Originally from the South West of Australia, Sally Wals spent most of her 20s living in Japan after moving to Perth for her studies at university. Living in many different places around Japan, including a year in the tropics and a lot of time in the snow, Sally gained great knowledge of the Japanese culture and language.
Speaking about her passion for languages, Sally says “I was always drawn the complexity of language and the art versus science of reconstructing meaning. I really wanted to be able to utilise my Japanese language skills without having to teach it.”
With this in mind, Sally obtained a NAATI accreditation and started her journey into the world of translation. With now 7 years of experience behind her, Sally is one of LanguageLoop’s highly valued Japanese translators.
“It’s like lifting a curtain on another world. I love the act of revealing something hidden,” Sally says about the art of translation.
Sally has collaborated with LanguageLoop on many interesting projects including recently the translation of subtitles for a Japanese documentary for the Office of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. The documentary detailed efforts by the Ainu people in Japan to have their ancestors remains held at universities in Japan returned to their families.
The documentary brought to light the recognition the Ainu people seek as Indigenous Japanese people, and made parallels to the National Apology made to Indigenous Australians by Kevin Rudd in 2008.
“This was a fascinating and hope-inspiring project to work on,” Sally said.
“I hope that the story about the repatriation of remains for the Ainu and Aboriginal people has spread awareness about human rights and respect to First Nations people.”
LanguageLoop’s National Translations Manager, Claire Mullins, saida translation project such as this one needs a translator with in-depth cultural knowledge of the source and target language countries.
“Sally is a great example of the calibre of translators we work with who have both the cultural knowledge and language skills to deal with a topic like this in such a skilled way. At LanguageLoop, we select our translators based on the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for each project.” Ms Mullins said.
Sally is also an experienced technical translator. We recently selected Sally to translate a Japanese manual for a major engineering company that supplies environmentally friendly machinery developed in Japan for the construction industry.
“Given the complexity of the manual and the many environmental and construction terms, we needed a translator with specialist knowledge and sound research skills to translate the manual accurately,” says Claire Mullins, LanguageLoop’s National Translations Manager.
“We work with a range of highly skilled technical translators and we knew that Sally fitted the bill perfectly.”