (German and English).  Graduated from the Faculty of Literature of Rikkyo University with a major in Japanese literature.  After working at a specialized library, she studied abroad at Humboldt University in Berlin, experiencing the turbulent times before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.  After returning to Japan, she worked for a translation company for 10 years as a checker, coordinator, and in-house translator.  She became independent as a freelance translator in 2005.  Director of Japan Translation Federation (JTF) since 2018.  In June 2019, she appeared as a panelist in the JTF Translation Seminar “Is Translation a Disappearing Profession?! Translators and translation companies ponder what humans can do in the age of MT,” and in October as well in the JTF Translation Festival Session “Survival strategy in the age of MT.”  In the last few years, has shifted focus from industrial translation to publication translation and has expanded her scope to literary activities. Translated works include: “Der Ruf Des Stahlherrn,” ” Der Smiler und Die Sphinx “(Hayakawa Publishing), “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries” (joint translation, Sayusha), etc.

Mike Sekine

Freelance interpreter and translator.  Official interpreter for FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).  Director of the Japan Association of Conference Interpreters.  Specializes in political economy, law, games and sports in general.  A late-blooming interpreter whose engine starts at about 2:00 pm.  Currently mainly active as a conference interpreter, but also likes to translate at his own pace while sipping corn tea.  Authored works include “Tsuyaku to iu Oshigoto (The Job called Interpreting)” (ALC) and “Doji Tsuyakusha no Kokodake no Hanashi (For your ears only – secrets of simultaneous interpreters)” (ALC). Gained weight due to self-restriction of activities during COVID-19 pandemic, but plans to slim down to have a body like Hyun Bin’s by the day of the session.

Takami Mino

Editor (Book Editorial Team, ALC PRESS INC.).  From Nara Prefecture.  After short-term study abroad in Korea, worked in sales to book stores for the University of Tokyo Press.  After short-term study abroad in Korea, joined ALC PRESS INC. in September 2003.  Books and Magazine Books edited include: “Tsuyaku Guide to iu Oshigoto (The Job called Guide Interpreting)” (by Hidesada Shimazaki), “Honyaku to iu Oshigoto (The Job called Translating)” (by Motoko Jitsukawa), “Tsuyaku to iu Oshigoto (The Job called Interpreting)” (by Mike Sekine), “Honyaku (Translation) Skill Handbook” (by Shun Komamiya), and “Kankokugo (Korean Language) Journal 2020,” etc. Recommends the Korean Drama series “슬기로운의사생활 (Kashikoi Ishi Seikatsu, Hospital Playlist).”

How Do Translators/Interpreters/Guide Interpreter Think about How to “Survive the Age of COVID-19”?

Translators, interpreters and guide interpreters – what is common to those in these three professions is that they do “language work,” so each is in the other’s “neighboring turf,” but there seems to be little opportunity for them to meet together.

That is why a translator, interpreter, and guide interpreter active on the front lines have been asked to speak on the main topic of “how to survive in the age of the coronavirus,” each from his or her own standpoint in this session.  

Plenty of time has been allocated for Q&A and discussions with the speakers. Everyone’s active participation is welcome!