Category Archives: Translation


(この記事は3月14日に投稿した「Good Listener」の日本語版となります。 This is the Japanese version of the article “Good Listener,” posted on March 14th )








“Good listener”


So often I hear about “being a good listener” as a desired trait in having a good converstation. It’s true that you need to pay attention to the person with whom you’re speaking, but recently I realized it’s more than that.

A little bit of context for the reader: I lean very heavily toward the introvert side of the spectrum. I feel I am a fantastic listener… As long as the other person is willing to talk! Lol
At one point in a conversation I always run in to an awkward pause (whether it’s because the other person has run out of things to say, or they, too, lean toward introversion.)
Although I’m a good listener, I’m a HORRIBLE conversationalist! Lol

This is where my recent discovery comes into play.

A similar phrase to “good listener” exists in Japanese, too, and it is also what makes for a good conversational partner.

That phrase is “聞き上手” (read: kiki joe-zuu”).

The most commonly used Japanese word for “listen” is “聞く” (read: kiku). (There are a few other variations like 聴く or 耳を傾ける, and what have you, but I’ll put them aside for this discussion.)
But, “kiku” is also the word used to represent the word “ask” or “interview.”
An interviewer is sometimes called “聞き手” (read: Kiki teh).
In the Japanese concept of a “good listener,” the person not only knows to shut their mouth when someone else is talking, but they also know how to ASK the right questions!

That was a lightbulb moment for me right there. That is how I can combat the awkward silence.

I hope it sparked some inspiration in other folks like it did to me. 🙂


A little bit about me

Just a little bit about me.

My profession is Japanese to English (and vice-versa) translation.
I love translating – or rather, I love being able to bridge two people who would otherwise be unable to communicate with each other, through translating between two languages. I was born from an international marriage, and I received my first bits of “training” when my mother (who speaks primarily in English) wanted me to tell her what our Pastor (who was speaking in Japanese) was saying at church.

I didn’t start out wanting to be a full-time translator, though. Of all things, I wanted to be a manga artist, or a computer graphics artist. It wasn’t until going through art school to realize it wasn’t for me. It was in part my fault for not applying myself fully to the craft. but also partially because I do not have any artistic/design sensibilities in general. 😛

At the time of writing this, I’ve been a professional translator for about 11 years. I’d like to think I have some insight I can provide into the practice of translating.