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Interpreting at the National Business Forum

March 16th, 2011

I just got back from Berlin and there is already more work ahead: on February, 28th I provided interpretation services for the National Business Forum in Astana.

Interpreting at the NBF

National Business Forum (NBF) serves as a kind of bridge between government and business, so there were representatives from both sides. Prime Minister Mr.Massimov was the first one to deliver a speech, then there was the panel discussion followed by more discussions at the round tables. My task was  to interpret for Mr. Shinsato, who was invited to the NBF as an international expert. Mr.Shinsato delivered an extremely interesting speech on change management focusing on lean production and kaizen. I really love my job since it allows me to constantly learn from the people I work with. If not for the forum, how would have I found out about kaizen?

Having delivered his speech, Mr.Shinsato was actively participating in the discussion, so I was doing what is called „chuchotage“ – a kind of simultaneous interpretation without any special equipment. Interpreter just sits next to a person he/she translates for and does the simultaneous translation while another speaker delivers a speech.
The discussions were vivid, participants were active and genuinely interested in the topic, so there was a lot to translate. Mr.Shinsato was also interviewed by a local channel and I translated that as well.

It was a real pleasure to translate Mr. Shinsato as he is a very experienced speaker, he attracted  and involved the audience, made some jokes and at the same time got his message across, so everybody enjoyed the time with him.

Russian Interpreter for BERLINALE International Film Festival

March 9th, 2011

I was invited as a Russian interpreter in Berlin for the Berlinale International Film Festival. It was a very big event that attracted thousands and thousands of people all over the world. Film stars, fild directors, fans, journalists – everybody was overwhelmed with excitement.

Russian Interpreter BERLINALE

Among other films that were presented in the Competition section there was a Russian/Ukranian film on Chernobyl disaster. Film director and actors came to the Festival for the film premiere. Once the film was shown, a number of interviews were held with Mr. Mindadze, the film director and scriptwriter. That is when my work began.

We had about 15 interviews one right after another. While one crew was shooting, the other was setting up equipment. We started with a TV channel from the Czech republic which was followed by Eurochannel, Reuters, Al Jazeera and many other international TV channels. Journalists were very interested  in the film since it was a kind of metaphor of the Russian mentality. Mr. Mindadze was asked several times about his memories of the day of the disaster. I watched the film the day before so when I was interpreting I knew what I was talking about, reading on the Chernobyl disaster also helped a lot.

Next day we had interviews with the print: Le Monde was one of them. It was a very intense interview since the journalist deeply understood and felt the film. Mr. Mindadze was very pleased that his work attracted real professionals who didn’t need basic explanations.

I enjoyed working with M.Mindadze and wish him all the best in his creative work. And I enjoyed working for Berlinale,too. It was a great experience. Red carpet experience, so to speak :)

Simultaneous interpreting at the ECO fifth conference on disaster risk management

December 2nd, 2010

On the 10-11th of November I worked as a simultaneous interpreter at the ECO Conference on disaster risk management. There were presented 8 countries of the Organization as well as UN, WHO, UNISEF and other international organizations. The conference was hosted by the Minister of Emergency situations, so  he was the first one to be interpreted, followed by ECO Deputy Secretary General,  UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan and by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.
Unlike previous simultaneous translation, this one was quite specific: there were presentations on seismic risk reduction,  on global campaign „Making cities resilient“, and others. The main topic was the natural disasters: earthquakes, landslides, floods, wildfire and the impact that they have on  overall safety with the focus on school and hospitals safety.
There were some hectic moments for the interpreters when one of the speakers delivered his speach in Persian instead of  English. It was quite a surprise for us but we managed with the help of his colleague who volunteered to interpret into English so we could intrepret him into Russian. The other presentations were fine although sometimes overwelmed with figures, dates and places. But being a simultaneous interpreter, we have to deal with this fact, as well as with the lenght of a presentation and with the speed at which this presentation is given.
Totally I worked 14 hours the first day and then some more hours the following day. It’s not easy, I must admit, but it is very interesting at the same time.

Simultaneous translation at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture

November 9th, 2010

I worked as a simultaneous translator at the World forum of spiritual culture which gathered people from all over the world in Astana on the 18th -20th of October, 2010.

Simultaneous translation is known as the most difficult type of translation since it is done at the same time as the speech itself. Being one of the two simultaneous translators who are located in the booth at the end of a conference room, I enter the booth, put a headset on, check a microphone, three, two, one, go: „Dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world forum of spiritual culture!“. My work day starts.

I translated both from Russian into English and from English into Russian. The reports that were read mostly touched upon the concepts such as moral responsibility,power and conscience, morality and its values.
There were several difficulties connected to the translation: first of all, all the reports were read, which means that the speed was significant. Taking into account that translators had no reports at all, this was quite a challenge. Some accents also caused troubles: not only native speakers were present, so sometimes it really took some moments to get a speaker. And as a simultaneous translator you simply don’t have those moments. On the other hand, translating from Russian into English was quite easy and I would even say relaxing. The big advantage of the simultaneous translation is that there is no need to memorize anything as a translator is only 2-3 words behind a speaker. Another important thing is that the translators (who always work in pair) change every 15 minutes, that also gives some time for recovery. Report after report, we made it to the lunch break and a couple of hours later to the end of the forum.

In other words, simultaneous translation is no doubt a challenge but it is also a pleasure when you realize that the audience is satisfied with what it has been hearing in the headphones for the whole day :)

Russian interpreter for Deutsche Welle in Aktau

October 25th, 2010

Not much time passed since I worked as an interpreter for Deutsche Welle in Karaganda and I am already on my way to Aktau (a city by Caspean Sea) to perform English-Russian translation of the technical workshop again.

English-russian interpreter Deutsche Welle Aktau

The workshop was conducted by Marc Seidel at the „West“ radion station mostly for the sound engineers and DJs. Journalists and news readers were also willing to participate, so Marc tried to „make everybody happy“ and cover as many topics as possible.

The radio station is quite new, so most of the staff is young, energetic and excited about learning new things. First we had quite a technical introduction including the digitalization of the sound, bitrate impact on sound quality, sampling frequency, MP3 etc. Then we had more practice: participants learned about different types of microphones, they got to work with the digital recorder, they even produced a story by using various ambient sounds and also they did a vox pop by recording different people’s answers to the same question. They also dealt with some post-production software which seemed to be a lot of fun for the participants.

The newsreaders also had a chance to benefit from a workshop: on the last day of the seminar we did some exercises in order to train newsreaders to select the most important items for the news and to present the news in a professional way.

The participants and the management of the radio station were so friendly and so genuinely interested in the workshop that it was a real pleasure to work with these people. Our week long seminar is finished and they  have already requested for more seminars in the future, so I guess it was not the last trip to the Caspean Sea!

English-Russian Translator in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

September 23rd, 2010

It is amazing how many people need a Russian translator in Dubai, English to Russian translation in Abu Dhabi also seems to be a common occurence.

English-Russian Translator in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

I already have some experience in working with people from UAE, be it a translation of an excursion in Astana or technical translation in Almaty related to door locks.

English-Russian translator in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Many more people contact me to request Russian translation in the UAE but since I am based in Kazakhstan it’s not easy to establish any kind of partnership.

One day I said to myself „Why not go to the country by a rapid growth of which I am so impressed?“ So said so done!

I am planning to go to Dubai in the middle of November, so if anyone is interested in Russian interpreter services, please let me know in advance and I will be happy to meet and discuss  our potential work together.

Deutsche Welle Part 2: Russian interpreter in Karaganda

August 11th, 2010

For a week I did English-Russian translation of a technical workshop in Karaganda, I worked together with Marc Seidel, a trainer from Deutsche Welle Academy.

Deutsche Welle Karaganda Kazakhstan interpreter services

I have already worked  as an interpreter for Deutsche Welle before, but last time it was a journalistic workshop. This time it was a workshop for technicians and sound engineers of the radio station TEX, its aim was to improve sound quality and to make people at the radio station aware of any problem that may occur on an every day basis.

Since it was a technical seminar, the words that I dealt with were also quite technical, such as transmitter, sampling frequency, bitrate, data reduction etc. We talked about how analogue sounds become digital ones, how they are then transmitted and broadcasted. Stereo and mono sounds were also discussed, as well as the difference between stereo sounds and two-channel sounds.

Mr.Seidel  also had some music items with different problems, for example in one item low frequencies were missing, in another one there were not enough teble. For the participants it was very interesing to find out the problem and its reason. Thus they trained their ears to immediately recognize the problems. We also went to the antenna where the transmitter was located to check if everything was fine with it and if there was anything wrong with the settings.
The atmosphere of the workshop was very nice, participants felt free to ask any questions, so the workshop was quite interactive and everyone seemed to be happy to learn something new.

Russian translation at the International Airport Astana

July 27th, 2010

For a couple of months I’ve been involved in a JICA project first as an English-Russian translator of several documents, then as a Russian interpreter at the meetings.

International Airport Astana, english russian translation

A couple of years ago a huge projest was launched – construction of a new airport of Astana and remodeling of its runway and its facilities. Construction is done, so now the project has entered the  appraisal phase, that is why an independent consultant came to Astana to conduct a survey. That is how I met Mr. Yamaguchi. As I mentioned, first I did the written translation of a questionnaire and of several letters to International Airport Astana, so I got to know the vocabulary related to airport: apron, taxiway, aircraft boarding bridge and other words. Knowing those words was quite helpful when Mr. Yamaguchi arrived to Astana and held several meetings with the airport authorities.

Our first meeting was in the Ministry of Transport and Communication, in the Civil Aviation department, where Mr. Yamaguchi made a presentation of the purpose of his visit. Next  meeting we had was at the airport, where there were discussed issues related to the condition of some airport facilities and, specifically, of the apron. This meeting was followed by another one in the air traffic control tower. That visit was a very interesting experience for me because I got to see the operation of the airport from inside. It looked almost like in a movie when a controller spoke to pilots and gave them directions.  I was definitely amazed by the work of these people! This place has a restrict access to it so if I hadn’t been an interpreter I would have never entered that building. That is another agvantage of being an interpreter!

We continue working together with Mr. Yamaguchi, his next visit is expected in October, so I look forward to more meetings.

Translation at the Palace of President

July 19th, 2010

In the last couple of days I translated for His Excellency Ambassador of Philippines Jesus Yabes who came to Kazakhstan to present credentials to His Excellency State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev.

Jesus Yabes & State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev, Palace of President

Ambassador of Philippines Jesus Yabes & State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev, Palace of President

Ambassador Philippines Jesus Yabes & State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev

State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev (right) & Ambassador of Philippines Jesus Yabes

On the first day, I met with the Ambassador and with Mr. Demdem, Third Secretary and Vice Consul. We went on a city tour. For me, it was a usual thing to do—to go on excursions—but it was my first time to be a tour guide myself. We drove around the new part of the city, stopped by the Ak Orda (Presidential Palace), passed by Baiterek, Han Shatyr and other sights in Astana. We also went to the Catholic Church and attended Mass.

The following day, we were invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I translated for the Chief of Protocol, who instructed Mr.Yabes, as well as three other Ambassadors, regarding how the ceremony of presenting the credentials would be conducted. Then, we met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and discussed relations between Kazakhstan and the Philippines.

On the 22d of June, we also went to the Ministry and, from there, we drove to Ak Orda, the Presidential Palace. The ceremony started. The Ambassadors, accompanied by their wives or consuls, were invited one by one to present their credentials. Having done this, His Excellency Mr. Yabes attended a bilateral meeting with Mr. Saudabaev, where I had the pleasure of translating from English to Russian and from Russian to English. This was followed by a press-conference. Mr. Yabes delivered a speech and I translated again.

I felt honored to have the opportunity to meet with and to translate for His Excellency Ambassador Jesus Yabes, it was also very nice to meet the same people at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with whom I had the pleasure of working before during the NATO Security Forum and the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions last summer. I was also very glad to meet Mr. Demdem who is a professional first of all and a very nice person, too.

Interpreting services for Deutsche Welle

July 7th, 2010

On June, 5-11 I provided interpreting services to Kyle James, a journalist from Deutsche Welle who came to Astana to conduct an in-house training for Radio Astana.

Interpreting services for Deutsche Welle in Astana

Interpreting services for Deutsche Welle in Astana

We worked closely with several journalists from that radio station, the training covered producing news blocks,  as well as feature programmes.
Kyle James gave some recommendations concerning the length of a programme, the music used under the text, the programme layout, etc. He worked with each journalist individually, so the training was very successful and interesting, too. We also worked with the journalist from the Kazakh department, so I did some English-Kazakh and Kazakh-English translation. Mr. James played some programmes that he produced himself, he also talked about different ways of presenting the information, how a reporter can use natural sounds  and by doing so  make listeners follow the reporter. It turned out that the European or American styles are quite different from the one that people are used to here. Eventhough not everything of what was said could be applied to Kazakhstan, the journalists  would like to try to produce their programmes in a new way. They were genuinely interested in the training,they raised a lot of questions and asked for some advice. Also before leaving Mr. James wrote down some guidelines which I translated from English to Russian, these guidelines can help a reporter make his/her story more dynamic and thrilling.
According to what they say, the journalists have learned many things.  Me too, I’ve learned a lot in terms of radio journalism and in terms of new words, such as vox pop for example. Mr. James has left already but every now and then I put on the Radio Astana and listen to some feature programmes which have slightly changed because of the training :)

Working as a translator in Moscow and other Russian cities

June 25th, 2010

In May I worked as English-Russian translator in Moscow and other Russian cities together with Mr.Vinther, the regional manager of Unibolt company. We already worked with Mr.Vinther in March when he attended the Agritek exhibition in Astana, so I was familiar with the subject matter, that was the reason why he asked me to fly with him to Moscow.

Translator in Moscow

It was a very hectic trip, our schedule was extremely tight: we had 11 flights within 10 days. Mr. Vinther flew from Danemark and I flew from Astana, we met in Moscow and had several meetings there. We visited a couple of companies involved in agriculture sector and we took our first steps in establishing a business partnership. Then we flew to another Russian city called Samara, where we had a similar meeting. After that we also flew to Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd. Unfortunately there are no direct flights between these cities, so every time we had to come back to Moscow. And there was no time for sightseeing!

Since Unibolt, the company that Mr. Vinther presented, is a manufacture of bolts, our meetings were quite technical, so it was handy to know different types of the bolts, such as wheel bolts, clevis pins, etc. At the same time our meetings touched upon some financial issues, because we met with Directors or Sales Managers as well.

I must say that Russia is very different from Kazakhstan, eventhough these countries have a lot in common. Moscow itself is a crazy city, ecpecially in terms of security. Each time we had to fly to/from Moscow we had to pass security control which would have been fine if we hadn’t have to take our shoes off all the time :) Also they asked us several times about visa, migration card, registration and all these issues.

When our trip to Russia was over, we flew to Astana only to spend here less than 24 hours. Our next destination was Karaganda, it was the first time that I worked as a translator in Karaganda. We had several meeting in the city, then flew to Almaty and worked for a couple of days there.

This was quite a trip, but the good thing is Mr. Vinther is coming back to Kazakhstan in July which means the trip was rather successful!

Figures speaking:

  • 10 days
  • 11 flights
  • 7 cities
  • 2 countries
  • 18 meetings
  • 9 airports
  • 25 hours on the planes
  • 0 crashes :)

Translation in Almaty for Assa Abloy Company

May 17th, 2010

From 11th to 15th May I worked as English-Russian translator in Almaty with Marwan Yaghi, Business Development Manager of Assa Abloy Company.

Translation in Almaty for Assa Abloy Company

Translation in Almaty for Assa Abloy Company

First together with Mr. Yaghi we had searched for companies interested in dealing with Assa Abloy, then we contacted these companies and arranged meetings both in Almaty and Astana, then I flew from Astana to Almaty in order to provide interpreting services at the meetings and Mr.Yaghi flew from Dubai to Almaty.

Prior to the meetings Mr. Yaghi gave me some information about the company, so I learned that it is a Swedish company that has about 60 brands and which is operating in more than 50 countries. This company specializes in door solutions, so I have dealt with words like door closers, rim locks, exit panic device, etc.

Our meetings were held in the specialized shops, so I actually saw all the locks that we were talking about. We then went to a market and gathered some very useful information from shop assistants. Next day we had a meeting with a construction company where we discussed several forms of potential partnership.

Our trip to Almaty seemed to be quite successful and hopefully there will be some more in the coming next months. This was the first time I worked in Almaty as a translator and I really liked the city which is rather different from Astana in terms of climate, people and nature.

As for the door locks, they are not just locks to me anymore – now these are rim locks and pad locks :) Being a translator really changes one’s life!

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!

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.

Interpreting at the Ministry of Agriculture -Part 2

March 20th, 2010

It is always nice to see people that I have already translated for coming back to Kazakhstan. This was the case with the representatives of INKOA company. They needed to specify several things regarding the future contract, so that means that I was translating at the Ministry of Agriculture again.

Interpreter Astana

Similar to the previous time we worked long hours but our work was rewarded-we are now one step closer to singing the contract. This time I had to deal with technical part of the contract, such as the number of greenhouses, crop rotation, wind and snow resistance. I also translated from English to Russian and vice versa both legal and financial sides of the contract. And here was the tricky part: we were talking about the taxes which are very different in Kazakhstan and in Spain. I have learned a lot about Corporate Income tax, Branch Income tax, and others.

Being an interpreter is not easy, that I can be honest about. While there were 3 people, each knowing his or her sphere, I had to be an expert in all spheres. That means I have to know at least something about everything. That is why I enjoy my work so much. I really do.

So this assignment is over for the next month or so and hopefully next time I wil write about singing the contract!

Negotiations at the Ministry of Tourism and Sport

February 28th, 2010

The whole week I’ve been translating negotiations at the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, where the Vice Minister Uskenbaev had meetings with Judith Luscomb, the representative of the Buzz Buziness, the film production company.

English interpreters of kazakhstan

There was made an offer to make a documentary film on Kazakhstan which would show the country in all its beauty, both in winter and in summer. The documentary would touch various topics, such as history and religion, handcrafts and culture, adventures and ecotourism, local traditions and kazakh food. There was elaborated a very detailed plan of filming and Vice Minister as well as the Committee Chairperson seemed to like the idea.

At the next meeting they went into more details about tender processing and legal issues. With such a big project one should take every detail into consideration. My translation went rather smoothly since I am quite familiar with the tender processing in Kazakstan. The next day we met with the chief accountant and went through the whole project again, this time focusing on figures.

While translating presentation from English to Russian I was thinking about interpreter’s role in negotiations. Not only should he/she translate word for word thus delivering the message, it is also extremely important to use the right intonation, gestures, smiles and pauses. What the outcome of the negotiations would be if the presentation is done perfectly in English but it looks pale when translated into Russian because of an interpreter? So I came to a conclusion that an interpreter should also know the bacics of marketing and branding, as well as pchycology. It’s not only the matter of language skills, it’as also about the right personality.

With Judith we also did some shopping because she was interested in purchasing some traditional kazakh clothes. Hats were her favoutire item :) Well, kazakh traditional hats are something!

I also did some written translation for Judith since she needed me to translate some official letters to the Ministry. In general it was a very exciting assignment since the topic – mass media- was both familiar and interesting.

English to Russian Translation at the Ministry of Agriculture

January 19th, 2010

Last week I worked with the representatives of the Inkoa and BCC companies which won the tender in Kazakhstan.


The topic was rather unusual for me: I was translating the presentation on the forest nursery. I have never worked in that sphere before, so the material that I received on the eve of the presentation was very helpful. Some words were familiar, like „greenhouse“, „irrigation“, „seeds“ and others, some concepts were new to me, such as „germination“ and „micoriza“. It was rather a technical translation since we discussed the process of seeding and planting.

As an interpreter I always learn many things when I work. You never know in what field of knowledge you will work tomorrow, this is why you can’t be 100% equipped with the specific vocabulary. An interpreter must have an excellent memory so that if a word is mentioned once, this word should be buried in one’s memory forever. During presentation several people might be talking at the same time, so an interpreter should be very attentive, so he or she does not miss out anything. Some people might also be talking for too long and it’s not always a good idea to inetrrupt and start translation. So there should be a notebook and a pen. And an excellent memory again!

The atmosphere at the Ministry was very friendly, the protocol was signed and a new meeting was scheduled for February. I am sure I will learn even more about bare-root seeding, dripping system of irrigation and seed hardening!

Translation for the British tour operators

November 15th, 2009

Last week I worked again as an English-Russian interpreter. There was a so-called info-tour for the tour operators from the UK and we spent the whole day on excursion in Astana.

Our tour in Astana started with the visit of ALZHIR (russian acronym that stands for the Akmolinsk camp for the wives of treators of motherland) that was established in what is now settlement Malinovka back in 1937. Our tour guide Elena told us the story of the establishment of this camp, about the women that were sent there and about their harsh lives in the camp. As a translator I sometimes face some difficulties when translating the realities of Kazakhstan (or in this case these of Soviet Union). But even in cases when I can’t use word for word translation, I turn to the descriptive translation. Our guest from the UK were astonished since they had no idea such thing as the camp for wives of treators existed in Soviet Union. We visited the museum in Malinovka that showed how women survived in that camp. I am sure that this excursion touched everyone’s heart beacause I could easily see the shock in our visitors eyes. Every time I go to this museum I am reminded of the black period in history of our country that became the second motherland for million people sent to the exile. Almost every family knows what „Stalin’s repressions“ mean and not only from the textbooks…

After such an emotional start of our excursion we came back to Astana, had lunch with our guests and continued our tour on the left bank. After visiting Baiterek we drove to the Palace of Independance. We stopped by the newly opened monument „Kazakh Eli“ which means „Kazakh people“ and then went inside the Palace, where we were shown the model of Astana and where we watched a short 4D movie about Kazakhstan and its heart-Astana.

We also went on excursion in the Palace of Peace and Accord that is situated right in front of the Palace of Independance. We visited the hall where the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions is always held.

Our excursion was extremely intensive, we visited almost all the sightseeings of Astana and our guests seemed to be very impressed.

Russian-English translation for Arab journalists

November 11th, 2009

Several days ago I did Russian-English translation of an excursion in Astana. It was organized for the Arab journalists and the representatives of the Etihad Airways company who came to Astana in order to promote a new destination Abu Dhabi – Astana that was launched recently.

Ambassador of UAE in Astana & me

Ambassador of UAE in Astana & me

On the excursion we worked together with the tour guide Elena, it was not our first excursion together, so I knew what to expect in terms of translation. We started our excursion on the right bank of Astana, the place that the city emerged from. We passed by the main sightseeings of the Old city and then came to the left bank, where we visited Baiterek and the Islamic cultural center.

Eventhough I am a translator, my work is not limited to translation only. I usually talk about Kazakhstan, its culture, history and traditions. Our guests from UAE took keen interest in all these and asked me a lot of questions. It is always very exciting for me to share my knowledge with someone who is eager to listen.

They also wanted to see the life of common people of Kazakhstan, so we went to a small village near the airport, where we found the houses that were built in the 1930’s, very simple traditional houses. There is always a striking contrast between what one can see in the capital and somewhere nearby. Our guests seemed to like that village with a very traditional way of life.

When the excursion was over, I was invited to the reception dedicated to the promotion of the new destination Abu Dhabi-Astana as well. I’ve met a lot of new people at the reception and learned more about the Arab culture. I will remember this day as the one that I spent with very nice people, sociable and open-minded and I am looking forward to meeting them again one day.