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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.

Translation at the EXPO seminar for the Carribean Region

October 11th, 2014

After winning the right to host Expo 2017 in Astana, the national company “Astana Expo 2017” decided to conduct a number of seminars for the developping countries in order to discuss their plans for Expo.

The first seminar that was held in Astana gathered countires of the Carribean region. Representatives of the Caribbean countries gave presentations about the energy in their region, development of the alternative energy source, initiatives for green economy. The national company also gave a couple of presentations about the construction of the Expo site, its master plan, content plan, and others. The countries needed to decide how they want to be present as a region in a so-called Carribean Plaza, they needed to find similarities that they wanted to demonstrate including culture, music, dance, diversity, etc.

After the official part of the seminar the guests had a chance to see Astana, they went to Baiterek and Han Shatyr, they saw a horse show and they were very impressed by the kazakh hospitality.

By the end of the seminar a number of recommendations were worked out, the work will continue to develop the concept of the Carribean Plaza.

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.

Simultaneous translation at the VI Astana Economic Forum

June 8th, 2013

On May, 22-24th I provided simultaneous translation services at the VI Astana Economic Forum. The Forum is a big-scale annual event and it is the third time that I participate in the Forum.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at AEF

The second day we were at the session: “Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan: challenges and opportunities” which was followed by the sessions on transition to a green economy and by a political discussion on Kazakhstan, Russia and the EU with a participation of a former President of Poland.

Together with my collegue we worked at a session dedicated to Expo 2017 Astana and the fact that I am actively involved in that project really helped as I knew the speakers and the materials they were presenting.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at AEF

We also provided simulatenous English-Russian and Russian -English translation during the participants’ dinner.

Besides its numerous sessions, the Forum offers a big variety of side events, many foreign companies and Embassies participate in those events.

The couple days during the Forum are always very busy for the translators, translators are booked couple months in advance to ensure their availability. Additional interpreters are brought from Almaty, Moscow and other cities to provide a necessary number of translators that the Forum requires.

Annualy the Forum gathers schientists, businessmen, and journalists from all over the world. It is a great honor to be a part if this huge event.

Astana Expo 2017 – Russian translator in Paris

November 11th, 2012

Another event as a part of the promotion campaign “Astana – candidate city to host EXPO 2017” is the official reception “Yacht de Paris” that was held in Paris on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazkahstan.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator in Paris

The reception that was held on the yacht cruising Seine gathered about 160 BIE delegates with their spouses. The reception with the theme “Dances of four continents” had an official part during which the speeches were delivered by H.E. Ambassador of Kazakhstan to France, Minister N. Kapparov, national coordinator R.Zhoshybaev and a french actor Vincent Perez. The official part was followed by dances from four continents letting the guests learn more about each other’s culture: Viennese waltz and feerie representing Europe, Chinese and Indian dances representing Asia, oriental dance and “jungle” dance showcasing Africa, salsa and samba being traditional Latin American dances.

My role was to “meet and greet” guests as they were arriving to the yacht, then make sure I was available if they needed me to translate their conversations, at the end I was responsible for seeing the guests off.

The atmosphere at the reception was very warm, even hot when everybody started dancing to the rhythm of latin american music. This reception was the last event of the promotion campaign before the day X – the day when the BIE delegates will vote for either Astana or Liege to be the host of EXPO 2017.

Astana EXPO 2017 – translation at the reception in Paris

October 30th, 2012

Another event in the framework of the lobbying campaign of Astana city candidate to host EXPO 2017 was the reception held on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Paris on October, 25th.

BIE delegates – Ambassadors of more than 150 countries were kindly invited to attend the reception during which the bilateral negotiations were held as well as the speeches were delivered by the Kazakh and international officials.

The cycling team “Sun Trip” was presented to the public: the team has a very ambitious idea of crossing the continent on electric bikes starting in Paris and finishing in Astana as the promotion of the very theme of Astana Expo 2017 – Future Energy. In relation to that, 6 bikes were raffled off to those who came to the reception. To the surprise and the pleasure of the audience, it was Alexander Vinokurov who was responsible for that part.

I was actively involved in the preparation of the event, including translation of its programme, getting in touch with the embassies and making sure the Ambassadors were coming, as well as helping out during the reception itself in case if anybody needed translation.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the reception with its nice jazz band, food and possibility to interact in an unformal way.

Translation for EXPO 2017 Astana: “Future Energy” Symposium

July 17th, 2012

As the follow-up of the EXPO 2017 Astana candidacy promotion campaign I worked as a simultaneous translator in Astana at the Symposium which gathered 160 International Bureau of Exhibition’s delegates from all over the world.

Symposium was organized to show Astana to the delegates who will later vote for the city to host EXPO 2017. The idea was to explain in more details the theme of EXPO 2017 – Future Energy as well as introduce delegates to the Kazakh culture, to show places of interest in Astana. So the first day was spent in the palace of Independence where several panel discussions took place. I worked as a simultaneous Russian-English translator and I was lucky to work with simultaneous translators who came from Paris specifically for this Symposium. It was a great opportunity for me to learn something new about simultaneous translation. The day ended with a reception held by the Prime Minister. The guests could listen to Kazakh music and try out Kazakh food.

Next day was dedicated to sightseeing in Astana: Baiterek, Khan Shatyr, Palace of Independence, Pyramid and other places of interest in Astana were shown to the guests.

The voting will take place in Paris in November 2012, we are all looking forward to it and crossing our fingers to get the right to host EXPO 2017 in Astana.

English-Russian and French-Russian translator in Paris for Expo 2017

June 15th, 2012

I spent last two weeks in Paris in preparation for the General Assembly of BIE (International Bureau of Exhibitions) and for the reception hosted by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan dedicated to the Expo 2017 bid.

I already worked as a translator during the Enquiry mission visit to Astana which aimed at checking whether Astana was able to host Expo 2017. So this was sort of a follow-up.
All the countries –candidates for Expo 2017 and Expo 2020 gave presentations to the members of the BIE and later that day the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan hosted a reception for 300 BIE delegates which was a part of the official procedure in the BIE. The reception was accompanied by the performance during which all delegates could learn more about the Kazakh culture through traditional dances, music, sings, customs.
I came to Paris two weeks before that day as a part of the organization team. Since more than 150 people were coming to Paris from Kazakhstan for the performance during the reception, the organization had to be perfect and required a lot of preparation. My role was not only to translate but also to communicate in French or English with hotel or reception venue stuff, to coordinate French-Russian assistants that were there to help the performers, to make sure that everybody had a hotel room, and a number of other organizational issues.
On the day of reception I was actually doing English –Russian and French-Russian translation between the BIE delegates, the Kazakh authorities, Ambassadors and other guests. At the same time I had a chance to enjoy a very interesting performance.
The following day there was a meeting between the BIE Secretary General and the Kazakh authorities where I provided English-Russian translation.
I was happy to be a part of the team in Paris as I could do more than just translation; I was given more tasks and more responsibilities which made the trip even better. That’s not to mention that there were plenty things to do and to see in Paris after work!
Next step of the bidding procedure – the international symposium to be held on June, 28-29 in Astana.

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.