Monthly Archives: March 2018

「聞き上手」

(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 )

会話をするコツとして「聞き上手」である事が求められる傾向にあるようだ。
確かに、相手が話している内容にきちんと耳を傾けることは大事だと思うのだが、ただ「聞く」だけではないような気がしてならない。

何故そのようなことを言うのかというと、自分は非常に内向的気なので「黙って聞く」のは得意中の得意なのだ。・・・ただ、相手に話す気がある場合に限り。w
必ずと言って良いほど人と会話をしているうちに(相手の話題が尽きてしまったり、もしくは向こうも内向的な性格であった場合)間が空いてしまい、非常に気まずい。
「聞き上手」であるはずなのに、「会話」がとてつもなく下手くそなのだ。wwww

そこで、最近気づきを得たことがある。

日本語で言う「聞き上手」と言う言葉は「ただ黙って聞く」ではなく「質問をする」という意味合いが含まれている。
英語の「interviewer」という言葉が日本語では「聞き手」に相当することを最近学んだ。
つまりは、人が話しているときにただ静かに聞いているだけではなくて、相手が話しを続けたくなるように質問を「聞く」ことが上手い人が求められているのだ。

今度、会話に間が空いたときには頑張って質問をしてみよう。

この気づきが他のだれかにも役に立つことを願って。:)

-AJ

“Good listener”

(この記事の日本語版はこちら

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. 🙂

-AJ

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.

-AJ