[JITF2020] The World of Thai Language Was Broader Than I Thought! The World of Thai Style Will Continue to Expand

Miwa Takasugi

Thai language interpreter, translator and coordinator.  After graduating from the general education department of a local high school, she went to a prep school to retry the entrance exams, and the following year, she entered the Department of Indochinese Languages, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a major in Thai language.  After graduating from university, she joined a Japanese company in Bangkok through local hiring and lived there as an office worker for 5 years.  After that, she returned to Japan and re-registered as temporary staff of a large bread company that she had worked for during college.  She sent her resume to many interpretation / translation companies while doing the part-time job of demonstrating and selling bread and cakes at a supermarket.  In the summer of 1999 she debuted as an interpreter for Thai trainees who had come to a factory for training.  After that, she gained experience in the fields of general interpretation and Thai performing arts (interpretation at film festivals / subtitle translation and supervision / interpreting at filming sites), etc.  For the past few years, she has also been a coordinator for attracting film crews to Japan, a coordinator for attracting athletes to pre-games training camps for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and working as an on-site interpreter.  Her other strengths are translation of news and documentary materials and research on news materials.  She became a member of the “Sawasdee Saga” community of Thai people living in Saga prefecture where she was involved in her work.

The World of Thai Language Was Broader Than I Thought! The World of Thai Style Will Continue to Expand

When I was a child, I never thought about what occupation I wanted to have in the future.  I stepped into the world of Thai language out of coincidence, made Thai language my occupation before I knew it, and have been walking the tightrope in this profession for more than twenty years.  I learned consecutive and simultaneous interpretation by self-study and on-the-job training.  I would like to explain how I studied Thai language, what stages I went through and what jobs I took, while describing the situation of each period.  I will not only tell the success stories, but also confess about the times I went into cold sweat on the job or fell short of my expectations.  I will also touch upon translation, such as translating subtitles for Thai films, as well as the Great East Japan Earthquake and what I did when the work volume suddenly plummeted due to COVID-19.  Furthermore, I will give some behind-the-stage stores about the intense race to attract athletes to training camp sites prior to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which have been postponed to next year.  I will do my best to talk about the new “Thai style” boom that is expected in the future, about what age one can expect to work till as a Thai interpreter, and other topics within the allotted time.  I will be happy if participants learn that there are many career options other than just becoming a Thai interpreter.