A mysterious Twitter account with over 40,000 followers has been constantly quoting messages tweeted by U.S. President Donald Trump and rendering them into Japanese.
Besides offering Japanese translations of the president’s tweets, the account @DonaldTrumpJPN also posts lists of words and phrases that President Trump often uses and explains his policies. Who is the translator? BuzzFeed News recently interviewed the person behind @DonaldTrumpJPN.
K.T., a 17-year-old high school senior who is preparing for college entrance examinations, is the person translating President Trump’s tweets on the Twitter account.
“I started translating President Trump’s tweets to improve my English for college examinations,” he said. “But as I translated, I started to get interested in his policies. Then someone suggested that I translate his tweets into Japanese and convey them to people who want to know about Mr. Trump but don’t understand English very well. That’s why I started this Twitter account.”
He basically translates alone, but he asks for help when he comes across tweets that are difficult to understand without having background knowledge on U.S. affairs. “I get help when I don’t understand something. One of people who helps me is an American student who I met in Japan and asked for help. Another one is a foreigner working in a Japanese company, who thought I might be having difficulty and volunteered to help me. The last one is my father,” he said.
K.T. said that of the messages that President has tweeted, what has struck him most so far is the one that the President posted on Jan. 26 (Japan Time). It says: As your President, I have no higher duty than to protect the lives of the American people.”
“He is causing a great stir, but this message forms the bedrock of his principle. Whether he can deliver on this will be tested in the next four or eight years,” he said.
“I will continue to translate the tweets for as long as possible,” he said. He plans to major in international economics at college and use his English skills working on projects around the world.
“As Trump’s trade policy shows, a shift to protectionism is underway in various parts of the world. I’m looking forward to seeing how the world will change,” he said.