Matsutani-san is helping a student practice for the translation part of the entrance exams, and I am helping him with it. I don’t think I’m the person to ask for help because I’m not fluent in Japanese and I don’t really like that the English entrance exam is mostly translating, but I thought I would give an advice on how students can prepare for the exam because I have nothing else to write.
Before I do give my advice, I would like to say that it might not be attractive to many because I am not going to claim anything amazing like it’s the best advice or it’s the fastest way you can get better or it’s the number one method to be good. Although I believe that my invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is still out there, I don’t believe in magical solutions or methods to achieving something so my advice is nothing magical.
Here it is: I think the best way to prepare for the translation part of the entrance exams is to read. A lot. When I started my personal blog, I tried to find ways on how to write blogs and one of the most common advice was to read other blogs. In Stephen King’s memoir, he wrote that if a person wants to write a novel, that person should read a lot of novels. Once I read a writer say that she gets angry when people tell her thy want to write well but they don’t really read.
Although writing is not the same as translating, I think reading can be useful to those who want to get better at translating too. Reading can help you learn different ways of saying something, of describing something, of explaining something in the way that native speakers do. It can also widen your vocabulary and teach you things you can’t learn at school.
I enjoy reading so I might be biased, but I do believe that reading can be very rewarding. SO if you haven’t given it a try, please do. It just might be helpful.