TUFS Students act as Language Supporters at the 3rd WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Iwaki

May 31, 2017

On Wednesday 27 th to Sunday 8 th July 2016, 12 TUFS students took on the role of supporting the teams and WBSC staff as language supporters at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016, which took place for the third time in Iwaki, Fukushima.

Students' Activity Reports

Utsuda Hikari (School of Language and Culture Studies Czech language 4 th year)

I was able to enjoy participating in this volunteer activity. In these few days crammed full of all kinds of emotions, laughing, raging, crying and rejoicing, I truly felt alive. I think that this happiness cannot be exceeded.

This was the first time that I had taken part in this kind of volunteer activity, and I was striving to be aware of how I should act in order to do my best and enjoy myself without being rude or getting in anyone's way. What I realised from that is that the most important thing is communicating with people. The many instances I witnessed where language illuminated people's expression, such as when I was cheering from the benches, when I was able help the coaches talk to each other, when the Japanese and foreign players seemed to be having fun conversing, and when they greeted each other in each other's languages, are what will remain in my mind the strongest. In particular, I was really happy when the American coach took the trouble to ask me for help when they wanted to say something to the Japanese team. I am very grateful for such a valuable experience.

With the experience I've earned and while remembering to stay humble, with I will continue to work hard at my language studies.

Kaneharu Asako(School of Language and Culture Studies Czech language 4 th year)

The thing I realised while working as an interpreter for and getting to know the Czech team at this tournament is that interpreting does not simply mean mechanically translating words. The coaches and team leaders were always asking "I want to tell/ ask about something, could you interpret for me?", and there were times when they made their speech brief for me, or when it got complicated said "shall I explain again?" for me. I was thanked every time I finished interpreting. When I was speaking, it wasn't just interpreting what I'd been told, but also often involved confirming what people wanted to convey or ask before saying in in Japanese, and I was able to truly feel that I was helping people communicate. After being in that situation, mysteriously, I feel that I've got rid of the pointless anxiety I had towards interpretation.

I was able to realise that interpretation is not mechanical; it is the role of mediating the communication between people. Of course, the situation differs according to the kind of circumstances you are doing interpretation in, but I felt that the role of standing between two people and interpreting itself is part of communication.

Sakamaki Megumi (School of Language and Culture Studies Spanish language 4 th year)

As I look back on everything, even though I was in Japan these past two weeks felt as though I was studying abroad. It was almost all difficult and tough experiences, and I have so many embarrassing memories, but more than that I learned many important things. I felt the importance of responsibility towards one's job, the trust and spirit of cooperation with the people around you, and more than anything the ties between people that cross national borders and languages. The Venezuelan team members were extremely patient with my crude Spanish, and took care to use simple language so that I could understand.

Also, as everyone involved in the tournament- the people of Iwaki City, students from other universities, the management staff etc.- came together to bring about the success of the tournament, I felt the compassion and warmth of the human spirit.

By volunteering, I had an experience that one cannot learn from classes or textbooks, and which is also different from studying abroad. Through this tournament, where teams from various countries meet, the different cultures and the narrowness of my own world and Japanese way of thinking were tangible. It was an activity were the things that I learned were overwhelmingly more abundant than the things I contributed. This experience gave me irreplaceable memories and confidence that I will be able to use out in the real world.

Please click here to see more students' reports (link in Japanese).