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Translating for the President N.Nazarbayev

July 17th, 2015

Last week I had a great honor of translating the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. He participated in the Nazarbayev University graduation ceremony in order to personaly issue diplomas to the best students; I was providing English-Russian simultaneous translation services during the ceremony.

Iranslating for the President N.Nazarbayev in Astana

Translating for the President N.Nazarbayev in Astana

Eventhough translating the President is a great responsibility (and quite a lot of pressure, too), it went very smoothly: the President is a great speaker; he knows how to deliver a speech keeping in mind he is being interpreted at the moment.
The President opened the ceremony which was continued by speeches delivered by university’s faculty members; diplomas were issued to bachelor and master degree students.
I am sure it was a great honor for them too to receive such an important document from the hands of the President.
I wish all the best to alumni of the Nazarbayev University, let theor professional lives be as impressive as their graduation ceremony!

English-Russian translation at the National Testing Center

March 2nd, 2012

This time I worked in the National Testing Center providing English-Russian translation at a series of lectures on evaluation in education.

The lecturer, Dr. Shonau, who came from the Netherlands, gave an overall view on the education system in the Netherlands, on the role of examinations and test in education. He explained different types of taxonomy models: that of Bloom and Romiszowsky, that are the basis for test constructing.  Lectures touched upon test types: multiple choice tests, open end tests, written and practical tasks and the ways how to best evaluate each of them. The whole day was dedicated to the final examination and its administration and evaluation criteria as it as done in the Netherlands. Participants: those who develop test items, put them together in a test and later assess the results, took great interest in that part since the final exam that combines both school leaving and university entrance exam in Kazakhstan will no longer exist. The discussions are held as to how change the format of the exam and what is the best practice in the world.

It is obvious that there are differences between the education system in the Netherlands and that in Kazakhstan but still there are similarities, too, and both countries win from learning from each other’s experience.

Education differences: Kazakhstan and Germany.

October 10th, 2008

Being a third-year student in Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan, I obtained a european scholarship named Erasmus Mundus and came to Germany to improve my knowledge of English linguistics and literature. I just started studying at Freie Universität Berlin but I can already tell the difference between two systems of education.





1. There is more freedom in terms of what you study and how much. Students can choose whatever they want: there is always an opportunity to take a course in politics even if the major is philologie. 1. All courses are compulsory.
2. There are no fixed groups, every student has his own schedule that he can change on his own. There is a tendency to individualism. 2. Groups are formed of 15-25 students (depending on a major) that study together all the time. There is a schedule for the whole group for the whole period of study. Groupmates spend lots of time together not only at university but also go out very often. Thus in 4 years they become good friends and keep in touch after graduating from university.
3. There is no fixed time of graduation from university. Courses can be taken as many times as needed, exams can be delaid. In my opinion it is not always good to have no restrictions at all. Sometimes student graduate from university being 30-year old. At this age they only start building their career. 3. Everyone is supposed to study 4 years (except for those who are going to become doctors). Course can be taken one more time in case of failing an exam. Exams can only be postponed in case of disease. Usually students graduate from university at the age of 22-23. Bachelor degree is enough to get a highly-paid job.
4. Professors can be argued with. The atmosphere in the classroom is too liberal: students can eat and drink in front of a professor. 4. Professors are regarded as authorities whose opinion can not be wrong. Students’ attitude to professors is very respectful.
5. Personal relationships are not involved in final assessment: when a term paper is being read professor has no idea who this work belongs to. Sometimes it happens that a professor doesn’t know names of all his students. 5. Personal relationships have a lot to do with the final assessment especially when it comes down to oral examinations. Professors and students can be very close though there is always a distance between them.
6. Most students study 4-5 days a week and have 3-4 lectures or seminars a day. Each class lasts 1,5 hour. Homework is not given. Everyone has clear understanding of what he is going to listen to on a lecture. Handouts are available couple days before the lecture, they can be printed and read before hand. 6. Everyone studies 6 days a week and has about 5-6 classes a day each of those is 50 minutes long. Homework is something thar every student is supposed to do every day. Material given on a lecture is absolutely new to students. Notetaking is compulsory.

To conclude, it can be said that though a new system of education was introduced in Kazakhstan about 5 years ago, it still looks a lot like an old soviet system (not necesserily bad one). For me it is a great chance to get to know a western system with all its freedom and innovative technologies. But there are usually two sides of the medal that I am sure I’ll face.