You are currently browsing the archives for the FAQ category.

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.

A week in the life of an interpreter

October 5th, 2011

Recently I received the following comment from an interpreter who is just starting his career:

Hello, Miss Snezhana. i want to be a translator and if possible, an interpreter. Since i am interested in Russian, i was surfing the web and came across your webpage. i am wondering about two things
1 being a male is a disadvantage as interpreter?
i mean people prefer females over males?
2. what is the routine as a professional interpreter? what is your schedule like?
like you get up, and practice your langauges? i mean i want to know your daily practice as a proffesional interpreter
Thank you,

Instead of describing my daily routine and decided to describe one week of my professional life as an interpreter, from September, 5th through September, 10th, 2011

Monday: first day of simultaneous translation at the international conference on fusion energy. How did I prepare? I had a number of thesis that I looked through, I also read up on atom, nuclear physics, Rutherford and his experiments and I prepared a glossary. As always, speakers didn’t stick to their presentations so it was a pure simultaneous translation: I translate what I hear. The main topic of the conference – TOKAMAK –toroidal chamber with magnet coil.

Tuesday: second day of simultaneous translation at the international conference on fusion energy. I am getting comfortable with plasma-wall interactions and berilization process in a vacuum chamber. Topics are getting from general to more specialized.

Wednesday: third day at the same conference. Fusion, fission, lithization, tungsten – it’s just a small part of the discussion.

Thursday: consecutive translation at the Ministry of Health. Last minute call, so no preparation from my side. We speak about unified health information management system in Kazakhstan. Terms: DRG (diagnosis-related groups), HTA (health technical assessment), clinical content, etc. More of this next week.

Friday: consecutive translation for the USA Embassy Military Cooperation department. No comment on this one.

Saturday: simultaneous translation of a lecture on geopolitics for high-level officials from the Ministry of Economics and “Samruk Kazyna”. No materials available before the lecture, so again no preparation.

It’s just happened so that this week I didn’t have the materials to prepare for the meetings but normally I try to get hold some information and make myself familiar with the subject. Especially if it is a simultaneous translation.

Do I “get up, and practice my languages”? No, I don’t. I just don’t have the time for that. I get up and work. Work is the best practice ever.

As for the question whether people prefer male interpreters over females or vice versa, honestly I don’t know, I’ve only been a female interpreter.
So that’s how my week passed. After a short weekend there comes another week with both consecutive and simultaneous translation. No time to relax!

I hope my answer was useful to you, Gyung, and I wish you success in being an interpreter. It’s not easy, that’s true, but it’s lots of fun, trust me!

Another excursion translation in Astana

April 27th, 2010

Last Sunday I was translating the city tour in Astana, as usually I worked with the tour guide Elena and I was glad to open a new season of excursions 2010.

We started from the hotel Grand Park Esil, where our guest from UEA was located, we showed him all the sightseeing of Astana on the right bank: Old square, Respublic avenue, the Catholic Church, Synagogue, the Memorial to Afghan soldiers, etc.

Sightseeing of Astana. Excursion translation in Astana

Our first stop was at the Russian Orthodox Church, which seem to be very interesting to our guest, since he has never been to a Russian church before. In addition, we could witness the wedding ceremony at the church. We explained to our guest, why people put candles in this or that place, why the church is decorated like it is, etc. We took pictures and moved on.

Next stop was the Islamic culture center, which was built in 2005 and was sponsored by the Emir of Qatar. The Islamic culture center consists of a mosque Nur-Astana, madrasah and a library.

After that we went to Baiterek from which we could see a nice view of the city: Palace of Peace and Accord, Khan Shatyry, House of Ministries, the Residence of the President, both old and new parts of the city.

Our final stop was at the Presidential center of culture, where we visited ethnographical and hystorical halls of the museum. It was very interesting to see a real yurta (an authentic habitat of nomads) with all its decoration, traditional kazakh clothes and traditional jewelry. We were very pleased that our guest asked questions and that he took a keen interest in the traditions and mentality of our country. In my opinion, this is the best result of an excursion!

Becoming an interpreter

March 11th, 2010

Several days ago I was contacted by a girl named Diana, who is studing to become an interpreter and translator. She asked me if I had a specific method of learning English and what I had done in order to become an interpreter. So instead of sending her back an email I decided to put my thoughts into an article, hoping that this might be somehow useful for other students.

So, Diana, here are my answers to your questions: first of all, I don’t have any specific methods of learning English, no secrets, trust me. But there are some things that I could recommend you.

Most important- read a lot. And not only in English. In order to become a really good interpreter, you should be in command of at least two languages: foreign and native one. So while studying English, don’t forget about Russian (or about Kazakh). You should be able of speaking very smoothly, without words such „well“, „errr..“, „you know.. “, you should know many synonyms, so if one word doesn’t come up easily to your mind, you have 3 or 5 others of the same meaning. Grammar and spelling should always be paid attention to, in both languages again. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to achieve it by reading. Read more »


June 10th, 2008

What language do they speak in Astana (Kazakhstan)?

Official language in Kazakhstan is Kazakh and Russian is the language of communication. People can either speak one of those languages or both-that depends on their background. Sometimes people look for Kazakhstan to English translator thinking that this is the language of the country but this is not.

What do they eat in Kazakhstan?

First of all, people in Kazakstan eat a lot of meat: mostly mutton, beef, even horse meet, rarely pork. The most popular traditional food is so-called „beshbarmak“ which means „five fingers“ since traditionally people eat this meal without fork or spoon. For more information see the article about authentic food in Kazakhstan.