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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第12話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

Send information to foreigners

Patrick Collins, 25, Iwaki City Exchange Section officer from Australia.
Translated by YAMAWAKI Marissa

 After the March 11 quake, the media reports in other countries were terrible. It was just like the end of the world. I passed news from Japan in order to persuade my Australian family and friends. I am very sorry that many foreign residents in Iwaki returned home. They were persuaded to do so by family members in their native countries. Throughout the disaster, my family had never asked me to return home. I highly appreciate their attitude.

 “I will definitely go to Japan.” I decided so when I was young. I selected Japanese as a required foreign language subject in junior high school. When I was at high school, I decided to work in Japan. I continued to study Japanese language at university. After graduation, I studied in Fukuoka Prefecture for a year. Then, I worked in Australia for a while. In 2009, I returned to Japan to work at Iwaki City’s Exchange Section. I worked as interpreter and translator when foreigners make courtesy visits in Iwaki, and assisted international exchange events. My life was satisfying.

 When the earthquake occurred, I was in my house, preparing for a trip to Niigata Prefecture. I was not afraid of it, though I had never experienced such a big quake. But I was really surprised when I saw newly opened crevices in the roads, and swaying electrical wires. I left for JR Iwaki station to get on a bus. Hundreds of people were gathering in front of the station. All the buses and trains were suspended. “What shall we do?” everyone was talking each other.

 While I spent a few days at my friend’s house, Australian Embassy informed not to enter within 80 kilometers of Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant. Are they frightened of me? After we concluded to discuss the situation once again the next day, we went to bed. After a week, I left for Gunma Prefecture for evacuation, and stayed there for three days. Then I went back to Iwaki, thinking that foreigners in Iwaki must be having difficulties. For those who do not understand Japanese, I began to translate the information on radiation and lifeline into English, and spread it on the internet. Later, some foreigners expressed their gratitude. Knowing that I could play some important role at the time of emergency, I was relieved from my heart.

 

 Note: After spending two years in Iwaki as Exchange Section officer, Mr. Collins became Assistant Language Teacher in Nagano Prefecture.

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