guide-interpreter's business is to guide foreign visitors in various
districts in Japan explaining its culture and tradition and the
life style of its people in a foreign language. Some of you might
say " I know what an interpreter does but I wonder what a guide-interpreter
does." The word interpreter for 'guide-interpreter' might make you
confuse it with 'interpreter'. There is, however, a big difference
between those two. The interpreter's job to interpret spoken words
faithfully is passive, sort of, while a guide-interpreter has to
find words of his or her own and speak them out .
As a matter of fact, guiding at sightseeing spots is not the only
job of a guide-interpreter. Such affairs as tour itinerary management,
confirmation of reservation for accommodations, baggage control
and advice for shopping also occupy very much part of his job. There
are many unexpected happenings in traveling such as traffic jam,
lost children, lost property, sickness and what not. The ability
to stay unruffled on any occasion and to cope with any kind of happening
so that it doesn't go out of control is necessary for this job.
Dig, dig, shoulder, shoulder, push, push, back, back, open, one,
two, three: Could you guess what this phrase means? It is in fact
the English presentation of the choreography of a famous folk song
entitled "Tankobushi" or "Coal Miners' Song". Once this tune begins
to play at a banquet held at a hotel, a guide-interpreter has not
only to encourage foreign tourists to dance but also to take the
lead in dancing. Because the guide-interpreter business also contains
a factor of entertainment, it is very important for him or her to
have an entertainer's spirit.
This business is full of cares for sure, but it is very enjoyable
because it takes you to various places and it gives you chances
to meet various people from all over the world.
Whether tourists from abroad go home with good impressions about
Japan depends on guide-interpreters' competence. That is the reason
why a guide-interpreter is called a private diplomat.