About TR Latham Sprinkle
Chicago-based Japanese to English translator and editor.
Four years of experience in the translation industry as a proofreader and in-house/freelance translator
Passionate about language and linguistics with over 12 years of studying Japanese, but also dabbling in Korean, French, German, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin, and Russian. Earned Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 2.
BA in Linguistics and Global Studies, focusing on Europe and East Asia, and MA in Japanese/English Translation.
A member of Japanese Association of Translators and the National Language Service Corps.
My Language Journey
English and literature had always been my favorite subject growing up. In fact, one of my first realistic career goals was to become a novelist; I wrote many short stories and full-length novels in high school and college. Overtime, my passion for prose and grammar of my own language bled into a fascination with foreign language, delving into the rich tapestry of how people communicate with one another. I took as many language classes as I could in high school. I started with Latin, then German, convinced the French teacher to let me join the Year 2 French class, took a year long Hebrew PSEO class, and for fun taught myself Japanese; in college, I went on to study Korean as well.
After a while, I began to focus my energy on Japanese, a language whose structure was completely different from my own. Unlike other Indo-European languages, Japanese followed a Subject-Object-Verb pattern, the orthography was gorgeous yet complex, there was no declension, determinate articles, or conjugation yet it was deceptively difficult. I fell in love with the culture that gave rise to such a nuanced language.
I chose to study abroad at Akita University in my undergrad so that I could immerse myself in the language and culture. I was able to experience both modern and traditional aspects of Japanese culture, joining the Tea Ceremony club and Aikido, as well as volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters and at Ms. Yamauchi’s Adult English Class. My time in Japan also generated my interest in disaster prevention and response, due to my experience in Akita during the Great Tohoku Earthquake. I wrote my Global Studies dissertation on the concept on the Myth of Safety and its negative influence on disaster prevention and response in the Great Tohoku Earthquake and subsequent nuclear power plant disaster.
After a few years of teaching English as a Second Language, I decided to go back to school for a Masters. Since I wanted to do a vocation-oriented Masters, I debated between law and Japanese translation, and since I had some experience doing freelance translation, the latter won out. (Although it isn’t too late for me to combine these two interests into a specialization in Japanese legal translation.) I did my MA in Japanese Translation from SOAS, where I learned practical Japanese to English and English to Japanese translation, translation theory, and translation technology.
Since then I have worked full-time as a Document Reviewer/Proofreader at a Translation Agency and an Interpreter/Administrative Assistant at an Automotive factory as well as worked as a freelancer on various Japanese translation projects. While I am mostly a generalist working on a variety of texts, a majority of my work has been business related documents, both internal and external, as well as academic documents.