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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.

Interpreter in Astana for Unibolt A/S

March 30th, 2011

On  March, 16th -18th there was an exhibition Agritek 2011 which I visited as English interpreter for Mr. Vinter, area sales manager of a Danish company Unibolt A/S.

Interpreter in Astana for Unibolt

It was not the first time that we worked with Mr. Vinter and not the first exhibition that we visited. It’s been a year since we first started working and during that year we had a lot of meetings in Astana, Almaty, Moscow and other cities. I am also quite familiar with the Unibolt products given the fact that I did website translation into Russian for that company.
Unibolt A/S is a European leader in manufacturing bolts and other fasteners for agriculture machinery that is the reason why we met a number of agriculture companies at the exhibition that are potential customers of Unibolt. We also held meetings with other companies outside the fair.
We are planning yet another trip to Russia next week: in Moscow we will meet the head of a company that plays a big role in Russian agriculture market. We are looking forward to that trip and hope that it will be as successful as we expect it to be.

French-Russian translation: the film on Kazakhstan

April 1st, 2010

As mentioned previously, I worked as a French-Russian interpreter for the French journalists Jean- Marc Gresta and Julien Monteaux when they were filming in Kazakhstan. We worked closely during one week, we visited sightseeings in Astana, drove to Borovoe -a resort not far from Astana, had several meetings and interview.

Sightseeings in Astana

Now I am glad to say that the film is ready and is available on the Internet. The film covers a whole range of issues, from Astana being a new modern capital to the Assembly of the United Nations World Touristic Organization which was held in Astana in October 2009. But the main focus of the film is the spatial development of Kazakhstan. The French jouralists also filmed in Baikonur, and the launch of the spacecraft is a spectacular view.

Baikonur. Film on Kazakhstan

Another aspect of the film is the French-Kazakh relations.

„The visit of the President of France in the beginning of October 2009 really marked an important stage of the strategic partnership between France and Kazakhstan.“ Stephan Janichewski, Associate Director General of CNES

I hope that thanks to that film people will learn more about Kazakhstan, its past and future.

Translation at the fair AGRITEK 2010

March 23rd, 2010

I just finished translating at the agriculture fair Agritek 2010 which was held in Astana on the 17-19 of March. I was translating Per Vinther, the representative of Unibolt company, located in Denmark.

Agriculture in Kazakhstan

Mr.Vinther had kindly provided me with information on bolts and other coldformed solutions which was very helpful. I have learned about nuts, screws, washers as well as different ways of placing a bolt into a wheel, etc. These couple days were very productive for us: not only did we go to the fair, but we also contacted several companies which would be interested in what we were to offer them.

Some people don’t know that Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world, so we can produce more wheat than several european countries together. That’s why the agriculture market is very big here. The problem is that foreign people expect kazakhstani companies that need agricultural mashinery for example to be on the Internet and have their home pages with contact details. But that’s not the case here. Internet has only been around for several years and usually those who are older than 50 don’t know how to use computer. I don’t what people to have a negative impression on Kazakhstan, but this is how it is. I am sure, this situation will be slowly changing but for now I can only recommend two things: first, don’t google in English, google in Russian. Second, don’t send an email in English, send it in Russian, otherwise in 99% you will not be replied.

As for Mr.Vinther, we have found together the companies he needed and hopefully we will work together again when he arranges the meetings with these companies.

Translation for Greek companies in Astana

December 16th, 2009

Last Friday I was translating at the business forum where different Greek companies were presented: marble, olive oil, furs, doors and windows… one could find anything there. I translated to Mr. Alexander Dimitriadis, Managing Director of Balkan company and also I helped Mr. Vasilis Giannakis, who represented another marble manufacturing company.

I already have experience in geology related translation, so words like „quarry“, „shear strength“, „porosity“ and the like were familiar to me. But there is always something new (for example, the term „slab“): Mr. Dimitriadis was so kind that explained to me difference between several types of marble: polished or ancient, with ot without fossils, more strong or more vulnerable and so on. He also had samples of about 20 types of marble from oll over the world: from his own quarries in Greece and from other countries such as Iran, Turkey, India. I was particularly attracted by the so called Snow White marble (the most expensive, it turned out :) ).

There weren’t too many visitors on that day, but those who did appear were real professionals in marble industry: they knew what they needed and what they were looking for.

After the exibition we went on the short excursion in Astana, visited Baiterek and several construction sites where marble was used.

Why I really like being a translator in Kazakhstan, is because I can always meet people from various parts of the world with different background and mentality. After rendering my translation services back on Friday, I knew a little more about Greece, marble and maybe even more Kazakhstan and its advantages over other countries.

Translation at the fair “Education in Australia”

January 1st, 2009

Nowadays the idea of studying abroad is extremely popular in Kazakhstan that is why different fairs concerning education are held several times per year. “Education in Australia” was one of the fairs I translated at.

Education in Australia. Translator Snejana Skakovskaya

"Education in Australia". Translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

I translated for Ms. Gaynor Green, marketing project manager from Adelaide and Mr. Darren Turner, regional recruitment manager who represented Flinders university. There were a lot of people interested in education in Australia in spite of the fact that Australia is too far away from Kazakhstan. Mostly students took a keen interest in medical science, civil engineering, information technology and tourism. Some students or postgraduates had already taken TOEFL or IELTS and for that reason they knew the level of their English. No matter what the result of English exam is there is always an opportunity to take a foundation course and then enter a university.

Education in Australia. Translator Snejana Skakovskaya

Education in Australia. Translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

In my opinion what is also useful to know for those who want to come to Australia to study is that there is a lot of information on not just studying but also working in Australia. It means that a student can earn enough money working either on campus or off campus that allows to cover education fee and other expenses.

Couple hours after we got started our “neighbour” – Mr. Walter Ong – dean, who represented Curtin University of technology asked me to translate for him as somehow he didn’t have a translator. I really liked the way he talked to students: he didn’t just answer to their questions but gave them many pieces of good advice. It turned out for example that there were some specialties studying which a student could apply for Australian citizenship. And what is really amazing Mr. Walter Ong brought with him some information on Muslim culture centers in Australia. It was very wise as Kazakhstan is a muslim country and maybe I am mistaken but some people are afraid to go to a foreign country without having access to a mosque they got use to go to. So in my opinion this kind of information can make things easier.

Our team on the fair

Our team on the fair

One more thing that I would like to mention is the fact that Australian English is differs from British or American English. I can’t tell that I had hard time with understanding but there was a remarkable difference in pronunciation.

I hope the fair was really successful both for australian and kazakh sides. I am sure it is good long term partnership.

Translation in Astana. Fair “Education in Europe and USA”

September 11th, 2008
Ian P.Little & translator Snazhana Skakovskaya

Ian P.Little and translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

It was a really interesting day since I was invited to the “Education in Europe and USA” fair as a     translator. It was held at Eurasian national university in Astana.

There were many representatives of universities in England, Scotland, the Czech Republic, the USA and     others. I was translating for Mr. Ian P.Little, who is a director of international recruitment office of     international education.

I took part in such kind of fair  as a translator for the third time that is why I knew what was going to     happen and actually I knew what kind of translation I would be doing. Pupils with their parents, students    and post-graduates were interested in getting more information about tuition fees, accommodation,    deadlines for application forms and so on. These are standard questions that have standard answers so    the process of translation went smoothly. These fairs are usually extremely useful both for students and    representatives of universities.

Fair started at 14.00 and so many people came up to our table that I couldn’t stop my translation even    for a minute.  There were several heads of universities of Kazakhstan who wanted to sign an agreement    with Virginia Commonwealth University and these people turned my translation from common English to    Business English. That is the moment when my work became more important and more interesting.

Four or five hours later we didn’t have many visitors so we finally had a chance to talk. It is always very     interesting to find out what a foreigner knew about Kazakhstan before he came over. I tried to look at     our country from his prospective and share with him my knowledge in the sphere of culture and  history     of Kazakhstan.

The fair is over but I  am still thinking about  it . For me it is a great opportunity to meet people from      all over the world, work with them and keep in touch with them afterwards.  It is also an extremely useful experience for me because of the practice I have since  both language and communication skills are involved in the process of translation. Usually I make a list of words or phrases that were difficult to  translate, then at home I look those words up in the dictionary and learn by heart in order for me  not to have difficulties in translation next time.  Thus step by step I enlarge my vocabulary.

So I am looking forward to new fairs, new universities, new people!

Accommodation in Astana – information for foreigners

June 15th, 2008

Accomodation is what one looks for when comes to Astana from abroad-that’s obvious. Some people ask translators to help in finding a right place, some people find it on their own.

In most cases a foreigner will go for a hotel, but there is still a big number of those who want to cook themselves and feel a bit more like at home, then they seek for a serviced apartment, apartment for daily rent. What I want to do here is to help those who try to find an apartment or a hotel using the internet.

Why would one chose an apartment and not a hotel room-that’s the first question. In my opinion one can feel freer in an apartment rather than in a hotel room. Usually all rooms in a hotel are standartized and really have no face. Apartments can be very different, with different number of rooms, with kitchen and balcon. Those who travel with their family find it very comfortable in an apartment taking into account the possibility of cooking and less strict conditions of the stay. There are some services that go along with the apartment: from arranging the transfer from the airport to making laundry and ironing. Hotels, on the other hand, have their own advantages. No matter what one chooses, it is easier to arrange the accomodation with the help of Apartamenty.kz, which  contains the big choice of apartments and hotels in Astana and other cities in Kazakhstan.