UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman and Justin Kanda

Students in Professor Yumiko Tateyama’s University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s English-Japanese translation class last semester produced a Japanese language version of UH Mānoa’s campus map (PDF). Kaili Ayers, Justin Kanda, Meiko Kuwako, Megan Martin, Destiny Norbrey and Shuhei Usami redesigned the existing map with the Japanese native speaker in mind.

Professor Tateyama and Kanda presented the map to UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, who expressed his gratitude for making the on-campus experience of the Japanese student and visitor a more hospitable one. This single class project makes a world of difference, he noted, and Bley-Vroman said he believes there are more opportunities for creative student ideas such as this one.

Kanda, a Roosevelt High graduate who holds a BA in Japanese from UH Mānoa, initiated the project while a student manager of the Ticket, Information and ID Office on campus (he now supervises office operations). He is currently a graduate assistant pursuing an MA in Japanese linguistics from the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.

Kanda knew the map would be very helpful to his English-speaking co-workers when Japanese speakers weren’t available to provide visitor tours. He points out, “Each building on the map has at least one historical and one informational point. With the increased demand for Japanese campus tours, this guide has eased our translating load per tour.”

Map a blend of project-based learning and service learning

Professor Tateyama couldn’t be prouder of her students’ accomplishment. The work was a perfect blend of project-based learning and service learning. Both approaches employ student-initiated, student-facilitated and student-implemented projects.

“I incorporated a project-based approach, along with service learning, so that students would have opportunities to translate materials that were actually needed in the community,” said Tateyama. “I also wanted students to learn about the target and source languages, as well as socio-cultural factors that affect language use through the translation process.”

With the help of Colin Macdonald, director of web operations in the chancellor’s office, the map is ready for use as a brochure and poster and available online.