Here you can meet the project managers at Interbooks. Our team is made up of a variety of project managers with different nationalities, personalities, and areas of specialty, all ready to handle your requests. The most suitable person from our team will be matched to your project based on its field, area, and characteristics. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
It’s so rewarding to be able to connect with various fields, industries, languages, and worlds through the requests of our customers. One project may involve disseminating information on national policy or global events in connection with a government agency, while another may be a cultural project featuring a rich body of work, such as a photography collection or exhibit. Some projects related to inbound tourism may also take us on a journey to discover the colors and wonders on display across all four corners of Japan. I joined Interbooks in the hopes of meeting translators face-to-face at social gatherings and other events. I hope to continue working together with translators to produce a consistently high standard of work.
When I catch sight of signs along the street written in multiple languages, I can’t help but check them out. With only a limited amount of space for text, these signs offer many new language discoveries, such as clever ways of summarizing text in various languages without relying on direct translation, as well as the use of unexpected expressions. One occupational hazard in my everyday life is momentarily hesitating over using "wasei eigo," or strictly Japanese expressions derived from English. So, when the junk mail I get in my mailbox at home is badly formatted, I feel the urge to correct it.
Just like Japanese, foreign languages evolve over time. Words that are likely familiar to language learners may, in reality, have already fallen out of use by native speakers in more recent years. For instance, when writing Japanese names in the Western alphabet, one way of denoting long vowel sounds such as “o” or “u” can become old-fashioned and strange in only a short amount of time, thereby making a text seem awkward to native speakers. The best translators aren’t complacent when it comes to increasing knowledge, but instead carry out background research to ensure that they can continually deliver translations with a guaranteed level of quality. Great translations don’t just rely on good language skills—the ability to carry out research is also crucial. I too never want to stop learning.
The projects we handle include annual reports by national security think tanks. These reports provide information on the strategic environment surrounding Japan, as well as the national security and defense policies of other countries, so translating them requires us to work together with translators and editors familiar with relevant specialist terminology, current affairs, and the international situation. Recently, we have also been receiving requests from prefectures across Japan to produce multilingual hazard maps for preventing and mitigating disasters. With these kinds of projects, it is vital to convey information to international residents in Japan in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. An unexpected joy of this job is that, through translation, we can support socially significant policies, including those related to urgent defense, national security, disaster information, and other similar fields.
I previously worked at a travel agency. After spending 13 years in charge of domestic holidays, I’ve become fairly discerning when it comes to good hotels and traditional inns, and delicious local food. Since joining Interbooks, I’ve begun to notice multilingual pamphlets and information panels at shrines and temples, train stations and airports, and other places where tourists gather. When facilities provide information in languages other than English, Korean, and Chinese, I get a real sense that they care deeply about providing good hospitality. It really motivates me when I think about how translation for the tourism sector plays a part in helping travelers from overseas learn about Japan.
I specialize in projects that make use of translation tools. The natural workflow for projects with data from a particular platform involves simply processing the data using translation tools. However, there are also more complex projects that aren’t always processed so smoothly. This is due to the various file types used by our clients. After I’ve analyzed and processed an assortment of data, and created a framework that allows translation to be easily carried out using translation tools, I feel an enormous sense of achievement. I’ve made it a habit of carefully asking clients about their requirements and specifications in detail, however it tends to cause friction between my wife and I when I talk to her in the same way(!)
Manuals are my specialty. Data for manuals created by CMS often come as XML and DITA, rather than one of the standard Office formats. I really enjoy tasks involving processing XML or DITA file data and configuring settings for importing translation tools. Even when a client’s request involves more complex data, I take great joy in making use of tools and systems to solve difficult issues, rather than persisting with more analog processes.
I love movies with great dubbing. When I watch a good movie, or one that leaves an impression, I’ll often rewatch it in the original language, then go back to the Japanese version, repeating this several times. I love comparing the wording used in each version and discovering translations that fit the original sound or meaning perfectly, or that skillfully incorporate cultural differences. It makes me like the movie even more. With older films, the language used for translating the dubbing changes with the times, so I sometimes collect several versions of the same movie with different translations.
I find it so interesting that certain words don’t have a simple equivalent in other languages. For instance, the phrase, “osewa ni narimasu” (lit., “thank you for taking care of me”) is used a lot in Japanese, however we wouldn’t say this in French. The reverse is also true. When a colleague starts eating, I want to say, “Bon appétit!” (“enjoy your meal!”), but I keep quiet because it would get me some odd looks. Another example is that whenever someone sneezes in the office, I have the urge to say, “À tes souhaits!” (the French equivalent for “bless you!”). However, it’s normal in Japan to ignore other people sneezing, so I have to hold myself back!
My role mainly involves handling patent translations. I’ve worked in the translation industry for many years and have gained experience in a wide variety of translation fields from business to publishing. However, I had never dealt with patent translations before joining Interbooks. Patents are one of the most specialized areas in translation, and I’ve learned that not every company can offer a patent translation service. There is so much depth to it—the knowledge required to achieve accuracy above all, in addition to style. Despite working in the same role for many years, I have always found new things to learn. And, while I’ve had countless demanding jobs and experienced many challenging situations, I feel that the great relationships I’ve been lucky to develop with translators, checkers, clients, and others are what have allowed me to keep going until now (not to mention the support of my family).
Having dealt with numerous projects requiring simultaneous translation into seven or more languages, I am becoming well-versed in multilingual projects and continue to further develop my skills. I hope to get quicker at assigning projects to translators; that is, knowing the right person for a certain language pair and translation content who not only reliably delivers high-quality translations, but also responds quickly. When checking translations, I compare each language against each other, paying close attention to consistency in the layout and rechecking with translators if I feel that the same translation in different languages could be interpreted in different ways. As an aside, I have also gotten into the habit of thinking about how mistakes in translation come about. For instance, my friend once sent me a picture where the signage in a Japanese store had the word “pet” translated into Korean as “great guy”—I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened. Did they not ask a native Korean person to check it?
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