I was told my my supervisor Anne-Marie during my most recent tutorial about downloading Google Translate prior to my Japan visit in January as not much signage features English, and if so it is usually written in Roman format. Having used online translation tools in the past, I wasn’t aware that technology has so rapidly advanced to the point of taking a photograph of a sign, swiping your finger across the translatable text and the English translation will appear. This text can then be spoken in either English, or the desired translated language, in this case Japanese.
The app also also allows for me to speak directly in English for this to then be translated and spoken back in Japanese. The opposite is also available, i.e. Japanese spoken language to either a spoken, or written English translation to appear.
I feel whilst asking for the simplest of things such as directions this will be extremely beneficial, whilst also being beneficial if interviews are carried out for example whereby there are language barriers. I have discussed with my contact in Japan the idea of using a translator if need be, however this may be costly and depends on the situation at the time, and also depends on how much of a language barrier there is in Tokyo city with the people I will be hopefully talking to.