It was a great experience working at Impact HUB Kyoto with the other KCJS students and HUB staff over this semester. Impact HUB Kyoto is a place where creative people gather and work on different programs that connect and inspire people. At HUB, I mainly worked as a translator to translate event blogs, instructions and flyers from Japanese to English.
The working environment in Impact HUB could not be better, as it is located in a traditional Japanese style building where there is a bamboo forest in the yard, a Noh stage and tatami rooms on the second floor. At the beginning of the semester, we had a couple of meetings where we got to know different HUB members and had a general idea about how HUB works. We were also individually interviewed on our background and specific things we were interested in. I chose to do the translation along with another KCJS student Baylee, as translation from Japanese to English is a good practice of my language skills outside the class.
Aside from the translation work, we were also welcomed to attend any of the HUB events. I participated in an event about Shugendo, a combination of Shinto and Buddhism, during which I took photos and shot videos. Even though the guest speaker’s words were difficult to understand, as the event was related to religions, one of the HUB staff, Eri-san, was interpreting for us for the whole time. I would not have been able to understand everything without her help. After the event, I was also asked to write my thoughts on the event.
Translating from Japanese to English is a huge challenge for me, as it is difficult to find equivalent words in English (sometimes it is even impossible). When I started out translating, I had a hard time understanding the meaning of some long sentences in the blog, and I turned to the HUB staff for help. When I finished translating one article, HUB staff would go over it and then post it online. It was a great pleasure seeing your own translation work on their website. Even though translation was very time-consuming, and it was easy to get bored, HUB has always been a place to relax. It was an unforgettable experience overall.
It is worth mentioning that every week we had a general meeting that basically lasted for an hour and half. During the meeting, there was a “check-in” part and a “check-out” part, both of which were a good opportunity to share with the other interns and HUB staff about school lives, personal experiences in Kyoto, etc. I appreciate that HUB staff were patiently listening to my talks, even though sometimes I was too nervous to think about anything interesting to say. Whenever I had questions or I wanted to ask for permission, I got to practice oral Japanese in different occasions. Even though every week I spent about five hours working at HUB Kyoto, I think it was worth time and effort doing it.
日本人はよく「よろしくお願いします。」と言いますけど、英語ではあまりその表現を使いません。だから、前後の文を見て、「Thank you for your coorporation.」という文に翻訳した方がいいと思いました。