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Thread: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

  1. #21

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    Good to know. Thanks BifCarbet!



    But which JLPT test would you do in December? I mean if your level is currently a weak N3, doing an N2 exam in 4 months sounds quite the task to me. How many hours are you planning on spending per day? Are you the type to study for 20 minutes and go on Facebook/YouTube for 40 and so on? I'm not having a go, I'm just saying that to go to the level you want by December would require real dedication.

    Why not apply for CIR, then tick the ALT button and go there and if only accepted as an ALT think about that opportunity primarily as a way to improve your Japanese? Think to yourself this is my chance to pass N1 after so long in Japan and let's say if you can't transfer don't renew, go home then apply for CIR later and that way your Japanese would be higher? As that linked article states to reach proficiency in Asian languages you really need to spend half that time in country.
    I study like 6 hours a day, I hardly sleep anymore.

    I have thought about that, but I don't know if that year or more would be better spent there teaching, or here working at my paid interpreting job. I'll make that decision if I get selected to be an ALT.
    Last edited by Eibig; August 24th, 2016 at 04:14.

  2. #22

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    Deal with it, since I wouldn't know what the position entails until I get there.

    Probably the other person. I'd rather come off as inflexible than have to wait two years to reapply.

    I am not against teaching at all, I just want to do something that is more likely to be related to what I want to do in the future.
    If your attitude in real life is anything like it is when a former JET gives you fairly realistic advice, you won't have to worry about being offered either position.

  3. #23

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    If your attitude in real life is anything like it is when a former JET gives you fairly realistic advice, you won't have to worry about being offered either position.
    Are you referring to something I said?

  4. #24

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Yes. If you come across in the interview as too inflexible or arrogant to consider an ALT position (as you do here), you'll be left dreaming of green tea and onsens from afar.

    JET more or less demands that applicants be flexible about their potential working situation. Being anything but will prove an enormous red flag.

  5. #25

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    ALT-ing is a great way to study the language, if you are motivated to study in the first place. Plenty of ALTs come over with little to N4 levels of Japanese and get up to N2 or N1 in a year or two. But if you aren't disciplined enough to study, you'll probably not make much progress. Plenty of ALTs come over with really good, functional Japanese and never really build it into fluency.

    I'm fairly conversational - I can carry on a good conversation about most general topics. I can also read decently - but my writing ability is awful - especially kanji. I'll remember kanji when I see them, but ask me to write simple or common kanji (most recently I forgot how to write 阪 when writing Osaka) and I'll blank out. Disciplined study could correct that, but I don't.

    Also, as an ALT you can make connections that will help later if you want to get into international relations as a career. JET is ostensibly about internationalization and international exchange more than just teaching English.

  6. #26
    Senior Member GodInStrafeMode's Avatar
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    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    If your attitude in real life is anything like it is when a former JET gives you fairly realistic advice, you won't have to worry about being offered either position.
    I don't usually agree with mrcharisma but he's on point with this one. I interview ex-JETs all the time and the specific personality traits that most Japanese companies admire in them (especially in the case of CIRs) is their ability to be fluid and flexible. What is it that you want to do in the future if you don't mind me asking?
    Last edited by GodInStrafeMode; August 24th, 2016 at 17:14.
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  7. #27

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    I study like 6 hours a day, I hardly sleep anymore.

    I have thought about that, but I don't know if that year or more would be better spent there teaching, or here working at my paid interpreting job. I'll make that decision if I get selected to be an ALT.
    Are you currently working as a Spanish interpreter? If you are it's worth considering whether the experience as an interpreter albeit in another language is worth more than saying ALT-ing. I guess the option is applying for CIR, if you fail, continue with your interpreting job, improve your Japanese and apply again in 2017.

    I study like 6 hours a day, I hardly sleep anymore.


    Thanks for letting me know.

    I have thought about that, but I don't know if that year or more would be better spent there teaching, or here working at my paid interpreting job. I'll make that decision if I get selected to be an ALT.
    As mentioned you can build connections whilst in Japan as an ALT and you could volunteer to translate/interpret for schools. Who knows, they might take you up on the offer?

    I do think living in Japan for 1-2 years with your desire and current low N3 would be great to get N1. And let's face it to be an interpreter/translator in any language needs way more than an intermediate level. I currently have the equivalent of a high N2 in French and wouldn't dream of being an interpreter in this language.

  8. #28
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Yes. If you come across in the interview as too inflexible or arrogant to consider an ALT position
    I don't think not considering a job you don't want is arrogant.
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  9. #29

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by GodInStrafeMode View Post
    I don't usually agree with mrcharisma but he's on point with this one. I interview ex-JETs all the time and the specific personality traits that most Japanese companies admire in them (especially in the case of CIRs) is their ability to be fluid and flexible. What is it that you want to do in the future if you don't mind me asking?
    Interpreting and translating, especially conference interpreting.

    Being an ALT in Japan would definitely help my language ability immeasurably, but I don't know if it's worth taking years off of gaining experience in the field. But at the same time I'd have to be in Japan for a long time anyway before translating out of it. I know that there are some ALT positions that involve translating and interpreting. Deadline isn't for a couple of months, so I'm going to use that time to think about it.

    I e-mailed the program coordinators and confirmed that the year wait time only applies if you bow out of the program after getting a placement, so that's not an issue anymore. That was the main reason I didn't want to apply to both, but I was mistaken.

  10. #30

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    BifCarbet, what was your Japanese level when you arrived to work as a CIR? I just wonder if people are CIRs and their level is like a low N2 what actual interpreting/tasks they would be given?


    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    Interpreting and translating, especially conference interpreting.

    Being an ALT in Japan would definitely help my language ability immeasurably, but I don't know if it's worth taking years off of gaining experience in the field.

    As mentioned there is a possibility you are a CIR and are essentially a glorified ALT, so in such a case you'd also be losing a year of translation experience, but like you say you have time to consider it. If I were you I'd tick the ALT box and if you get on the programme make the most of it (and offer your services), but of course you're not me

  11. #31
    Senior Member GodInStrafeMode's Avatar
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    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    BifCarbet, what was your Japanese level when you arrived to work as a CIR? I just wonder if people are CIRs and their level is like a low N2 what actual interpreting/tasks they would be given?
    Pretty sure no one actually cares what level you are after you've arrived and settled in; you get given a job, you do it! Some of them are within your capacity and some aren't.
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  12. #32

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by GodInStrafeMode View Post
    Pretty sure no one actually cares what level you are after you've arrived and settled in; you get given a job, you do it! Some of them are within your capacity and some aren't.


    Well, I'm asking that because I have worked as a translator and interpreter before and if someone had a not so high level I would not want to trust them with any kind of serious translation or interpreting work for fear that they translate incorrectly or change the meaning of something incorrectly. Translation/interpreting is quite tricky as I'm sure we all know. Frankly, a low N2 is nowhere near high enough to be a proper translator.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    Interpreting and translating, especially conference interpreting.
    You have never interpreted Japanese before and you want to make a career out of it? I'd say that's worth a rethink.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eibig View Post
    I e-mailed the program coordinators and confirmed that the year wait time only applies if you bow out of the program after getting a placement.
    You didn't believe me?

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    BifCarbet, what was your Japanese level when you arrived to work as a CIR? I just wonder if people are CIRs and their level is like a low N2 what actual interpreting/tasks they would be given?
    My Japanese level was tour guide interpreter sober and native drunk. If you are the only CIR in your office, you get the CIR work. If there are others, you'll get some of it. Receiving interpretation gigs is not a "mehh if he/she can do it, sure" thing. It's the job. If you have a few real failures, they'll decide not to recontract you. If you do alright most of the time and never drop the ball in a way the screws over your organization, you'll be ok. You don't need to be a native speaker, but you need to be resourceful enough to be able to interpret. There is almost always prep time, so if you can get the jargon down and be ready to go, you're good. If you are banking on getting a CIR gig and not interpreting, you should wait until your Japanese is better.

    EDIT: No edit.

    EDIT 3: Low N2 is probably ballpark for surviving a good amount of CIR interpretations.
    Quote Originally Posted by GodInStrafeMode View Post
    Pretty sure no one actually cares what level you are after you've arrived and settled in; you get given a job, you do it! Some of them are within your capacity and some aren't.
    Correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    Well, I'm asking that because I have worked as a translator and interpreter before and if someone had a not so high level I would not want to trust them with any kind of serious translation or interpreting work for fear that they translate incorrectly or change the meaning of something incorrectly. Translation/interpreting is quite tricky as I'm sure we all know. Frankly, a low N2 is nowhere near high enough to be a proper translator.
    Translator? N2 is probably OK. If you have time and jisho.org, you can ask a few questions to your supervisor here and there and string it together, at least J to E. Interpreter? You're going to want to have a pretty good command of sentence structure and spoken language, as well as the ability to learn new words on the spot. If you know 自分, 政治, and 団体, but you can't figure out what 自治体 is, you might have trouble.
    Last edited by BifCarbet; August 27th, 2016 at 00:34.
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  14. #34

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    You have never interpreted Japanese before and you want to make a career out of it? I'd say that's worth a rethink.

    I know a Japanese native with 10 years' experience being a translator/interpreter in Madrid (SP-JP) whose Spanish level is second to none and she finds it tough. There are some good periods followed by periods of feeding on the scraps on jobs here and jobs there. Often she'll get an email at 3pm demanding the translation be done before midnight (they know when she reads the message so she can't say oh sorry I didn't get the email on time). And that's it in a nutshell: not a very stable profession. Also, I'd imagine there is a lot of competition, with Spanish-Japanese it might be a bit harder to find someone native in one of the language and native-like in the other.

  15. #35
    Senior Member GodInStrafeMode's Avatar
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    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    Well, I'm asking that because I have worked as a translator and interpreter before and if someone had a not so high level I would not want to trust them with any kind of serious translation or interpreting work for fear that they translate incorrectly or change the meaning of something incorrectly. Translation/interpreting is quite tricky as I'm sure we all know. Frankly, a low N2 is nowhere near high enough to be a proper translator.
    Yes ... but, and this is a big but(t), we are talking about the Japanese public sector here; an entity that has no qualms whatsoever about outsourcing translations to a local "agencies" who simply google translate said documents and then charge city hall for the privilege. Low N2 equivalent is WAY above what most local translation agencies have in terms of skills. In short: it's highly unlikely that anyone will be checking your level of translations and even if they did you'd still be producing a lot better than any local 業者 could
    Last edited by GodInStrafeMode; August 30th, 2016 at 09:06.
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  16. #36

    Default Re: CIR Requirements and How Many are Sent Each Year

    Thanks GodInStrafeMode

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