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French translator for Expo 2017 in Astana

February 27th, 2016

On February 24-25th the second Expo 2017 International Participants Meeting was held in Astana where I worked as a simultaneous French-Russian interpreter. The first IPM was held in November 2014 where I worked as an English-Russian translator.

French translator for Expo 2017 in Astana

French translator for Expo 2017 in Astana

International participants were presented with the information on work progress in terms of organization of and preparation for Expo 2017 in Astana. They learned about how the construction is going, what is done in th area of marketing, ticketing, how Kazakhstan is planning on attracting millions of visitors to the Expo 2017.
The participants were very active during these two days, they asked questions about safety and security, about a possibility to have a day or even a week of African culture during Expo. After two vety intensive days they were able to see the construction site with their own eyes and get an idea of what Expo 2017 in Astana will look like.
About 10 participation countries were signed during IPM, it is expected that Expo 2017 in Astana will host about 100 countries, some will be represented as a region, international organizations and NGOs will be present as well.
I have been involved in Expo since 2012 when Kazakhstan just submitted its application dossier and hosted an Equiry Mission. Back then 2017 seem very far away and now we are at the finish line just a year away from this exciting event. I am really looking forward to Expo 2017 in Astana!

Russian translator in Milan for Expo 2015

June 30th, 2015

In June 2015 I was lucky to be invited to Milan as an English-Russian interpreter for Expo 2015. Kazakhstan participates in the Expo 2015 and its pavillion is one of the most popular ones. On June,27th Kazakhstan celebrates its National day: a big official delegation from Astana came to Milan, Kazakhstan’s pavillion was visited by several high-level delegations from other countries, including one from Italy headed by its Prime-Minister. I was there to provide translation services from English to Russian and vice versa.

Snejana Skakovskaya Translator at EXpo 2015 in Milan

Together with the Kazakh delegation I had a chance to visit other pavillions, for example UAE pavillion, the country to host Expo 20202. Some other impressive pavillions were those of Germany, Japan, Azerbajan, etc.
Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for visiting other pavillions as I was mainly involved in the negitiations in the Kazakh pavillion between different delegations.
Celebration continued with a big concert which starred famous Kazakh dancers, singers, craftsmen. The idea of the National Day is to show a country’s culture and in the case of Kazakhstan also get people intetersted in visiting Expo 2017 in Astana.
Eventful but short trip to Italy came to an end and so I am headed home for more translation work in Astana.

Translator for BIE Secretary general – Expo 2017 in Astana

June 10th, 2013

For a week I worked as a translator for the Secretary General of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) – H.E. V.Loscertales who came to Astana for a work visit for the first time after the city won the right to host Expo 2017 in Astana.

Secretary General’s visit to Astana started with a meeting with the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. Mr. Loscertales expressed his congratulations to the Prime Minister on the occasion of Astana’s victory a couple months earlier in Paris. Prime Minsiter reassured Mr. Loscertales that all the preparatory works necessary for a successful organization of EXPO 2017 will be done according to the schedule and will be closely monitored by the Government.

We then had another meeting, this time with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. The Ministry is responsible for ensuring a high level of participation at the EXPO 2017.

The following day started with a press conference during which Mr. Loscertales answered to a numerous questions that the kazakhstani media had. Press conference was followed by more meetings: with the National Coordinator of the project Expo 2017; the meeting in “AstanaGenPlan” – the office for urban planning of Astana where the main architects of Astana explained how Astana will change by 2017 and where the Expo plot will be located.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator for BIE

The next meeting was with the Mayor of Astana who underlined the need for infrastructure development in Astana which would include building a new railway station, expanding the existing international airport and construction of new hotels, among many other developments.

On the last day of his stay in Astana Mr. Loscertales met with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator for BIE

After a short but very intense visit Secretary General returned to Paris to come back to Astana in half a year with a new inspection mission to follow the progress of the city’s preparation for the international event to be held in just a couple of years – EXPO 2017.

EXPO 2017 Enquiry mission visit to Astana through the eyes of interpreter

February 15th, 2012

First I would like to give some background information on the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) and how it is related to Astana and my work.

I am sure that many people have heard of the Universal Exhibition – for example the one for which the Eiffel Tower was built. Something similar but of a smaller scale (not a universal but a so-called recognized exhibition) is planned for 2017 and Astana is bidding to host this exhibition. Astana’s main competitor is Liege (Belgium). The decision on the host country will be made by the end of 2012 and in order to facilitate this decision the Enquiry mission visited both Astana and Liege to see if the cities are able to host several millions of visitors that will come to see the exhibitions. This is how 9 delegates of BIE found themselves in Astana in March, 12-16. It was my job to provide both simultaneous and consecutive translation during the visit. It goes without saying the programme was very tight so I will only mention events in which I was involved myself.

March, 11 – arrival day. Organizers of the visit decided to make it an “easy” day for the delegates and use some time before the official part of the visit to introduce guests to the Kazakh culture. That is why the first day was spent in Khan Shatyr, Pyramid and Palace of Independence where guests got a chance to visit the Ethnical Kazakh Village where the Kazakh traditions (including a traditional wedding, dances, jewellery, handcraft, etc) were shown.

March, 12 – beginning of the official programme

My main task on that day was to provide simultaneous translation during the presentations aimed at proving that Astana has enough capacity to host the EXPO 2017 – financial, economic, political.

March, 13 started with the meeting with the Minister of the Interior Mr.Kassymov at which the political situation in the country was discussed.

It was then followed by the excursion to the newly built TV and radio center where we were shown the future news rooms, studios and other facilities of the center.

After a number of presentations delegates left for a working lunch with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs where I was translating as well.

March, 14
was marked by the meeting with the President Mr. Nazarbayev who emphasized the political will to support the idea of EXPO 2017 being held in Astana. The delegates then visited Eurasian National university where a meeting with the Minister of Education and Science, students and academicians was planned. I graduated from this university 2 years ago and it was a very interesting feeling to come back to my alma mater not as a student but as a simultaneous translator. I continued my translation at yet another working lunch, this time with the Mayor of Astana.
March, 15 was another day of presentations on the future site of the EXPO and the future use of EXPO facilities since it is very important to invest in something that will last longer than just 3 months of the EXPO.
When I wasn’t in a booth doing simultaneous translation, I was down in the conference room to help with the consecutive English-Russian translation.

On the March, 16 together with the delegates I left for Almaty where a tour of the city and its surroundings by helicopter was organized. The official visit of the Enquiry mission finished with the internal meeting the results of which will hopefully have a positive impact on the final decision.

Translator in Almaty at the Mining Exhibition

September 28th, 2011

September, 19th-23rd I spent in Almaty providing interpreting services at the 17th Central Asia international mining exhibition. I worked with the CEO and a sales manager of the Celik Granul, a Turkish company that produces low carbon steel shots for sandblasting and shotblasting.

I flew from Astana Monday early morning and the first two days we spent preparing for the exhibition, we set up our stand, located the catalogues, got to know other exhibitors. On Wednesday the exhibition started and a constant flow of visitors started immediately.

Visitors were from different walks of life: company owners, PR specialists, students, journalists, distributors, etc. Every time somebody came up to our stand I explained why low carbon steel shots are better then high carbon steel shots, why shots can be used for surface cleaning not just ones but several times, what is the better shotblasting equipment for that, and so on. We had a very colorful stand and we for sure attracted many people.

After the full working day at the exhibition center we were invited to a nice reception where all the exhibition participants could meet and connect in an informal way.

One day of exhibition passed after another and here I am at the airport again. Translation in Almaty is finished but next day more work is ahead in Astana!