Interpretation Experience Workshop | Club KAI | KAI Japanese Language School

Interpretation Experience Workshop

December 16, 2010
Ms. Yukari Hiratsuka, Chinese Interpreter/Translator


Ms. Yukari Hiratsuka – born in Tokyo. Studied in China as an exchange student in her college days, and entered a trading company for China. Having experienced positions such as sales, translator, and interpreter, she now works as a freelance professional interpreter/translator.


Introduction to an Interpreter Job

Has anyone ever asked you to interpret for them when they find you can speak Japanese? Interpretation may be easy if the topic is related to your background or daily life, but when sentences are long or the content is complicated, the task will suddenly become a heavy burden.
Our guest this time was Ms. Yukari Hiratsuka, a professional interpreter/translator. Having KAI’s advanced level students (level 7 to 8) as audience, Ms. Hiratsuka held an “Interpretation Experience Workshop”.

  • What is an interpreter’s job?
  • Types of interpretation
  • What makes interpretation difficult?
  • Key factors of interpretation

Ms. Hiratsuka introduced the variety and characteristics of each type of interpretation job, and solutions to problems faced during interpretation. Her story was extremely relevant for the challenges most language learners experience.


The Interpretation Workshop

After the introduction of the outline, it was time for KAI’s students to try the following types of interpretation tasks.


After listening to a recorded speech in Japanese for a minute, students were asked to summarize it and to present their findings. Though interpretation was not needed, it seemed quite a challenge for most students to summarize a long speech in a short given time.



Once again, after listening to a Japanese speech for a minute, this time students were asked to repeat the whole content in their mother language. Having students speak in Swedish, Korean, and in Chinese, other students who speak the same mother language checked the accuracy of “reproduction”.


Ms. Hiratsuka mentioned that “continuous learning of the foreign language”, “learning to speak formally”, and “having a broad knowledge compatible with a specialty” as the essence for interpreter job, and the workshop came to an end. Many students from the class who plan to become professional interpreters in the future sought her advice after the seminar.




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