映画やドラマなど、日本のコンテンツに英語字幕を付ける映像翻訳者は、何がきっかけでこの道を選んだのか？ また映像翻訳の魅力とは何なのか？ 日英の映像翻訳者としてデビューを果たしたニーナ・マツシマさんにインタビューをしました。
◆How did you hear about the JVTA Japanese-to-English translation course, and why did you decide to take it?
A: I heard about the course from a friend who now works at JVTA. Her description of the course appealed to me for two reasons: First, the information came at a time when I was trying to figure out what to do next, and I remembered that as well as teaching, I also liked translating. Second, I’ve always loved games, anime, and manga. While I’d done some things for friends, I realized that this was a good chance to get experience from people who work in fields I’m interested in and perhaps open doors to dreams I’d half given up on.
◆What was your impression of the JVTA classes and homework?
A: I really liked the lesson format. The weekly tasks allowed us to translate a wide variety of content on our own, and then we’d come back and discuss our work with classmates and the instructor. This not only was a chance to get valuable feedback on my own task, but look at different approaches taken by the others. Every single class was engaging. Every single person there was passionate about what they were doing. I couldn’t ask for a better learning environment.
◆What opportunities has studying at JVTA given you?
A: Studying at JVTA has given me many chances to meet and share ideas with people who are all very passionate about translation. It also gave me a chance to work with the things I’d studied in class. It was immensely gratifying to see my work published, and the feedback I received was always very helpful. Finally, taking the Japanese-to-English course allowed me to achieve one of my dreams: working in the gaming industry.
◆Who would you recommend the course to?
A: If you’re interested in translating television shows, movies, manga, games, Japanese culture—any of these things—then I strongly recommend this course! You get a practical, hands-on education, and the opportunity to discuss your ideas with your fellow classmates. The instructors are all professionals in their respective fields and can offer invaluable advice. Finally, because of the nature of translation, you also learn to polish your writing—a skill that comes in handy no matter what field you’re in.
◆Did you have any previous translation experience before taking the course?
A: I managed a fan site and did translations for a fantasy RPG game title for some years. I also took on commissions translating fan works for friends and acquaintances. To an extent, having this experience helped me prepare for the translation coursework, though in other respects I had to abandon some self-taught preconceptions in order to move forward.
◆What is it like working on projects for JVTA while also having a full-time job?
A: While I currently don’t do as much work for JVTA as I used to due to the nature of my current job, when I first started receiving projects it was relatively easy to adjust my schedule for any tasks that came along. As time went on, I got a feel for how much I could handle at any given time while still maintaining a high level of quality. Working with JVTA was great, because I was able to regularly get feedback on the things I was working on, and there was always someone willing to explain something or help when I needed it.
Q: Are you thinking of a future career in translation?
A: Actually, it’s because of JVTA that I’ve been able to set out on my career. I graduated from the Japanese-to-English program about three years ago and my life has changed dramatically since then. As I mentioned previously, it’s thanks to the valuable experience I gained while taking the course that I was able to get my foot into the door of the gaming industry. I started as a temp contract employee doing mobile game localization, and am now a coordinator overseeing the English localization of a mobile game title. None of this would have been possible without JVTA.