Turning Japanese: An Editorial and Audiovisual Translator Tells Her Story

EVENT: Open Lecture; “Turning Japanese: From a Small Town in Northern Spain to Working as a Freelance Translator and Interpreter in Japan”
WHEN: June 27, 2024 (Thursday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, Room 720(音楽室)

In a talk intended for IE Program students and any other interested parties, Karla Fuji (富士迦楼羅) will talk about how she carved a career as an editorial and audiovisual translator, working for NHK as a translator and announcer, translating literary works, and doing simultaneous and consecutive interpreting at international congresses. Originally from Spain, Karla Fuji was granted Japanese citizenship by the Japanese Ministry of Justice last year, hence her Japanese family name. What did not change was her desire and enthusiasm to continue building bridges between the country where she was born and the one that has became her home. In addition to speaking about her life as an interpreter and translator, and how one can prepare for such a career, she will touch on the topics of identity, the meaning of “home,” and life as an immigrant and self-employed woman with a strong character in a male-dominated society.

Topics to (potentially) address:

  • What is editorial and audiovisual translation and how does one prepare to work in that area?
  • The day-to-day life of an interpreter/ translator
  • Advantages and disadvantages of working for one company vs. working for various entities on a freelance basis
  • Identity and the meaning of “home”
  • Life as an immigrant and self-employed woman
  • The process and reasons for taking on Japanese citizenship (what is lost and what is gained)
  • Having different CVs and documents with credentials/career information to use in order to connect with different needs that companies or other entities might have
  • Differences between the Japanese and European markets for translation/ interpretation
  • How working as a tour guide fits with working as an interpreter/ translator


Karla Fuji (富士迦楼羅) wasn’t always Karla Fuji! Born in Llanes, a small seaside town in Northern Spain, she started showing interest in foreign languages and music when she was just a toddler, which is why her parents didn’t wait too long to encourage her to take English and Music lessons. At the age of 17, she moved to Salamanca to study a four-year degree in Translation and Interpreting. Little did she know that choosing Japanese as one of her free elective subjects would change her life forever: she did fulfill her dream of becoming a translator and interpreter —although not exactly the way she had imagined it when she was in high school— and even became a Japanese citizen after more than a decade living in Japan.

LANGUAGE: English (without simultaneous interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties


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