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    Hello,

    I know you guys see a million of these threads, but it seems like you give realistic advice so I'd love to hear your opinions.

    I'm a student graduating this year with a Bachelor's in Japanese studies. I have always wanted to go into J>E translation, but I only have JLPT N2 so far. I'm willing to work in Japan, US, pretty much anywhere.

    I know English teaching is probably the field with the most entry level positions (especially in Japan), I'm just curious if you guys have any other ideas for people who majored in Japanese. And yes, I knew going into this major that there wouldn't be a huge number of jobs with this major, especially without grad school

    I have a few good leads at the moment, just wondering what else is out there

    Cheers

  • #2
    Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
    Hello,

    I know you guys see a million of these threads, but it seems like you give realistic advice so I'd love to hear your opinions.

    I'm a student graduating this year with a Bachelor's in Japanese studies. I have always wanted to go into J>E translation, but I only have JLPT N2 so far. I'm willing to work in Japan, US, pretty much anywhere.

    I know English teaching is probably the field with the most entry level positions (especially in Japan), I'm just curious if you guys have any other ideas for people who majored in Japanese. And yes, I knew going into this major that there wouldn't be a huge number of jobs with this major, especially without grad school

    I have a few good leads at the moment, just wondering what else is out there

    Cheers
    Do you want to be a translator? Then I believe you need to be really a bi-lingual, that means the fluent knowledge of Japanese and English and knowledge of complete Japanese calligraphy (all KanjiKanji). Welcome to the club.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
      Hello,

      I know you guys see a million of these threads, but it seems like you give realistic advice so I'd love to hear your opinions.

      I'm a student graduating this year with a Bachelor's in Japanese studies. I have always wanted to go into J>E translation, but I only have JLPT N2 so far. I'm willing to work in Japan, US, pretty much anywhere.
      My own considered opinion is that N2 will be nowhere near enough to be an effective translator. At N2 you know about half the Kanji of an average high school student. N2 Kanji is the level of your average 6th grader.

      To get into translation you also need a specialty which means being an expert in a particular field, e.g. law, medicine, patents, bio-technology. If you have no backgrounds in these fields it will be an uphill battle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
        My own considered opinion is that N2 will be nowhere near enough to be an effective translator. At N2 you know about half the Kanji of an average high school student. N2 Kanji is the level of your average 6th grader.

        To get into translation you also need a specialty which means being an expert in a particular field, e.g. law, medicine, patents, bio-technology. If you have no backgrounds in these fields it will be an uphill battle.
        Thanks, yeah I know N2 is not enough, translation is something I hope to get into in the future. Since there are so few entry level jobs for it excepting freelance I've been looking for something else that would also give me work experience using Japanese

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
          Thanks, yeah I know N2 is not enough, translation is something I hope to get into in the future. Since there are so few entry level jobs for it excepting freelance I've been looking for something else that would also give me work experience using Japanese
          If you don't want to get into English teaching then you simply have to develop a marketable skill and get hired over here. Pertinent question is what can you offer them they cant get anywhere else. Foreigners get jobs here because Japanese cant speak English, simple as that. Learn Japanese on top of what you can do in your day job. Far too many bilinguals here without any marketable skills.

          Im not in the translation field but its my understanding its pretty much a closed shop, people doing it hang onto their clients and business and dont want to share it with others. Its hard to get your foot in unless you have connections, experience and someone will give you a break.


          I have heard of cases of people getting into translating Japanese literature i.e they find a favorite author, read in the original Japanese then want to translate it into English.

          Comment


          • #6
            As the others have stated, you will need at least Japanese N1 level AND a specialised field to be/become a full time translator (although I have no doubt there are exceptions). Postgrad. study in translation is also an option.

            If you really want to follow this goal through, your aim should be just getting to Japan, which means finding a job or studying. English teaching is usually the ticket into Japan, and just because you may not use Japanese at work, doesn't mean you can't study and improve outside of work. You say you are graduating this year which means you are not in the position to be choosing what sort of work you want to do (in Japan).
            As KansaiBen said, if you don't want to teach, you really have to develop a marketable skill.

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            • #7
              Thanks for advice, I know that English teaching is most peoples gateway into Japan, and it makes sense that without other skills it is hard to get a different job.

              I am still on the fence about teaching, but I will keep looking!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
                Thanks for advice, I know that English teaching is most peoples gateway into Japan, and it makes sense that without other skills it is hard to get a different job.

                I am still on the fence about teaching, but I will keep looking!
                Proofreading English that has been translated from Japanese may be a "foot-in-the-door". There are plently of Japanese people who to can translate into English, at least to a certain level. As a proofreader you can gradually increase your language skills and possibly learn a specialized field.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
                  Hello,

                  I know you guys see a million of these threads, but it seems like you give realistic advice so I'd love to hear your opinions.

                  Cheers
                  Fair enough, I suppose, but then why don't you just check the million answers already given to the million of these threads? Or just call me old-fashioned...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Since1990 View Post
                    Proofreading English that has been translated from Japanese may be a "foot-in-the-door". There are plently of Japanese people who to can translate into English, at least to a certain level. As a proofreader you can gradually increase your language skills and possibly learn a specialized field.
                    I was suggested this before and it seems like a really good idea. Would native english proofreaders generally work at a Japanese translation house or large company? Just wondering where I could look for this kind of thing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KanjiKanji View Post
                      I'm a student graduating this year with a Bachelor's in Japanese studies. I have always wanted to go into J>E translation, but I only have JLPT N2 so far. I'm willing to work in Japan, US, pretty much anywhere. ... I have a few good leads at the moment, just wondering what else is out there.
                      Would you hire somebody as a cab driver who has not passed his driving test ? Forget translation at this stage. To improve your Japanese, you need to live in Japan for a longer time. Consider the JET program, internships or the working holiday program (if eligible). I'd see teaching only as a 'last resort'. Also consider to improve your knowledge in other fields such as HR.

                      Comment

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