Name: Mitchell Curtis
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Native Language: English
What does the title of your blog mean?
The title of my blog is a pun in Japanese. The phrase 役に立つ (yaku ni tatsu) means “to be helpful.” However, I have replaced the Kanji character, 役 (pronounced “yaku” meaning “role” or “position”) with the character 訳 (also pronounced yaku but instead meaning “translation”) to create this pun. The idea is that this blog will be both useful to myself for my developing as a translator; additionally, I hope that this blog will be useful to readers to help them with their language learning.
This type of pun is called ダジャレ (dajare) in Japanese. With only a small number of sounds in the Japanese language, there are many homonyms. There are many well-known ダジャレ in the Japanese language so look out for a post on these one day.
What is this blog all about?
This blog serves a couple of purposes. Firstly, as I am wanting to pursue a career in interpreting and translation, I would like to use this blog as an environment to practice my translation. Additionally, I would like to educate my readers on the professions of interpreting and translating—including getting accredited, issues in the profession, and problems that can be faced by interpreters and translators.
The second purpose is to educate readers on language learning, in general. As I speak Japanese, much of the advice I give is likely to be catered to learning Japanese; however, I hope that I can also provide more general advice to learners of other languages, too.
How long have you been studying Japanese? Do you have any qualifications?
I have been studying Japanese for close to ten years. I started in high school, and continued through to university. Look out for a post on my story.
As for qualifications, I have a Bachelor of Arts with an extended major in Japanese language from The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I have also passed N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). N1 is the highest level of this test. I also have another certificate from the Test of Practical Japanese (J.TEST) at Level B. You can probably expect many posts about tips to pass these tests in the future, also.
Do you speak any other languages?
At university, I studied beginner level Spanish and French. I didn’t overly enjoy French but found Spanish pretty enjoyable. I would like to continue learning Spanish at some point. I’m also interested in learning German, Korean, and Mandarin.