English is my native language, but Japanese is the language that is close to my heart, my family and our family business.
It started when I dropped out of college, leaving Albuquerque, New Mexico for the bright lights of Osaka and Tokyo. I met Yoko, our CEO, in Japan close to 40 years ago, when I started working for her as an English teacher. My time in Japan provided the opportunity for me to work with some amazing people at Japanese media giants such as Mainichi Daily, Fuji Sankei and Dentsu, among others. I really got a handle on the power of language between two cultures in my turn with Japan’s foreign ministry, where I had the opportunity to work on speeches for various prime ministers and the Emperor.
Since then, my old boss Yoko has become my new boss, and my wife too. When she started this business we were Japanese only. Now we work in about 150 languages and we have a fantastic global crew that can make it happen in any language, but the CEO and I are still running this place like a tako-yaki stand in Tennoji. OK. Not really like that at all, but with the same resolution to make every word a pearl, especially in the languages we love best, and the languages of our love. (Happy Valentine’s day, Shacho!)
Because of our cultural differences it can be challenging at times, but years of experience have allowed us to develop special expertise in adaptation, maritally and linguistically. It really is our core competency. It’s got to be, for the sake of our business, and our marriage too!
We count on many qualified and talented Japanese translators here at Responsive Translation to translate between Japanese and English with kokoro/heart in both languages.
Japanese Translators Weigh In
We asked two of our English to Japanese translators what they thought about the languages they speak and their work.
About their native language Japanese: “It’s indirect and introverted. It has a variety of ways to mention one thing,” said the first translator. “Very exquisite and delicate expression becomes possible in Japanese,” affirmed the second.
About English: “It’s direct, extroverted and logical,” declared the first translator. “It gives me courage,” said the second.
And about translating English to Japanese: “This is my vocation,” revealed the first translator. “It’s a challenge,” declared the second.
Now, dear reader, what are your thoughts about the Japanese language? Or can you tell us what language is closest to your own heart?