About Me & FAQ

About Me

Name: Mitchell Curtis
Age: 21
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.


3 Responses to About Me & FAQ

  1. Pingback: Welcome! / My Story | 訳に立てる (yaku ni tateru)

  2. TARUMA Satsukot says:

    Hi Mitchell from Hiroshima, Japan,
    My search for further information regarding UQ MAJIT brought me here, and I am just so delighted to find your blog here: I am sitting for the Aptitude Test later this month myself. Not being a native speaker of English, I feel quite intimidated to have to face the test, which definitely will change my course of life. I’d appreciate it if you could give me advice on how to prepare for it at this last stage!!

    From Satsuko

    • Hi, Satsuko!

      Thank you for your comment and I’m so glad you managed to find your way to my blog!!
      The test definitely seems fairly difficult as it is a strong test of both one’s Japanese and English skills. As a result, I’m feeling pretty nervous about the test myself for the parts where Japanese is tested.

      Did you happen to receive any information regarding the format of the test from UQ? I received some information so I think perhaps you would have as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot one can do to prepare for the Aptitude Test. I guess the things I have been doing is reading news websites in both English and Japanese including NHK. The UQ Library carries different newspapers including all Australian newspapers and even 朝日新聞 so I’ve been reading them too, just trying to get familiar with some of the 時事問題 happening in the world. My 先輩 who have taken the test in the past say the topics can be very random and hard to predict and maybe not as current as you might expect so again, it can be very difficult to prepare for. All we can do is try our best.

      I hope that we can both pass the test and enter MAJIT next year!!

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