Talk on translation at Japanese high school

Last week, I gave a talk at Naha Nishi High School about the translation profession, as well as language learning and some of my experiences in Japan. The talk was arranged through an educational company called Kids Corporation.

Although my talk was in Japanese, the students emceed the presentation in both English and Japanese, and I was impressed by their English ability.

I spoke for a little over an hour, followed by questions from the students. They also gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers! The kids' questions were really smart, and showed that they're interested in the translation profession. Below are two of their questions, and my answers.

What do you like best about being a translator?

My favorite things about being a translator are probably:

  • Freedom: I get to work at home, live in Okinawa, and set my own schedule
  • Learning: I'm always learning new things, and get paid to study things that I am interested in

How much money can a translator make?

There is a wide range of income for freelance translators. Some translators can barely earn a living, and need to get side jobs. The very top paid translators can earn over 10,000,000 yen (US $100,000) per year.

3 comments to Talk on translation at Japanese high school

  • That’s wonderful that you are doing community outreach! I suggest you apply for the ATA School Outreach Contest. Do you have a picture of the presentation? I bet yours is the only outreach project this year that’s been presented entirely in Japanese.

  • @Judy

    I did put up a picture in the article I posted to my Japanese-language blog, but unfortunately, the teacher asked me to not post any pictures that showed the students’ faces. Such are the times we live in. That was my only photo with no students in it, and even this one is cropped to cut out two student emcees.

    Do you have to be a member of the ATA to enter the ATA School Outreach Contest? (I’m not a member.)

  • Hi Ryan, it’s really a nice thing to do. Reaching out to school and sharing experiences with curious kids. For sure this is a community initiative.

    BTW, I am following your blog since last 1 yr, but this is my first comment.


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