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Thread: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

  1. #1
    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    + CAREERS IN JAPAN: Translator+

    While thousands of anime, j-pop and game nerds proclaim their intention to "grow up and work in Japan", most of them never make it past the checkout counter at the local grocery store. Why? What does it take to get the job of your dreams? Does the job of your dreams even exist? Can you live on the pay? Will you be prepared to go out and get it when the time comes?


    Job Profile #4. The Translator

    Make love to your dictionary long and often. Play a part in bringing something you love to others who wouldn't otherwise understand it. Have the freedom to work at home or in an office. Fight distraction constantly. Pretend to be incredibly interested in stuff with titles like "Bob and Gary Get it On" and "Reprogramming your Discombobulator" long enough to get paid for changing them into another language. Be underpaid and underappreciated.

    Demand: Relatively high, though a majority of positions are based in the United States, there are a few freelance and staff positions available in Japan as well. The only catch is that as Japanese becomes more and more popular, there's also more competition for the good jobs.

    Longevity: Freelance translators will work by the page, tape, or volume. Staff translators tend to last as long as their companies do (without translators, you can't do a hell of a lot). Translators often end up moving up the coorporate ladder quickly as they have the language skills and cultural background to handle international business affairs with ease.

    Average Pay: $25,000-61,000 a year

    Workplace: Most long-term high-paid translators are staff translators for specific companies. You'll be working in an office, and if it's in Japan, you'll probably be in a suit (crud!)

    Requirements - A bachelor's degree. Fluency and literacy in Japanese. You will need to pass at least Level 2 of the NRS/JLPT exam to get a job in manga/anime translation, or game localization. Most companies require JLPT level 1 within a few years of hiring or to handle text-heavy works (technical manuals, textbooks, novels). You will need excellent command of the language into which or from which you are translating (if you're not a native speaker, you will need exam scores/certifications in that language as well). Nearly ALL translation jobs require an entrance test or exam and/or require samples of previous translations to verify the ability of the candidate. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of Japanese colloquialisms, cultural elements, a variety of speech patterns/dialects, and a good general knowledge of Japan.

    Breakdown: Translation is a very concrete job. It's one in which you can clearly see the result of your efforts... unfortunately, it requires a great deal of deskwork and a lot of time devoted to thinking about language. If you have a passion for Japanese, a good background in English and aren't easily distracted or bored: translation may be a very good career choice for you.

    Preparation: Learn Japanese. Enroll in University for Japanese or Japanese Studies, devote your free time to learning kanji. Start working on passing the JLPT series of exams. Learn to use a kanji dictionary. Seek out opportunities to study abroad and communicate in Japanese and jump on any that present themselves. Familiarize yourself with the translation process by volunteering to work in fansubbing or scanslation circles, take up a novel translation in your free time...

    Links:

    Japanese Language Proficiency Test Info -
    Japanese Language Proficiency Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gally.net - advice from J->E translators
    Getting Started as a Translator

    Working in Japanese Game Development
    Gamasutra - Working In Japanese Game Development: The Other Side Of The Rainbow

    Game Localization Job Listings (USA)
    localization Jobs | Monster.com

    Translator's Cafe.com (forum, support and job listings) - TranslatorsCafe.com—a Place for Translators, Interpreters, Voice Talents, Other Language Professionals and Their Clients.

  2. #2
    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    What's bad bout suits? Salaryman powers unite!
    It's too bad that the biggest job opportunities in Japan for foreigners are related to translating or teaching. In my opinion you would do better staying at home for that kind of stuff.
    At least there you have the advantage of knowing Japanese while most people around you don't.

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    Devoted Otaku Shodokan may be famous one day Shodokan may be famous one day Shodokan's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    Seriously Hassun. They have a bunch of anime and game companies in America that need people to translate stuff into English. Theres no need to leave home.
    ____________________________________________

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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    Quote Originally Posted by Shodokan View Post
    Seriously Hassun. They have a bunch of anime and game companies in America that need people to translate stuff into English. Theres no need to leave home.
    That's what I said isn't it?

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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    To most people who want to work in Japan: the "in Japan" part is of the most vital importance. There's a large segment of fresh-out-of-college folks who pack up their lives and head to Japan with no skills of which to speak specifically to "find a job in Japan". Most of them end up hostessing, stripping, or teaching English at low-paying eikaiwas. They don't care, as long as they're in Japan.

    ^_^;

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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    Quote Originally Posted by tsurara View Post
    To most people who want to work in Japan: the "in Japan" part is of the most vital importance. There's a large segment of fresh-out-of-college folks who pack up their lives and head to Japan with no skills of which to speak specifically to "find a job in Japan". Most of them end up hostessing, stripping, or teaching English at low-paying eikaiwas. They don't care, as long as they're in Japan.

    ^_^;
    Yeah I admit that's true. Most people learn the language with the purpose of doing something in Japan later on. In my experience, you either have to own a certified master's degree in Japanese studies or, better yet, something completely unrelated to language AND know the language well enough to get somewhere.

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    Newbie TokyoNoHito is off to a good start
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    Anyone who has read this need to know that none of these people know what they are talking about.

    I have lived in Japan for over 11 years, I have a professional life and speak the language moderately.

    If you are interested in the real truth; ask.

  8. #8
    Newbie TheDarknesInTheLight is off to a good start TheDarknesInTheLight's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan - #4 Translation

    ya i go back and forth from japan and US and know hardly any japanese at all most the people that are in japan at least the younger people and by younger i mean 30 and under all speak some english at least i went there to learn japanese but hard to learn it when your not forced to even try to speak in it lol
    The closer you get the light the greater your darkness becomes...


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