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To preface this review, I'm a 4th year PhD student in Japanese history, so my reading is already at what's normally considered an "advanced" level (academic or philosophical texts, rather than newspapers or magazines). In searching for a tutor, I was looking for someone capable of explaining the nuance and argumentation of complex readings -- something not every "beginner" tutor can do well. I'm happy to report that not only is Alissa very professional and responsive in all communications, but that she is also a highly skilled translator and tutor. Alissa went line-by-line through a text with me and was able to explain the metaphors and analogies the author employed, as well as explaining grammatical constructions (not found in the dictionary) in several different ways such that I got a more intuitive understanding of meaning/usage. One of the difficulties in translation is that (unlike say French or German), Japanese has a number of constructions which simply do not have a 1:1 corresponding term or phrase in English - a good translator has to understand the contextual meaning in Japanese and then find a similar meaning in English. Alissa helped me find several workable translations which stayed "close" to the text, but portrayed the desired meaning in smooth English (if you've ever tried translating Japanese into English, you know how challenging this can be!). I'm looking forward to our subsequent sessions together, and highly recommend Alissa as an advanced tutor or translator!;
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