Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Maiko Shimmura: 5 Questions for a Translator and Interpreter at Honda Motors

Maiko Shimmura

Maiko (middle) enjoys Colton Hall in Monterey with her classmates.

May 19, 2010

Maiko Shimmura shares her experience as an in-house translator and interpreter for Honda Moters.

Through our Conference Interpretation program, Maiko received intensive training in both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation as well as translation.

1) Tell us about your position as a Japanese-English translator & interpreter for Honda Motors.

I interpret simultaneously for the Purchasing Division's meetings related to cost planning and translate presentation documents and emails for the American associates stationed in Japan.

2) What are the most enjoyable moments of your job?

I have the opportunity to interpret for management level meetings which determine the future path of the company. It is exciting to be able to support such discussions!

3) What's one challenge you experience as a translator & interpreter?

Remaining neutral: the more I learn about people and their work, the more I develop opinions. However, it's important not to allow my personal opinions to impact the interpretation.

4) What inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

I developed basic English skills during my 6 years in Tennessee as a child. Then the semi-interpreting jobs I had during college and the interpreting courses I took awakened me to the joy of interpreting and determined my path since then. It is difficult to describe the feeling of being in sync with the speaker, or watching two people who speak different languages communicate through you.

5) Where do you see yourself next?

In the future, I would like to work as a freelancer, specializing in corporate interpreting in the Tokyo area.

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