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Japanese Plus: An Introduction to Professional Japanese Interpreting

From February 12th – March 6th 2013, a total of 36 advanced Japanese language learners experienced a taste of professional Japanese interpreting, as part of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Plus course.

The course was led by Yoshiko Shimizu, a professional Japanese interpreter and translator, and former Course Director at the University of Bath. After introducing the basics of interpreting, including technique, and types of interpreting, Shimizu-sensei taught liaison interpreting, in which the interpreter translates both English to Japanese and Japanese to English for two speakers. This was followed by a lesson on note-taking in preparation for performing consecutive interpreting, in which the interpreter translates a single speaker’s speech from English into Japanese, or Japanese into English. All participants had the opportunity to attempt both kinds of interpreting, and demonstrated real skill both as Japanese language learners and as budding interpreters.

All participants seemed to find the course challenging, but rewarding. Simon Grisdale, a newcomer to Japanese Plus, said, it was a “nice introduction into interpreting – realise how much more work is needed!” Kath Lawrence, another new participant, commented, “Careful preparation and vocab for liaison interpreting conversations was just the right level.

We would like to thank all participants and Shimizu-sensei for their hard work throughout this course – otsukaresama deshita!

If you are Japanese learner of approximately JLPT Level 2/N2 or above and are interested in taking part in the next Japanese Plus, please click here to sign up to our monthly e-bulletin to receive notifications of this and other Japan Foundation events. Click here to read more about Japanese Plus and view reports of previous workshops.