Would you like to use your language skills to travel around the world?
If you speak Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese or Korean, then this opportunity may be for you! Peace Boat's Global Voyages are made possible by the assistance of a dedicated team of volunteer interpreters, and we are always open to applications from talented individuals.
This page provides all the information you will need to apply.
We are currently actively recruiting dynamic and highly motivated volunteer interpreters to join its 100th Global Voyage!
Why Volunteer as an interpreter?
- Travel around the world!
- Improve your interpreting skills!
- Get to know experts in various fields from around the world!
- Not just an enjoyable experience, but also an opportunity to learn about social and environmental issues along the way!
What will you do as a volunteer interpreter?
- Interpretation of lectures onboard and translation of handouts - You will interpret the lectures that guest educators give onboard. There are on average three or four lectures each day, covering topics such as sustainability, peace, international relations, human rights and other global issues, as well as the history, society, culture and current political situation of countries on the voyage itinerary. There is both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. You will also translate the various documents that educators wish to use in their lectures, and be required to do background study and hold meetings with guest educators prior to lectures. Other events such as information sessions, NGO forums and so on will also require interpretation.
- Interpreting and group leading during programmes in port - In port, you will be interpreting for the local guides who accompany the study, exchange and sightseeing programmes that we organise. You will also work with a member of Peace Boat staff assisting the participants during the programme.
- Interpreting during informal get-togethers - There are many events organised onboard to let guest educators and participants get to know each other better in an informal setting. However, as many of the participants may not speak some of the languages used onboard, you will use your linguistic skills to act as a bridge between various parties.
- Guest educator care - You will often accompany international guest educators or participants to lunch and dinner, or to events onboard that are in Japanese only, to help them more fully enjoy their time with us and to get to know the participants better. This will include both guest lecturers and international students onboard.
- Translation and interpretation - The position also involves translation and interpretation of various office documents and information necessary for the running of the ship. Items which may require translation/interpretation include:
1. Translation of guest educators' introductions and summaries of lectures
2. Creation of documents such as background information regarding lecture themes, key points, specialised vocabulary etc
3. Translation of information regarding activities in port
4. Translation of the daily schedule and newspaper, which is produced in Japanese each day
5. Support for the advance team in ports
6. Translation of various items necessary for running of the ship
- Language classes - You will also be required to support the various language classes (English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese) held regularly onboard.
- Previous onboard guest educators Around two months of every Peace Boat voyage is spent at sea. As an international NGO, Peace Boat invites a diverse range of guest educators from around the world to join the voyage. In order to make a fulfilling experience in ports also, various onboard lectures, workshops and seminars are planned. Interpreters have the greatest opportunity to closely plan events and develop a close relationship with these international guest educators.
The following list is a sample of some previous guest educators (in alphabetical order).
- Dr. Waqar Al-Kubaisy (Iraq, University professor and medical doctor)
- Niran Anketell (Sri Lanka, Human Rights Lawyer)
- Nenad Fiser (Bosnia/The Netherlands, Analyst at International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia in den Haag, Holland)
- Ana Francis Gongora (El Salvador, Consultant on Women's Issues)
Johan Galtung (Norway, Peace Studies professor, representative of Peace and Development Network 'Transcend')
- Ela Gandhi (South Africa, Peace activist, former Member of Parliament and Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi)
- Le Ly Hayslip (Viet Nam, author of work the film "Heaven and Earth" was based on)
- Binka le Breton (Brazil, Director of Iracambi, Environmental activist)
- Ricardo Navarro (El Salvador, Representative of environmental NGO network 'Friends of the Earth International')
- Sean O'Boyle (Ireland, International Coordinator of the Glencree Reconciliation Center)
- Donisha Prendergast (Jamaica, Singer and Granddaughter of Bob Marley)
- Kathleen Sullivan (US, Educator for Social Responsibility, New York)
- Gabriel Tetiarahi (Tahiti, Anti-nuclear and independence activist and director of NGO Hiti Tau)
- Achin Vanaik (India, Anti-nuclear activist and professor at Delhi University)
- Wang Ming (China, Director of Non-Governmental Organization Research Center, Tsinghua University, Beijing)
- Cora Weiss (US, President of the Hague Appeal for Peace)
- Yi Kiho (Korea, Professor at Hanshin University)
What are the conditions?
- You must be fluent in at least two of Japanese/English/Spanish/Chinese/Korean. Please check the Guidelines document linked below for details on which language pairs are accepted.
- Knowledge of global issues as mentioned above.
- Availability for entire duration of the voyage and required preparation periods. Some exceptions apply.
- As this positions is on a voluntary basis, there is no salary, however the cost of the voyage will be paid by Peace Boat. However, the volunteer is required to cover certain personal expenses.
- Detailed information regarding these conditions can be found in the Guidelines Document linked below.
- Applicants who pass the first selection stage will be required to take an oral and written test either at Peace Boat offices in Tokyo (Takadanobaba), or via Skype. While the results of language proficiency tests as written in your resume is only a guide, the average language levels of previous volunteer interpreters is as below:
Japanese: JLPT Level 1
English: TOEFL (PBT/ITP) 600, (CBT) 250, (iBT) 100 or above; TOEIC 900 or above
Spanish: DELE B2 or above; Evaluación Oficial del Conocimiento de la Lengua Española Level 2 or above
Chinese: HSK Level 6 or above
Korean: TOPIC Level 6
Proficiency in languages other than those above, especially languages used in countries visited (French, Arabic, etc) will be looked upon favourably.
- Selection Procedure Stage 1: Submission of documents Stage 2: Interview, consecutive interpreting test.
- Please read the Application Guidelines downloadable here and submit all necessary documents by the deadline. You can access the Personal Data Form in doc format here.
- Application Deadline:
Peace Boat is always open to applications for volunteer interpreters on upcoming voyages.
For further information about the Volunteer Interpreter (Communication Coordinator) position, please also see the Japanese language information page here.
- PEACE BOAT
Attn: Volunteer Interpreter Coordinator
Address: 3-13-1-B1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-0075, Japan
Tel: (81) - 3 - 3363 - 8047
- Please note that detailed information about the volunteer interpreter position may not be available at Peace Boat's the information sessions held around Japan. If you would like to inquire about the details of this position, please use the contact details below, or see the Japanese language information page here.
- If you are selected, study session to improve your interpreting skills will be provided prior to departure.
- The application deadline for each voyage will be uploaded onto Peace Boat's website around 5~6 months in advance of departure. Please check Peace Boat's website for details around 6 months prior to the voyage you wish to apply for.
- Personal information collected here as part of the application will only be used for the purposes of selection and registration as a participant on the voyage.
- We cannot return any materials submitted to us as part of the application process.