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Job availible to those Japanese Speakers 2008/1/1 04:17
Hey everyone!

Here's some quick background. I think it may help you all understand my question better. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness.

I am just returning to college at 25. In the past, I was in school and changed majors frequently. I stuck to money-making majors, but ended up dropping out or changing again. Basically, in the end, I just wasn't interested in the subject and couldn't make myself study. I only saw the $$$ I would make upon graduation and beyond. Now, I found something that I truely love, will study and will stick to. I have General Studies AA and I'm looking to finish my schooling with a BS in Japanese.

Now, my question is. I would like a minor or second major. I was thinking about going into business as a freelance translator, english tutor or something similar. I would double major in Linquistics. I do love languages and such and I thought this would do well. But, the only thing I not sure if this is really marketable. A few friends of mine and even random people that I've met and chatted with say I should minor in Accounting, International Business, or something business related. But, I'm not sure.

Basically, I'm just looking for stories and suggestions from people who have been in my situation or those who are pretty knowlegable of the job market.

Thanks alot!

PS, living in Japan isn't neccessary, but it would be a great bonus. I would not mind living/working there for a while. Or even traveling there every so often for work-related things.
by Eboni  

... 2008/1/1 13:21
As far as I know, just out of university (meaning no work experience) and doing translation, either verbally (interpreter) or written (translator) could be difficult - at least in Japan there will be soooo many competitors (Japanese) that you might find it difficult to get started. It's better you have industry knowledge so that you know the substance of what you are translating or interpreting about. And interpreting/translating does require skills in addition to the language knowledge itself or linguistics (linguistics is like taking apart the language and learning how they are made; interpreting/translation is about how the language is used in real-life). If you are interested in translation/interpreting, please look at the courses at Monterey university.

Another thing: if you want to do freelance translator, then that means you have to be based in your own country, because of visa issue for Japan - you cannot just come over to Japan and start freelance work; you would need some kind of work-permitting visa, meaning you will need to be employed by someone, who will be the sponsor for your visa (unless you are married to a Japanese national).

If you remain in your country (I don't know where you are but) there are many translator forums in the US, for example, and there are some sites where they do "reverse bidding" for real cheap jobs, so please try searching for those as well.

For teaching English, there are soooo many threads on the subject on this forum, please try running a search.

I know several British and European people who majored in Japanese AND Business or Accounting, who got hired by Japanese or European companies who eventually sent them to Japan to work; to me, it's always best to have some special field that you major in, apart from the language :) Good luck in everything!
by AK rate this post as useful

Thanks! 2008/1/1 14:45
I knew I forgot something. I'm in the USA now. And yea, I read and searched for teaching English in Japan. I in a way, that's my last resort. Since, like you said, there's so much competition. I'd rather do something in America, but the ability to travel would be awesome!

Thanks for the quick reply!
by Eboni rate this post as useful

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