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Guide-Interpreter Business > Voice of Licensed Tour Guides
Now, let the voices of guide pros brought to you so that you can understand the guide-interpreter business more profoundly.

"If your life is rich in experience, it would be a very big help to your job. So, I think that it would be better for you to start working as a guide-interpreter after you have experienced another job. Because there is no age limit to this job, it won't be too late for anyone to start working after that, and actually my experience as an office girl is reflected on my career as a guide-interpreter. And if you are a lady, it would be encouraging to know that you can come back to this business as far as you have the license even after you once have a break because of your marriage or childbirth." A.O., Kanagawa, Pref., English

"You have to try hard to find the way to enhance your customers' satisfaction. When you guide a group of tourists, there are usually both young people and old people. Some are interested in history but some are not. So, the question is how to find the way to satisfy all of them." S.Y., Tokyo, English

"If the weather suddenly gets nasty at a scenic spot and your customers can't enjoy a bit of the scenery that they have been longing to see, they get in a bad mood and tend to take it out on you. When I had such an occasion, I talked about my pet subject, the Japanese history and people, in a very amusing way in the bus on the way back. I succeeded in changing the atmosphere from the dark and blue one to the bright and cheerful one. My talk gained the customers' favor, so some of them even enjoyed the bad weather saying that my talk was more of a fun." K.A., Kanagawa Pref., English

"When you pass the Diet Building, somebody asks you a question about the election system in Japan, but in no time someone else asks you to help him buy the most popular CD in Japan now. And at times such a simple question as "Why do the Japanese people polish cars gleaming?" emerges. Because you never can tell what sort of questions your customers would ask you, you have to acquire truly wide-ranging knowledge to prepare yourself for those unexpected questions. Y.N., Kanagawa Pref., English

"It is essential to study a lot about the customers' home country as well as Japan itself. If you can compare the area or the population of both countries, your speech would be more interesting. You could make yourself feel familiar to them if you are versed in what's happening now in their country." N.O., Tokyo, English

"The French become terribly demanding when it comes to dining. You never can take them to McDonald's for lunch. When the main course is sukiyaki or shabu-shabu, they demand that sashimi(sliced raw fish)should be served as well. When they ask for what they want, they don't mince matters but they say outspokenly. Now I understand such a disposition of the French and I'm used to it. But at first serving them was so afflictive that I could cry." T.A., Chiba Pref., French

"What do I think the difficult part of this job is? Well, one case is that though I designate the time and place for reassembly, they never show up. Every time the group moves, I have to search for the lost. Latin people especially are bad at getting organized, I think." M.S., Tokyo, Spanish

"Suddenly one of your customers gets ill. Someone's passport is missing or has his money stolen. A tour-interpreter deals with human beings, you know. That's why these kinds of affairs always happen from the beginning till the end of your tour, I think. But he has to be able to cope with any kind of trouble. Suppose something wrong occurs to your group, and then you work very hard to get your customers out of trouble and finally you thread the needle. Then they all start giving thanks to you. At that time, though you've had a hard time, you yourself are deeply relieved that you've overcome a difficulty and can feel really happy T.O., Saitama Pref., English

"The moment I am impressed most is when I take leave of my customers at an airport. When I see them full of emotions and their eyes full of tears, I realize that they are really happy with the job that I have done. It makes me forget all the trouble I've had from the trip with them. As I am easily moved to tears, I feel myself compelled to shed tears when I see them cry. If you collect all the tears I cried at airports, it might fill a whole glass. A job that can give you such a great impression as could make you shed a glass of tears. That is the guide-interpreter's job. K.Y., Kyoto Pref., English/Spanish
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