01 Mar Practice Interpreting
I had a great day yesterday. One of my friends from University is originally from Australia. Her parents decided to come to Tokyo to visit her. She has been taking her parents around Tokyo seeing all the kinds of different sightseeing places for the last week. My friend came to me and said that she has a very important test and that she cannot take care of her parents for that day. She asked me if I would help. So I decided that I would take her parents around because it would be nice to help my friend and it would be great English practice. I met her parents at their hotel around 9 o’clock in the morning. I plan on taking them to see three or four different local popular spots. We had dinner and lunch and we had a lot of fun. Had dinner at the table next to us started to talk with us about Australia. But the table was full Japanese people who couldn’t speak English. And my friends parents obviously don’t speak Japanese. So I found myself in a situation of when I was interpreting for them. It was amazing. I was interpreting for over an hour. And I like to think that I did a pretty good job. Of course it was very difficult. In the beginning, had a very hard time keeping track of what everyone was saying. But eventually we all found a good rhythm. They would say something in short sentences and then wait for me to translate it. Then the other group but again say something in short sentences. It’s not exactly continuous interpreting but I think that is a very good start.
After the dinner the parents thanked me for showing them around Tokyo and interpreting for them at dinner. They said that that conversation was one of the highlights of their vacation. They were able to talk about all kinds of different difficult subjects thanks to me. When they told me this I became so happy that I almost cried. I told him that was very nice to meet them and that I hope someday I can go to Australia to meet them there. Then I went home.
The next day I found a basket of flowers and candy on my front porch step. It was from my friend and her parents. They thanked me for the other day. It was a great day. And it really made me feel like my goal to become a volunteer interpreter is worthwhile.