Risa Hirano Marburg
Certified US State Department conference Interpreter
Almost 20 years of experience as interpreter/translator
Registered as regional interpreter at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC
Born in Los Angeles, CA and relocated to Japan at the age of six, Risa grew up having the relative sense of comfort and fluency in both cultures and languages. Her love for the English language led her to one of the top universities in Japan (Sophia University) known for its strong global education program. During her junior year in college she spent 2 semesters in George Mason University in northern Virginia as an exchange student with the focus on Communication studies.
Shortly after college graduation she found herself in Washington DC working as a Research Assistant. There, she was given a short-term assignment to assist the head of a Japanese organization to communicate during his tour in the US. This experience opened her eyes to the possibilities of using her very unrefined skills at that time and was unmistakably fascinated by one thing: the art of language interpretation.
Eventually she left the firm to receive rigorous training under former German interpreter to the President Mr. Harry Obst. Upon completion of her studies she launched a Japanese language service business in 2002.
With much entrepreneurial spirit, she started out assisting airline customers with their lost luggage and passport issues, as well as hospitals who had Japanese speaking patients. Soon enough she started receiving work in business to business settings where she would interpret for business negotiations, presentations, etc.
Her passion for linguistics also led her to document translation arena as well. From 2004-2008 Risa had the opportunity to participate in a long-term project in which she translated academic reports on microbiology, with the focus on infectious diseases. This experience has certainly helped Risa to cement her comfort in highly technical materials in science and technology fields.
In 2005 she was awarded a contractor position at the US State Department, Office of Language Services, which opened up the opportunities in the federal government sphere.
She has now worked for over 300 clients including various private companies (many of them Fortune 500), government entities, hospitals, law firms, NPOs, and many more.
So far Risa has had the privilege to work for the US Secretary of State, current and former Secretaries of Defense, several governors, and numerous congressional members.
No matter what type of clients she works for, there are a few things that she has never compromised in her career:
Thorough preparation prior to the assignment. Risa makes it a point to receive as much background information as possible before hand. Most cases she spends at least twice the amount of time in preparation than the actual work itself.
Work as if she is on the receiving end of her language service by focusing on accuracy, clarity, and fluency.
Take genuine interest in the subject matter and the relationship with the clients. This by far has been the most enjoyable part of her job as so many of her clients have shared fascinating stories/info about their fields.