Okinawa prefectural Board of Education held a program called “Let’s Experience Jobs Using English” at OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) on August 17. In the program, English-speaking professionals in various fields introduced their own jobs to junior and senior high school students. The purpose of this program was to obtain a better understanding of international jobs so that students can make use of this program to decide about their future career paths. Approximately 300 students from 15 junior high schools and 33 senior high schools in Okinawa participated in this program.
During each session, professionals such as OIST interpreters and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) staff members talked about their own jobs, attitudes, and what to do to become an interpreter, and so on.
During the interpretation and translation session, an interpreter at OIST gave some advice about how to become an interpreter, stressing on health and physical stamina as the first priority, and the importance of studying not only English, but also Japanese so that listeners can understand easily. Among other things, a willingness to study new things and being tough-minded no matter what happens are also required, according to the lecturer.
In addition, interns from universities in Okinawa demonstrated note-taking and simultaneous interpretation in front of the students.
Students actively asked questions, such as whether there is any license needed to become an interpreter, and how to improve English pronunciation. The lecturer answered, “There is no mandatory license to become an interpreter, but competence is solely required to survive in this field.” She also added that for good English pronunciation, remembering the position of your tongue is important.
Seiran Nishi (15), first year student at Maehara Senior High School commented, “I would like to be a guide interpreter during 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I would like to make the most of what I have learned today for realizing my future goal.”
Other professionals visiting as guest speakers were from the U.S. Consulate General Naha, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Okinawa Liaison Office, Jiji Press, Ltd. Naha, and ANA Inter Continental Manza Beach Resort.