Hi Romeos, this is our third chapter of interviews with the PlanetRomeo translators, and this month we’re featuring our Japanese translator. Let’s get started.
Darryl: What is your name, you can give us an alias or nickname if you like?
Shigeki: Well, as I usually wear traditional Japanese clothing when I go abroad or sightseeing, Geisha Girl *could* be my alias, but my real name is Shigeki.
Darryl: I have to say I love the name Shigeki! It sounds so cute and naughty at the same time. 😉
Darryl: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Shigeki: I am a real Tokyo native; an Edokko, a person born and raised in Tokyo and whose ancestors were originally from Tokyo as well. I have samurai DNAs in me, as my ancestors were Samurais. I have lived in the States, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Darryl: Aah a real Japanese warrior among us. I’m honored.
Darryl: Where are you located now?
Shigeki: Tokyo, Japan
Darryl: How did you originally hear about PlanetRomeo?
Shigeki: A friend of mine who happens to be a hook-up site expert (I say that in the nicest way) showed it to me. Not that I was trying to get myself laid or anything for the record.
Darryl: How long have you been a member of PR?
Shigeki: For about 3 years.
Darryl: How long have you been translating for PR?
Shigeki: It’s been 2 years and counting…hopefully.
Darryl: I can say that it’s been a pleasure working with you over the past year that I’ve been here, and since we just renewed your contract, it looks like you’ll be with us for at least another year. J
Darryl: How would you describe the PR community, not the company?
Shigeki: It’s very unique and “interesting”.
Darryl: Hmm, I’m intrigued, what do you mean with “unique and interesting”?
Shigeki: Coming from the country where people do not show their expressions that directly, some [members] are very direct and straightforward. I think this is the place where I can get myself exposed to different cultures on some level without going abroad. This is why I found it unique and interesting.
Darryl: You do have a point there; our community is a virtual collage of cultures.
Darryl: What is it that you like most about being a translator for PR?
Shigeki: Learning about all the new features ahead of time. That’s something Romeos will definitely be looking forward to. I [also] find it fantabulous that I get to make myself useful for the community by translating things.
Darryl: What is the biggest challenge translating for PR?
Shigeki: I sometimes blush when I happen to translate dirty stuff. Some things I have never said in my own language. I am innocent and pure after all. (he laughs)
Darryl: What is the gay climate like in your country?
Shigeki: It’s not harsh at all but it’s not widely accepted either. A lot of us [Japanese gay guys] are not out. Luckily, my folks are somewhat understanding but it doesn’t mean I am out to everybody. They still talk to me even though my dad doesn’t like the idea of me being gay. They ask me when I will tie the knot with my fiancé. So overwhelming! (BTW, the same sex marriage is not legally recognized here.) I think there has to be another approach for LGBT awareness here in Japan, which differs from the one you see in North America and European countries. I am not certain what would be the best solution to that yet. But I am hopeful.
Darryl: To wrap things up, I’d like to ask you to give us a Japanese translation for the following: “Hey hottie, do you want to hook up?
Shigeki: I think the beauty of Japanese is to make everything so vague. We do not say things so direct. With that consideration in mind, I’d say ”そこのイケメン、今夜どう？” or phonetically: Soko no ikemen, kon’ya dō? If I translate it directly, it goes “Hey good looking, how about tonight?”
Darryl: I have to say when I ran it through Google Translate and clicked the “Listen” link, it sounds kind of poetic and sexy. J Anyway, that wraps it up for this chapter and I’d like to thank you for all the great work you do for PlanetRomeo. Shigeki-kun, arigatōgozaimashita!
Shigeki: It’s my pleasure and it’s truly awesome that I get to make myself useful for the community!