Interview: From bouncer to simultaneous interpreter Part 2

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Continued from Part 1… Yokoyama chose to conduct this interview entirely in English, saying that he always likes to strike a good balance “inside my head” between English and Japanese. “I can use occasions like this to speak English out loud and express my thoughts. This lets me check how I’m doing with the language and where I am with it.” He added that on-the-spot conversations are useful because when you work in English, you need to learn how the language is changing all the time. It also helps to familiarize yourself with phrases other people use, he said. “Everyone has their own phrases, pet phrases. Locate the phrases that people use again and again, and make them your own.” Yokoyama emphasizes the need to put yourself out there. “Much of English-language education in Japan is about input, but you should also be able to express your feelings. The act of describing how one feels is how language skills are derived.” Yokoyama says he is often asked how long people need to study to reach his level in English. “I don’t have an answer to that. People say studying English is a lifelong process. I’m not sure about this, but I do find that once you get a foot in the door of English learning, the rest is about passion and fascination. You have to keep at it.” (Kaori Shoji) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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