Spring 2019 graduate Masako Fukutani MATI ‘19 won runner up in the Student Division of the Japan Association of Conference Interpreters’ 2019 Simultaneous Interpretation Grand Prix.
For the preliminary stage of the Grand Prix competition, which took place in May 2019, contestants were required to submit audio recordings of their interpretations. Four finalists were selected for both the open and student divisions of the competition. For the final stage of the competition, the contestants were required to simultaneously interpret from both Japanese to English and English to Japanese for live speakers in front of an audience and judges.
“The atmosphere was very unique since the audience was there not necessarily for the speeches but for our interpretation performances. Interpreters usually work behind the scenes, but this time we were in the spotlight,” said Fukutani.
“Although the speeches were not easy and I was nervous, I was able to be the runner-up for the student division thanks to the intense practical training at MIIS. I am also grateful for my booth partner, who was very friendly and easy to work with. The best part of this competition was that I was able to connect with amazing interpreters, including the other finalists and the organizers of the event. As I got to know them over dinner, I learned so much from their insights.”
Recent graduate Fukutani will be working in Tokyo, Japan beginning in July as an in-house interpreter/translator. She hopes to return to the competition for the open division after gaining further work experience.