Group of interpreters publish bilingual book for guiding visitors to Hiroshima

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

A Hiroshima-based volunteer group has published HIP's Hiroshima Guide, a book of English expressions that can be used when guiding visitors around Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace (HIP) hopes that the book will help those who want to guide international visitors to the city in English, enabling them to explain Hiroshima’s appealing features and express their wish for peace. The book will be sold at large bookstores in the city.

The book features dialogues between a visitor and a guide on 21 topics, including the A-Bomb Dome, Itsukushima Shrine, and the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, the professional baseball team based in Hiroshima. One dialogue is about okonomiyaki, a kind of crepe made with pork, cabbage, and special sauce that has long been a specialty of Hiroshima. The conversation goes: “What is this?” “It's a spatula. With this spatula we cut and eat okonomiyaki directly from the hot plate.” The conversations are printed on facing pages with English on the right and Japanese on the left.

HIP published an English guidebook on Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in 2005. The group has been working on the new book, which covers a broader range of topics, since 2011. Keiko Ogura, 78, the head of the group, said she hopes that people will make use of the book and more people will use English when they welcome visitors from overseas.

The A5-size book, consisting of 76 pages and a CD that contains the dialogues recorded by native speakers of English, is priced at 864 yen. Two thousand copies of the book have been printed and will be available in stores by January 30. For further information, call Masahiro Watarida at 090-6835-8391.

(Originally published on January 27, 2016)