[JITF2020] The Journey to Become a Chinese Interpreter

Kikue Omori

Chinese conference interpreter.  She spent her high school and university days in China with her family.  After returning to Japan, she worked as a part-time interpreter for pharmaceutical and legal firms, while starting to play an active role as a conference interpreter.  She experienced simultaneous interpretation for the first time in1989. Since then, she has been working as a freelance interpreter primarily in the fields of politics and economics.  She also works as an interpreter in the broadcasting industry and as a lecturer at an interpreting school.

Joint publication: “Kiite Kitaeru Chugokugo Tsuyaku Jissen Koza – News to Speech de Manabu (Practical Chinese Interpretation Course with Listening Training – Learning from News and Speeches)” (Toho Shoten, 2014).

The Journey to Become a Chinese Interpreter

I spent the latter half of my teens immersed in the kanji, kanji and more kanji of the Chinese language due to my father’s sudden assignment to work in China.  After returning to Japan, I began my journey as a conference interpreter from my mid-twenties.  As a young, inexperienced interpreter, I was able to continue in this profession partly due to good timing and fortune but mainly thanks to the pioneers of the Chinese interpreting industry, whose presence was of incalculable importance to me.  It is no exaggeration to say that I am still trying to follow in their footsteps.  

I would like to share some of what I experienced, how the Chinese interpreting market is changing and what the past and present journey to become a Chinese interpreter is like.