Broadcast interpreters in Japan: bringing news to and from the world
During the past twenty years, interpreters have been an active force in broadcasting TV news in Japan. This article looks at how this mode of interpreting has taken root in Japan and then examines the constraints, requirements and challenges for the future. It first reviews how interpreting television news from English into Japanese is performed on regular news programs. Interpreting Japanese news programs into English is also discussed in light of the remarkable events of 2011. The two essential constraints in TV news interpreting are the short preparation time and the undefined audience. More often than not, prepared texts are not available and preparation time is extremely limited. Broadcast interpreters need to be flexible and to be equipped with not only linguistic ability but also with a broad knowledge of current affairs. They also need to be skilled at conveying the news using their voice as a tool. To convey the news accurately and intelligibly, broadcast interpreters need to constantly update not only their linguistic ability but also their background knowledge and announcer-grade speaking skills. As a result of the increased prominence broadcast interpreting as a profession has its own niche as part of news reporting in journalism.
The Interpreters' Newsletter
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Chikako Tsuruta, "Broadcast interpreters in Japan: bringing news to and from the world", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter, 16 (2011), pp. 157-173.