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4 Important Basic Skills for Junior Interpreter

My personal experience as a Japanese Interpreter. From my podcast ‘Reffi_d’

Hi, today I will share my experience as a junior interpreter. If you check my personal Instagram account, you will know that I work as a Japanese Interpreter, book author also a content writer.

I love to learn many new languages so I decided to study Japanese Literature major when I entered university. If you are a language enthusiast and now trying to achieve your dream as a translator or interpreter, I will share my experience as a Japanese speaker staff for 7 years. But today I’m focusing on interpreting only, especially for the beginner.

This is my opinion so it doesn’t mean it’s true for others, so I will explain what is the basic skills that we should master as a beginner interpreter.

First, you should have a bravery

Bravery is a must. It is useless if you get an A grade in all of your language exam but you don’t be brave to speak with a foreigner.

Indonesian is our native language so it makes sense if we make mistakes in speaking English, Japanese or so on.

I practised my speaking skill wth my friend, teachers, and with my Japanese friends who were studying in my university. If you don’t find any in your circle, instal an app to speak and chat with friends from other countries.

Second, curiosity is necessary

When I became an interpreter in a motorbike’s race, I don’t know at all about the motor machine, how to ride in a motorbike, what is the race’s system and many more.

But because I need the money and I wanted to take the challenge, so I accepted the freelance job offer. I’m a highly curious person, and I think it helps me to level up my skill and increasing my learning progress. I searched on Google the machine’s vocabularies in Japanese, then I asked everyone who was working with me at the job site.

Third, you shouldn’t become over pride in your language ability

If your language ability is praised by your clients, don’t become over pride. Language learning is constant learning, so we should practice it in a daily basis.

For example, I always listen to Japanese and English podcast and reading some articles in those languages. Then I try to record my voice when I speak in those languages. Be a humble interpreter.

Fourth, practise your focus

Interpreting is different ith translating. You should take your concentration 100% on your clients so you will understand the context.

If you lost your focus, you won’t be able to interpret precisely. But if you make mistakes, and you don’t understand your clients’ sentences, saying sorry first then asking them to retell them again.

Don’t assume by yourself and interpret it as you like. It’s forbidden and it’s dangerous. Imagine if you interpret about machine process and your interpretation doesn’t match with the client’s words, another worker will run the machine in the wrong method and it can put them in a dangerous situation.

So this is my opinion about the basic skills that we should master as beginner interpreter. I hope you have the courage and discipline to learn every day.



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Reffi Dhinar

Japanese Interpreter, book author, content writer. You also can read my Indonesian article on and