Associate Professor, College and Graduate School of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University; Board member, the Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies (JAITS); conference Interpreter. After serving as a New York correspondent and in other roles as a reporter for Asahi Shimbun, she became an interpreter under exclusive contract with Simul International. Her area of specialization is news translation studies, which is a cross-disciplinary research field encompassing interpretation and translation studies and media studies. Alongside teaching college students, she trains aspiring professional interpreters in internet-based classes of Simul Academy. Main works: When News Travels East: Translation Practices by Japanese Newspapers （Leuven University Press, 2019）; “Tsuyaku ni Naritai – Zero kara Mezaseru 10 no Michi (If you want to be an interpreter! – 10 ways to do it starting from zero)” (Iwanami Shoten, 2016), etc.
Conference Interpreter. A part-time job during her university days led her into the world of interpreting, and she has been involved in this work as a freelancer for most of the roughly 25 years since then. She has experienced a wide variety of activities including interpreting for politicians, business leaders, economists, architects, athletes and supermodels, not only in interpreting booths, but also in a warship’s wheelhouse, a prison, and even behind the clock dial of Big Ben. Every Monday, she presents her experiences at interpreter gigs and her perspectives gained from 12 years of overseas life staying in 97 cities in 43 countries as a 4-frame cartoon called “Azuki no Tsuyaku Nikki (Azuki’s interpreter diary).” She is forging ahead with the aim of becoming an interpreter who can “write and draw”! Writing career: For roughly two and a half years from 2016 she wrote a series of 26 articles with the title “Hirayama Atsuko no Gadget Tengoku (Atsuko Hirayama’s gadget heaven)” (ALC Online Edition). Actually long ago she also had experience as a translator of business-related books for publication.
How to Publish a “Non-digital Book” during a Recession of the Publishing industry – Behind the Scenes in the Birth of a Book through Collaboration of Interpreters
“If there is no work, let’s make it ourselves” – that was the clarion call which resulted in a publication project supported by some 40 interpreters both in and outside of Japan who had lost much of their work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many interpreters who previously had little in common except for being JACI members united forces under the battle cry “we shall overcome COVID-19!” And in a mere two months from plan to publication they launched “Doji Tsuyakusha ga ‘Yakusenakatta’ Eigo Furezu (English Phrases that Even Simultaneous Interpreters ‘Couldn’t Translate’)” (Ikaros Publications, Ltd.). What made it possible was the high commitment of each member and a thoroughly distributed workflow established in a fully remote environment. Ms. Kayo Matsushita, editor-in-chief and producer of the project will explain the secrets of success of this scheme. Ms. Atsuko Hirayama, who served as the “poster girl” writer as well as cartoonist and illustrator will reflect upon those intense days of manuscript drafting, full of tears and laughter (other members may also jump in to give their two cents worth?!). A must see for interpreters and translators who hope to eventually publish themselves.