At Work 仕事場にて

In this very short video you see me interpreting live over zoom. Remote interpreting is the new standard, and I am ready to provide the same fast and precise service as ever online. Zoom offers what appears to be a unique capability among conferencing platforms: an extra channel for simultaneous interpretation. I have used it many times and find it quite stable. Simultaneous interpreting formerly required renting headsets and transmitters at a minimum, and usually a booth and other equipment. Zoom makes simultaneous interpreting accessible to everyone. It does not allow interpreting partners to communicate with one another as they would in a booth, but using a mobile phone as a second communication channel solves that problem. I anticipate more interpreting-enhancing technologies to come online soon.


Working Examples

(Legal Interpreting)

I borrow the phrase “working examples” from the patent world, because much of my interpreting work is directed at patent disputes. I have worked on many dozens of cases, involving technologies from digital cameras to hybrid cars, antidepressants, jet engines, nuclear power plants, photolithography machines, and wind turbines. I have also interpreted at numerous trials at the ITC and in various district courts.

Many depositions for patent disputes have been taken at the US Consulate in Osaka, visible in the background of the photo (in the right column) with a recently deposed client and his attorney. If you are an attorney who has taken testimony through an interpreter, you may know the pitfalls, which can be summed up as imprecision and frustrating slowness. The defending side may bring a check interpreter who challenges your interpreter constantly, slowing the process even further. For many attorneys it is a painful process. My promise to plaintiffs’ attorneys is this: I have the vocabulary, the nuanced command of English and Japanese, and the technical understanding to render fast translations for a clear, usable, record. Interruptions from the check interpreter will be minimal, and the deponent will understand that the interpreter is not an obstacle to his or her being properly understood. For defending attorneys, the same qualities apply. My approach to checking is collegial and cooperative, but I have a keen ear for errors of substance, and give my utmost to assure your client is being correctly understood. In witness preparation I am usually able to grasp the issues quickly and gain the trust of the client’s IP personnel and inventors. There is no stenographer present to record what a Japanese witness says, but as check interpreter I come as close as possible to writing down the Japanese testimony verbatim, so if I do challenge the other side’s interpretation I can do so convincingly.


Deposition Interpreting

実施例 (法務通訳)

ここでは、“working examples” という言い回しを特許の業界用語よりお借りしました 。なぜなら、私の仕事の大部分は特許紛争にかかわるものだからです 。今まで、デジカメ、ハイブリッド自動車、抗うつ剤、ジェットエンジン、原子力発電所、半導体用露光装置、風車など数十にものぼる案件に携わってまいりました 。また、ITC (国際貿易委員会)や米国地裁での多くの公判において通訳をしております 。 特許紛争のデポジション(証言録取)は、大阪米国総領事館で多くおこなわれます 。この写真は、大阪領事館前でデポジション後、証言者と米国弁護士の通訳をしている場面です 。 Clients at the US Consulate in Osaka

With clients at the US Consulate in Osaka

弁護士の方で通訳を使って証言を集めた経験があれば、その落とし穴をよくご存知でしょう 。それは、通訳を介することで生じる不透明さやダラダラとした進行のことです 。 原告側の通訳に対し、被告側の通訳がたえず指摘するような場合には、進行がますます滞り、多くの弁護士がつらい思いをすることになるのです 。 原告側弁護士の通訳を務める場合、私は、自身の技術的な語彙力、それに加え英語と日本語両方のニュアンスを正しく理解する力をお約束します 。 これにより、証言として明確で活用可能な記録を迅速に仕上げます 。そして、チェック通訳からの指摘がへり、証人自身も通訳の技量を疑うことなく、進行がスム—ズなものとなります 。 —方、被告側の弁護士でチェッカ—を務める場合、上記をお約束するとともに、原告側にも友好で協力的な姿勢で臨みます 。しかし、実質的な間違いに対しては、敏感に耳をかたむけ、必ずクライアントのいわんとしていることが正しく伝わるようにチェックをいれます 。また、デポジションの準備にあたっては、争点をすばやく把握し、知財担当者や発明者にご信頼いただきます 。 日本人の証言者が述べる日本語を記録する法廷記録者はいません 。しかし私は証言者の日本語を—言—句もらさず記録するよう努めています 。これにより、相手の通訳に指摘が必要な場合には、説得力をもってあたることができるのです 。
Shuji Nakamura

The inventor of the white LED lightbulb, Shuji Nakamura

Shuji Nakamura needs no introduction. His achievement in single-handedly overcoming all technical obstacles to create the blue light diodes which have given humanity white LED light, responsible for closing many a coal-fired generator, is a monument to human persistence and pluck. I was excited and honored to be asked by multiple law firms to interpret his testimony in a recent case. My notes from one of the days say, “when he got going with his retelling of the [redacted] story he let it rip partly because he knew I was getting it across…” As you can see from this short video, he speaks with the rapidity of a mind too fast for words, a challenge to any interpreter. To achieve Nakamura’s trust in my interpreting was a high point in my career.   中村修二 は紹介するまでもないでしょう。青色ダイオードの開発への障壁を殆ど独自で克服した結果、白いLED照明が実現でき、数多くの火力発電所を建造しないで済む、等数多くの恩恵を人類にもたらしました。まさに彼の研究は、人間の粘り強さと勇気の象徴と言えるでしょう。ある裁判のための証人尋問において中村氏の通訳を複数の当事者を代理するそれぞれの法律事務所から依頼を受け、光栄と同時に高揚感を覚えました。自分の当時の作業メモには「私が彼(中村氏)の意向をちゃんと相手の伝えている事に中村氏は気づき、言いたい放題 彼はストーリーを語った」と書いてありました。この短い動画からも判るように、頭の回転が非常に早い方にありがちな早口で話されるので、どの通訳も苦労すると思いますが,私の通訳が中村氏の信頼を得ることができたのは大変嬉しい出来事です。
US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel and Japanese Minister of Defense, Itsunori Onodera, 2013

With Sec. of State, Chuck Hagel, in Brunei, 2013

This is a published news photo of a meeting between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera.


The location was the Empire Hotel in the Sultanate of Brunei. During the approximately 30 hour trip from Boston I read Mr. Hagel’s book, “America, Our Next Chapter,” which among other things recounts his experience being rescued in combat during the Vietnam War by his own brother, then later rescuing his brother in turn after himself being burned by an explosion. He writes, “I made myself a promise that if I ever got out of that place and was ever in a position to do something about war…I would do whatever I could to stop it.”

ボストンからブルネイまでの30時間以上のフライト中にヘーゲル氏の著書である「America, Our Next Chapter」 (アメリカ、我等の次章)を読みました。その中でベトナム戦争の戦闘中に自分の兄に救出されたこと、そしてその後に自分が弾薬の爆発で火傷を負っていたにもかかわらずその兄を救出した話を語ります。「もしその戦場から生還することができ、そして戦争に対して何か手を打てるような立場になれたら、どんなことをしてでも戦争を止める努力をすると自分に約束をした」と書きました。

I told Mr. Hagel I’d read his book, to which he quipped “I didn’t think a man from Massachusetts would read a book by a Nebraskan.” Such apparent humility and humor are key ingredients for an American politician, and it struck me that Mr. Hagel might do quite well in a future presidential election.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

From time to time I have the privilege to interpret for government entities.

ときには、米国政府の認定通訳として依頼をいただきます 。

When this photo was taken I was interpreting at a private meeting dinner between Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Japanese counterpart General Ryoichi Oriki.

この写真は、米国統合参謀本部議長 Mike Mullen氏が、日本の折木良一統合幕僚長を自宅に招かれた際、通訳を務めたときのものです 。

I later found myself interpreting between General Oriki and Mr. Terry Shima, Japanese-American veteran leader, at the site of the “Japanese-American Memorial to Patriotism” in Washington.

その後、ワシントンにある日系アメリカ人国立愛国記念碑にて、折木統合幕僚長と日系退役軍人の代表 Terry Shima 氏の通訳をいたしました 。

This was a personal closing of a circle, as my connection with Japan began with a great affection for my Japanese-American aunt, Florence Field (née Numajiri), who was raised in San Francisco by parents who emigrated from Japan in 1920. In 1941, Florence and her family were removed from their home and forced to relocate to the internment camp in Topaz, Utah, memorialized in this photo.

私個人にとっては、これは縁がつながった出会いでもあったのです 。この写真は、私と折木幕僚長が「TOPAZ」と記された碑の前で撮ったものです 。私の伯母の Florence Field 旧姓 沼尻)は1920に両親が米国に移住し、その後日本との戦争が始まると、この「TOPAZ」という収容所に連行・拘束されたのです 。

CF with General Oriki
It therefore had special meaning for me to stand with General Oriki as his interpreter at this site memorializing a place that so affected the life of the person who first drew me to study Japanese.

穏やかで寛容な伯母は私が日本へのあこがれをもつきっかけとなった人物です 。その伯母の人生をかえた「TOPAZ」の前で、日本の「長」と肩をならべるということは、私にとって感慨深いものでした 。

CF with General Oriki (2)
With Mitsubishi Heavy Industry President, Hideaki Omiya

With Mitsubishi Heavy Industry President, Hideaki Omiya

This screenshot was extracted from the web page of a local TV station in Savannah, GA on the occasion of the opening of Mitsubishi’s new gas turbine manufacturing plant there in May 2011. This is a bold investment of several hundred million dollars to support gas-fired electrical generation as coal and perhaps nuclear generation wane. I have had the privilege of interpreting for Mitsubishi Heavy industries in the wind power and nuclear fields on several occasions, and was honored to be called to assist President Hideaki Omiya as he responded to television and news service interviews. The main interest was in job creation, but one reporter introduced a bit of humor by asking President Omiya how he liked the gnats (then in full season). He deftly turned the subject to his impressions of the surrounding landscape, which he had found very beautiful.

このスクリーンショットはジョージア州サヴァンナの地元テレビ局のホームページから引用したもので、2011年5月に行われた三菱重工のガスタービンの製造工場の落成式を報道しています 。この工場の目的は石炭燃焼、そして原子力が問われる中でガス燃焼による発電をサポートする数億ドルにも上る大胆な投資です 。私は風力発電や原子力発電の分野などで数年に亘り三菱重工の通訳をしてきましたが、今回大宮英明社長がテレビや通信社のインタビューに対応する際に通訳のアシストを求められ、光栄に思いました 。報道機関の関心はやはり新工場による雇用がメインでしたが、ある女性リポーターはちょっとユーモラスな形で大宮社長に「ジョージアの(この季節に繁殖する)ブヨはいかが思われますか?」と尋ねたところ、「飛行機から見下ろしたときこの周辺の自然はとても美しいなと印象を受けましたよ」と上手に対応しました 。
Governor Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney

Soon to become the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Mitt Romney was the governor of the state of Massachusetts (my home) until January 2006. This photo was taken during a visit to Boston by the speaker and several other members of the legislature of Hokkaido, our sister state. It must be noted that in contrast to the speaker of the legislature, who kept the visitors waiting for more than 20 minutes in a hallway before sending word that he would not be able to meet due to an emergency (heavy rain in the west), Governor Romney was precisely on time and enthusiastically answered questions about Massachusetts’s experience as a biotech enterprise incubator.

2012年の大統領選で共和党の候補に選ばれたミット・ロムニー氏は2006年まで私が暮らしているマサチューセッツ州の知事をしていました 。この写真は北海道の道議会の議長等による代表団がボストンを訪れたときに撮影されました 。通訳の私にとって恥ずかしいことに、マサチューセッツの州議会の議長は日本の皆さんを迎える予定になっていたにもかかわらず、20分以上廊下で待たせた後、「有事対応(西方面での豪雨)のため今回はお会いできない」と係にきっぱりと言わせたのでした 。それとは対照的にロムニー州知事はぴったり時間通りに現れ、道議会議員のマサチューセッツにおけるバイオ技術の産業育成等についての質問に熱心に回答しました 。
CF with Dr. Amar Bose

Dr. Amar Bose

At one point I interpreted an interview between Bose founder Dr. Amar Bose and TV Asahi host Jiro Ishikawa on the question of what makes a great brand “a brand” at his private office at the firm’s headquarters.

先日、スピーカ等の音響機器で知られるボーズ社の創立者アマーボーズ博士に対しテレビ朝日の石川次郎さんが「偉大なるブランドとは何か」と題するインタビューを本社にある博士のオフィスで行いました 。その際通訳を勤めさせていただきました 。

I found Dr. Bose to be a careful listener and surprisingly humble. When asked how his company had created such a preeminent brand, he chuckled that he’d never really thought about it . . . he was more interested in the technical challenges of audio engineering. He also described himself as a bridge between the spiritual awareness through his Indian heritage and western scientific rigor cultivated in his many years at MIT.

まず私はボーズ博士は話を慎重に聞こうとする案外謙虚な方だと思いました 。ボーズという卓越したブランドはどのようにして作られたのかとの質問には、「あまり考えたことがないですね 。それよりも音響技術のチャレンジに興味があった」とクスクス笑いながら答えていました 。また、自分はインドの祖先から引き継いだスピリチュアルな物に目を向けた姿勢に対する自覚とMIT等で身につけた西洋の科学的精密さとをつなぐ架け橋であるとも述べました 。

Behind us on the blackboard are some mathematical representations of acoustic phenomena underlying this 10,000 employee enterprise.

写真の後ろに写っているのはこの一万人からなる企業を支える音響現象の原理を表した数式やグラフです 。

Dr. Bose said after the interview that he had never had such interesting questions from the American press, and I am happy to say that both sides indicated a high regard for the interpreting.

インタビューの後に、ボーズ博士は「こんなによく考えた質問はアメリカのマスコミからも受けたことがない」とおっしゃいました 。石川さんの「完璧な通訳」との一言は嬉しかったです 。

Dr. Bose, myself, and an associate
Candidate Bill Clinton

Candidate Bill Clinton

My first encounter with Clinton was at a public school in Brooklyn, as he launched his NY campaign for the presidential primary. I was struck, like most who met him, by his direct focus on my eyes as he spoke, as though he was truly interested in me and my question. That evening on the news program on which I was reporting, I made what I suspect was the first prediction to a Japanese television audience that Clinton would be the next president.

最初にクリントンさんに出会ったのはニューヨーク州での大統領予備選のときであった 。彼に遭ったことのある多くの人もそうですが、私が記者として訪ねていた質問、そして私自身に対し本当に興味があるようなまなざしで向かってくれたことに感銘しました 。その晩のニュース番組に出演していた私はクリントンの当選を日本の皆さんに初の予言をしました 。

CF with President Ronald Reagan

US President, Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was invited to Japan in 1989, immediately after the San Francisco earthquake. While I was interviewing him at his hotel, a group of college students on their way to help out with the aftermath of the earthquake appeared in the lobby. I managed to lead them into his suite and mediate a discussion, which began with Reagan saying, seeming to recall World War II as if it was a recent event, “who would ever have thought our two countries would become such good friends,” thus allowing me to state accurately that I have interpreted for a president.

1989年のサンフランシスコ地震の直後、大統領の任期を終えたばかりのロナルド・レーガン氏が日本に招待されました 。私はテレビの報道人としてホテル・オークラでインタビューを目論んでいたそのとき、地震の後始末の救援活動のため間もなく渡米する大学生の集団がホテルのロビーに現れました 。そこで、私はその学生達をレーがン氏のスイートに案内し、フリーディスカッションをすすめました 。レーガン氏は、ついこの間の出来事のように第二次世界大戦に触れた後、「しかし今のように両国がこんなに仲良くなるなんて、だれも想像できなかったでしょうね!」と笑いました 。これを根拠に私は「大統領通訳の経験あり」とまちがいなくいえます 。

CF at hotel in Japan with students and President Reagan
Phone: 617.905.6060
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