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Fourth issue: Learning? Learning? Learning??

Saturday 5th August 2023

 Aha! … Crash! Gulp, Ugh, Thud, Tumble … Phew! :


 ~ Learning is an emotional rollercoaster!

Last month (Oh, yes, it’s already August!) proved to be a month of learning where I was lucky enough to attend several interesting webinars and seminars. Summer is the time for breaking off from regular routines and looking for inspiration for the coming academic year in the UK.


CPD (Continuous Professional Development) is crucial for my coming sabbatical year, too. Today I’m writing about two workshops which I have attended.

One is the J-Net summer workshop 2023 @ Birmingham on Saturday the 8th and the other is the Japan Association of Conference Interpreters (JACI) Japanese-English interpreting workshop @ London on Saturday the 29th of July. Both one day workshops included seminars, workshops, and discussions followed by a chance to socialise in the evening.


Last year, I attended the J-Net summer workshop as a speaker, giving a talk about my collaborative work at Shadow Heroes, an art education initiative. I gave the talk using many of the experiences I learnt during  a workshop series I presented with Shadow Heroes centering on aDragon Ball”  film trailer translation, with the talk focusing on how translation can be used for critical thinking and language education. This year, I instead participated as an audience, arriving in a wet and windy Birmingham in a leisurely mood.


The first speaker was “super-polyglottranslator, Ms Noriko Watanabe,  who joined online from Japan.  She handles more than 10 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Finnish, etc.)  Her talk discussed her background and what allowed her to master so many languages. I am still struggling to perfect just two languages, so I was puzzled about what kind of brain she has? Is she some kind of superhuman? 


As expected, not only was she a language genius, but also an artist! Because she presented her talk in an Osaka dialect coupled with illustrations, her message clicked with me instantly and stimulated a nascent desire within me to potentially learn more languages. Aha!

Other talks were followed by a Business coach, Mr Andrew Bailey (Not the Governor of the Bank of England!) ,and Ms Nicki Bone, chair of the ITI , to give us some tricks and tips for working as a successful freelance translator and interpreter. 


At the end of the workshop there was an option to go to either a translation or an interpreting workshop and, attending the interpreting workshop, I got to watch a short film “Listen , discussing the ethics of being an interpreter.


After enjoying a pint of Guinness at the pub with fellow translators, I was so inspired and made my way home with a light step through the torrential rain.


The day of the JACI workshop was an idealistic summer day, blue sky and perfect temperature.  In spite of the ongoing train companies’ ongoing industrial dispute, luckily my advance return tickets were for Hull trains and they were not taking part in these strikes! Bravo! I arrived hopeful and relaxed and instantly felt like I belonged with my fellow interpreters.


However, I was wrong… 


The speaker was Mr Mike Sekine, President of the JAC and a prominent interpreter and leading figure in the interpreting and translation industry.  He delivered the consecutive interpreting sessions focused on how to make your interpreting work leave a lasting impression on clients in service of becoming a sustainable practitioner. This was a seminar for conference Interpreting, which requires the highest level of proficiency. My fellow attendees were used to working on the global stage in high stress situations…


Crash! My confidence shattered…


Suddenly I was standing on the platform of the scary rollercoaster ride. I was forced to get onto the very front of the roller coaster…I was holding on to the safety bar, closing my eyes tight, trying not to be thrown from my seat! My self-doubt inflamed my feelings of incompetence, creating nasty spins and turns on the track… Gulp, Ugh, Thud, Tumble…


Then the person next to me on the rollercoaster put their hand out towards me, barely stopping my belongings from falling all over from the height we were sharing! Phew! 


This imaginary roller coaster ride continued for the next three days…but thanks to my friends and family, my anxiety finally went poof! 


Learning is like a roller coaster ride. It can be scary and anxiety inducing, but you hold onto the adrenaline rush, leaving feelings of inadequacy and fear far behind! So – Let’s learn more together!


2023年 第4回目 8月5日(土)





という訳で、私の9月からの研究の旅に向けて、CPDー専門技術の継続的学習は欠かせないと言うことで、今回は7月8日(土)にバーミンガムで開催された、Jネット夏季日英翻訳通訳ワークショップと7月29日(土)にロンドンで開催された一般社団法人 日本会議通訳者協会(JACI)の日英通訳ワークショップに参加し、そのワークショップの内容はもとより、学ぶ事が、知識の蓄積だけでなく、精神的に諸刃の剣になりうるかを考えました。


毎年、Jネットは年2回夏と冬に日英翻訳通訳ワークショップを開催しており、去年は私が所属するShadow Heroes,という翻訳を使って、批判的に物事を分析し、考える力を育成する活動を行う団体のワークショップ、「ドラゴンボールの映画予告を翻訳する」を翻訳家として体験する講義の講師として招かれ、今年は一人の参加者として出席するだけだったので、悪天候のバーミンガムにも関わらず、うきうき楽しい気持ちで到着。



渡辺さんの講演のあとはビジネスコーチのアンドリュー ベイリーさんとITI会長のニッキー ボーンさんがフリーランスの翻訳家、通訳として成功するための秘訣や役に立つ情報を伝授。とても実用的でためになる講座で、みんなの士気上々。後半は翻訳、通訳の2つのグループに分かれて実際に翻訳に取り組むセッションと短編映画“Listen”を見て通訳の倫理問題について話し合うセッション。私は通訳のセッションに参加し、通訳として倫理的立場を、参加者の実体験を交えての話し合い。ワークショップ終了後もパブに場所を移し、ギネス片手にそうそう!と話は尽きず、一日終了。とても満ち足りた気分で、豪雨にも関わらず、足取り軽く帰路に着きました。


ロンドンでの一般社団法人 日本会議通訳者協会(JACI)の日英通訳ワークショップはバーミンガムの時とは違い、青空の広がる暑くもなく寒くもない、理想的な夏日。その日は鉄道のストライキでロンドン行きが怪しかったのですが、運良く私が事前予約していた電車はストライキを決行しない唯一の会社で、自分の運の良さに何かいい事があるかも?と心も踊り、出会った通訳の方々とも瞬時に溶け合い快く席に着きました。