[JIF2018] Breaking Down the Wall: Improving Communication in Construction

Noriko Nakata

Noriko is a conference interpreter and is a graduate of Doshisha University. Her interpreting debut came at the Nagano Olympics where she served as an official interpreter. After spending some time as an in-house on a theme park construction project, she turned freelance, and went on to build a successful career interpreting for various businesses and law firms. In recent years, however, Noriko has gone back to the bustling and rumbustious world of construction, bridging the on-site communication gap with her friendly demeanor.

Breaking Down the Wall: Improving Communication in Construction

At international conferences and symposiums around the world, simultaneous interpreters help facilitate discussions among global leaders. Simultaneous interpreters are generally considered the best of the best, and thousands of people worldwide train every single day, aspiring to become professionals themselves. I was no exception. I paid my dues, and built my career from the ground up to become a 20-year veteran. But then I realized: Is this really what I want to do? Isn’t there something I want to be doing instead? The answer to this personal conundrum was, incidentally, in the dust-filled, drill-roaring, ever-bustling construction site.

Communication in the construction site is all about people, or personal relationships. It is not merely an exchange of words, but thoughts, values, and cultures as well. This session seeks to explain the current state and explore the future potential of interpreting in construction (this market is expected to thrive for at least another decade), and consider what is expected of professional interpreters working in this domain.

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