[JIF2019] French Interpreting is Interesting, But Does It Have a Future?

Seiko Takano

Freelance French interpreter. Graduated from the Department of French Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Sophia University and studied overseas at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. Turned freelance after working at the French Embassy and a foreign-affiliated pharmaceutical company. As an interpreter, Ms. Takano is a regular interpreter for the NHK TV BS1 World News (France2) program, and has taken on interpreting jobs such as intergovernmental negotiations, corporate negotiations such as the establishment of joint ventures between Japan and France, international meetings, symposiums and conventions, press conferences, the accompaniment of important dignitaries, and many others.

French Interpreting is Interesting, But Does It Have a Future?

French is frequently considered to be the second most important language after English as the official language in international organizations, but is there work in all countries and in all fields? Is it work that you can make a living from? Where should you study, and what kinds of careers are possible?

It is work that stretches from Canada to Africa, from laborers to company CEOs, artists, exhibitions, local and central governments, and work at the UN – exciting work that allows one to peek into a cross-section of society and make new discoveries every day.

Recently, however, AI, machine translation and, moreover, portable interpretation devices are hot topics. What will become of interpreting work with the many lecture meetings and conferences now being held on the theme of “In what way are AI and other technologies about to change society?” In this age, in which 70% of currently existing professions are set to be replaced by AI, is it possible that interpreting will survive?

These are the questions I would like to consider with everyone in this session.

Sign up from here (Japanese only)