John Curturic Named Critical Language Scholar
John Cuturic, a first-year graduate student in the Japanese-English translation program, says his interest in Japanese language and culture developed from multiple sources starting at an early age. When John was growing up, his father was interested in Zen Buddhist culture and gave him books to read about it, and he also enjoyed watching Japanese anime and reading manga. He credits the combination of these interests with giving him a well-rounded view of Japanese culture, which he intends to bring into his career as a translator. He has recently been named a recipient of the Critical Language Scholarship.
John has studied abroad in Japan before, but his previous stay was in Tokyo, and he thinks the experience of being immersed in smaller towns and villages which the Critical Language Scholarship would provide would be as beneficial to his career as a translator as the time he spent in a larger, more cosmopolitan environment. He thinks that it is crucial to get an idea of the culture as it really is for most of the people who live in the country and who speak the language. According to John, “as a translator, cultural knowledge is just as important as language knowledge.”
Completing the extensive application to apply for the Critical Language Scholarship, which involves writing one two-page statement and four one-page short essays, caused him to realize reasons for his interest in language and translation which he hadn’t considered before, John says. It also confirmed his interest in Japanese and pursuing a career in translation. He will be glad for the opportunity to return to Japan, because the more time he gets to spend in Japan, the better it will be for him in his career as a translator. While he is not yet certain what his career as a translator will look like, he would be interested in either working in government or translating legal documents.
John worked with Frank Congin of the Honors College to complete the application for the scholarship. He says Frank reviewed his application and advised him on the multiple essays he completed for the application. For students interested in applying for a Critical Language Scholarship, John recommends talking to Frank and also thinking about how participating in such an intensive language program will “ripple through” everything the student does, both while they are participating in the program and once they return.
In late February 2019, John was notified that he has received a Critical Language Scholarship. John says he is excited for the opportunity, as he has been hoping for a chance to return to Japan since he came home from his previous study abroad experience. He would like to thank Frank Congin for informing students about the Critical Language Scholarship Program and for helping with his application, as well as his translation professor, Dr. Wakabayashi. According to John, his next steps are to think about his current Japanese abilities and figure out his goals for improving over his summer in the program. He also plans to make a list of books to track down and buy while he is in Japan.