[JIF2019] The Interpreter’s Career Process: For an Abundant Life

Ryuko Shinzaki

Conference and broadcast interpreter. Ph.D. in International Communication from Aoyama Gakuin University Graduate School of International Politics, Economics and Communication. Part-time lecturer at the Graduate School of Global Studies of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Aoyama Gakuin University. Author of “The World Can be Seen from the Interpreter’s Booth” (Chikuma Shobo), “Enough for Communication: English Conversation for Travel” (NHK Publishing, Inc.), and co-author of “English Speaking Clinic” (Kenkyusha), “English Conversation Example Sentences for Telling Foreigners about the Tea Ceremony” (Tankosha), and others.

The Interpreter’s Career Process: For an Abundant Life

“Is it possible for me to become a professional interpreter? What do I have to do to become one?” Are we able to give clear replies to these frank questions? Regarding the career process of interpreters, we only know our own experience and that of the few people we know well, and there is almost no information besides a handful of success stories we can read in printed publications. This is also true of the scarcity of hints for finding the way forward for interpreters who are already some way into their career. There are almost no academic studies on the realities of professional interpreters active in Japan. Where and what kind of work are other interpreters doing? Are they economically and spiritually satisfied? Are the numbers of people who are becoming interpreters increasing or decreasing? Wouldn’t we be able to design careers based on interpreters’ current awareness of the realities if we had reliable information on these questions? In this session, based on the “Fact-finding Survey on Interpreters’ Career Development Process,” that first of its kind conducted in Japan, and while introducing mt own career path, I will discuss with participants the career process for realizing an abundant life.

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