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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.

English-Russian Interpreter for Eurasian National Resource Corporation

February 13th, 2012

On November, 17th I worked as a simultaneous English-Russian interpreter for ENRC seminar. The seminar was dedicated to a new change management strategy and to the ways of its implementation.

The seminar was interactive; it started with a simulation game: participants were split up into groups, each group being Employers, Employees or Consultants. Participants had a very fruitful discussion; they genuinely played their roles and drew some interesting conclusions.

The seminar was not too difficult as far as translation was concerned, it was quite a general discussion, however there were some specific business terms such as BBR (business benefits realisation), KPI and PPI (key performance indicators and process performance indicators), etc.

The seminar was mainly conducted in Russian with some presentations made in English, so for the most of the time it was Russian-English translation.

It was my first time working with ENRC (Eurasian National Resource Corporation), one of the major natural resources groups with mining, processing as well as logistical and marketing operations. As always, it was an interesting experience for me.

Translation of “The Artist” in Astana

February 7th, 2012

Snejana Skakovskaya translator in astanaLast week the award-winning movie “The Artist” premiered in Astana and I was asked to translate it. Those who are familiar with the movie might raise their eyebrows – what’s there to translate in a silent movie? Well, there are subtitles here and there and it was my job to translate them while the movie was being shown to the audience. Ambassadors and other representatives of the international community of Astana showed up in the cinema and that is why the translation from Russian to English was needed.

As easy as it may sound, it was not easy at all: first of all, subtitles were shown for a fraction of a second so I had to read and translate with the speed of light. Secondly, it is a movie, not a contract where the translation is very dry and straight to the point. If an actor shouts (silently) “Oh my God”, I can’t simply render his words into another language; I need to act, too. At least a bit.

It was a quite unusual yet very interesting experience for me; I had to use all my translation skills: always be ready in case a new line of subtitles appears on the screen, read fast, think even faster and translate in a way that is stylistically relevant to the scene in question. Quite a challenge but a fun one!

English and French interpreter for Air Liquide and Euralis Group

January 19th, 2012

It happened so that two weeks in a row I worked with the French companies in Astana and I decided to combine these two assignments into one article.

First I worked with Air Liquide, a leader in air gases production, doing both French into Russian and English into Russian translation. We had some meetings in KazMunaiGas, Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company, and we discussed future business opportunities.

Then I worked with Groupe Euralis, one of the most important seed companies in Europe. Mr.Campion, Export Director had a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture for which he needed a French-Russian interpreter. He made a presentation on the general Groupe Euralis structure and then moved onto a more specific field – company’s seeds products, such as corn, sunflower, rape-seed, sorghym and soybeans. The representatives of the Ministry answered questions regarding Kazakhstani legislation base as far as the use of foreign seeds is concerned, they also explained the procedure for foreign companies to register in order to be able to introduce their products in Kazakhstan.

Hopefully both meetings will lead to a mutually beneficial partnership for Kazakhstan and the French companies.

English translator/assistant for National Geographic journalists

December 28th, 2011

For two weeks in July I worked as an English speaking assistant/English translator for the National Geographic journalist John Lancaster and photograph Gerd Ludvig. National Geographic will produce an article on Astana so the journalists were sent on “a field trip” to find out about Kazakhstan’s culture, traditions, history as well as picture a modern life of the Kazakhstani society.

I was very excited about the assignment that I had: I did all the administrative work such as fixing appointments, getting entrance permissions, finding the right people to talk to, but also I did things I wouldn’t otherwise have done: attending traditional Kazakh weddings, participating in a ballet performance rehearsal, interviewing dancers, builders, newly-weds, getting into a construction site, etc, etc, etc.

I have learned a lot about the right way of taking pictures: when, where, from what angle and with which lens. I’ve also learned that a good picture requires hours and sometimes days of preparation. For a photographer it is essential to be in the right place in the right moment.

The article will presumably be published in March but I have already read some bits and pieces and I have seen some of the selected pictures. I cannot reveal much but I can say one thing: I simply love it! The pictures are stunning. Having seen the pictures, I now look at my own city with a different perspective.

I am not sure if the National Geographic magazine with the article on Astana will be available in Kazakhstan but the article will be also posted online. Can’t wait to see the complete article!

Russian-English translation: Ambassadors meet Senators

December 14th, 2011

It was a great honor for me to work as a Russian-English translator in the Residence of France where Ambassador of France to Kazakhstan hosted a friendly “Ambassadors’ sandwich club”. Six Ambassadors met with the Member of Senate to discuss some topical issues. Ambassadors emphasized and Senator confirmed the close economic and political ties of Kazakhstan with European and Asian countries. They discussed Kazakhstan’s development over the last 20 years and the progress that the country has made in transition from the planned economy towards a market one.

It was a very friendly discussion where everybody was free to express his opinion; views were shared on the major industrial projects in Kazakhstan, on the implementation of new technologies, on the use of foreign manpower, on the joint projects that Kazakhstan and its foreign partners have, etc.

Ambassadors also touched upon the upcoming Parliamentary elections that will be held in January 2012. Congratulations were exchanged on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Translator in Karaganda: Siemens training for doctors

October 12th, 2011

On October, 3-5 I was in Karaganda and provided interpreter services in the regional cardio surgery center where Siemens experts held a training for doctors – cardio surgeons. Two days before the assignment I was given a 720 pages book where I found terms like ECG waveform, ablation, hemodynamics, NBP (non-invasive blood pressure), and others.

First day started at 6am when I met with Siemens experts who would be conducting the training and we started our 3 hours car drive to Karaganda. At 9 am we entered the cardio center and met doctors, all of us were given gowns and shoe covers which was a reason for some laughs and we started our training. Our main focus is the equipment for electrophysiological studies, a so-called Sensis. Doctors in the center have worked with the equipment for a year so they were more than just familiar with it, still they had some questions and problems to be solved. Which is exactly what we came here for.

Once I got my head around all the curves and leads that exist in EP – electrophysiology, I felt much better then when I first heard about the upcoming translation- a mix of medical and technical translation, which is quite something, I should tell. But… it’s never time to relax because next day it turned out I would be interpreting during the operation. ‘’Oh my god!”, I said to myself and “yes, no problem” – to the experts. I’ve been in different places because of my job but never in the operation room where –what a surprise!- a person is being operated on.

First come the nurses, they prepare a patient for the operation, next one is the anesthesiologist, then the doctor, then us. Operation starts and lasts for more than 2 hours. I will skip the details but the main goal of the operation is to introduce catheters into the patient’s heart, to find a part of the tissue that instead of being an isolator conducts heart’s signals and to burn- “ablade” that part. By the end of those 2 hours everybody is tired but –just like in a movie- the surgeon is smiling and saying “Operation was successful”, then we all smile and go for a coffee. The training goes on.

Next day was the last day of the training and I am already on my way back home because my next assignment awaits me in Astana on the following day. It was a really good trip, I learned a lot and met nice people and now I am looking forward to the next training which hopefully will take place in Astana in December.

English-Russian interpreter for the International Accreditation Conference

October 11th, 2011

On September, 16th I had a simultaneous translation at the International Accreditation Conference organized by the National accreditation center in Astana.

It was the first conference of this kind held in Astana, international experts from the US, Australia, UK, Germany and other countries came to the conference to share their experience in the field of accreditation.

The main topic of the conference was the establishment of the unified accreditation system, so that a good produced in one country and accredited and certified in accordance with the international standards could be accepted in other countries. Such a system would significantly reduce time and money that a producer spends on accreditation and certification and it is extremely important within the newly established Customs Union.
Kazakhstan and its NAC recently joined ILAC and should now meet all the requirements of the organization. Conference was interesting for all the participants, they were actively asking questions and making comments which is always a good sign.
I truly enjoyed this short but productive conference.

Medical translation in Astana

October 9th, 2011

On August, 24th -26th there was another Medical Forum with participation of Koreans doctors for whom I translated from English to Russian. For 3 days patients with different diseases came to see the doctors and to get acupuncture treatment which is the area of expertise of these doctors.

Altogether we treated over 200 patients, among these patients there were people with spine diseases, neck pain, high blood pressure, obesity problems, etc.

My task was to facilitate communication between doctors and patients, to translate patients’ complaints and doctors’ prescriptions. I’ve dealt with a great number of medical terms, such as duodenum, spinal rupture, protrusion, etc. I’ve learned a lot about acupuncture, too. Also doctors gave some advice to patients regarding the best position for writing or working with computer, holding one’s posture. It’s very important not to have too much pressure one one’s spine otherwise it can lead to many problems. All this information seems to be well –known but in reality not many people practice it.

Patients were treated for 3 days in a row and the results were obvious. Those who had acute pain and couldn’t walk straight on the first day, were able to walk and bend easily on the third day. People who were waiting in the hall started making stories about acupuncture being a magical treatment. Of course it’s not about magic, it’s all about releasing the right muscles in the right spot. It’s true, though, that it helped many people so everybody started wondering when the acupuncture medicine office would be open in Astana. So far there is no exact information on that.

This assignment gave me a chance to be in a doctor’s shoes, running from one patient to another, treating over 150 people a day, not having a 10 seconds break. Being a doctor is very honorable but I guess I don’t regret being an interpreter J

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,
Gyung

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!

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!

Simultaneous translation in Aktau for the Ministry of Environment Protection

August 24th, 2011

I just came back to Kazakhstan from my trip to Europe and on the same day I left for Aktau, a city on the Caspian Sea, to provide simultaneous translation services to the Ministry of the Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Conference of the Parties to the framework convention of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea was held in Aktau with the participation of all the Caspian littoral countries: Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and UN Secretariat.

On the first two days there was discussion at the level of experts and working groups that touched upon protocols to be signed by the Ministers of Environment Protection of the five countries. Discussion were hot and lasted till midnight or even longer. But it was worth it: by the end of the third day the Ministers signed a protocol which from now on will be called the Aktau Protocol. This is the first protocol that was singed over the last eight years of work so everybody who participated at the Conference was very proud of this accomplishment.

After the signature of the Protocol there was another meeting between the Mayor of Mangystau oblast’ (which is where Aktau is situated) and the UN representative in Kazakhstan. I was asked to consecutively interpret during this meeting. The meeting was short but fruitful and its outcome is that there is a possibility for cooperation between the UN agencies in Kazakhstan and the region.

Interpreter Services at the Medical Forum

June 12th, 2011

On the June, 1st I provided interpreter services at the II Korean-Kazakhstani Medical Forum. Representatives of 6 different hospitals flew over to Astana to have a presentation of their achievements in treating cancer, cardiovascular diseases, spine injures, etc.

I was assigned to work with Mr. Kyung Woo Park, Deputy Director of the International healthcare center in Seoul National University Hospital. In his presentation Mr. Park touched upon new ways of treatment of ventricular septal defect and other heart diseases: not with the help of bypass surgery but using the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Korean doctors suggested cooperation to their Kazakhstani colleagues, several MOIs were signed and now Kazakhstani patients can be sent to Korea to undergo the necessary treatment.

Once the official part of the forum was over, the more interactive one began. Those who were interested could come up to the booths where the hospitals were present and they could ask questions and exchange contact details.

It was my first experience in translating at the Medical Forum and I learned a lot while preparing for that assignment. I also got to meet and discuss with many interesting people and I would like to personally thank Mr. Park for all the information that he shared with me.

Simultaneous translation at the I Convention of Mathematicians

June 1st, 2011

Last Wednesday I did simultaneous translation at the I Convention of Mathematicians of Kazakhstan. I worked together with a Kazakh-Russian translator, whereas I was doing Russian-English translation for the participants of the Convention.

The Convention was held by the Vice Prime Minister and by the Minister of Education and Science, speeches were delivered by academicians, professors, scientists and school teachers. There were representatives from all the regions of Kazakhstan, and also some foreign delegations.

As a Russian translator I have never worked with mathemeticians before and last time I was dealing with equations and derivatives was back in high school, so it was interesting to refresh this knowledge as well as to learn something new. There were quite specific mathematic topics covered but there was also a discussion on the mathematicians in the republic in general and on the problems that they tackle, such as lack of the good modern textbooks, poor translation of Russian books into Kazakh, and lack of young specialist willing to become teachers of mathematics.

Translating mathematics was an interesting and new experience for me which is a good news as I like learning something new every day, I think my school teacher would be proud of my knowledge in mathematics now :)

Simultaneous Russian-English interpreter at the IV Astana Economic Forum

May 19th, 2011

On May, 4-5th I worked as a Russian-English simultaneous translator at the  IV Astana Economic Forum. The Forum gathered experts, international organizations, business communities, transnational companies, research insitutes and universities.

Russian-English Interpreter in Astana

There were eight Nobel Prize laureates present among which John Nash, Eric Maskin, John Aumann,there were also CEO’s and Chairmen of different companies worldwide. From the Kazakhstani part there were government representatives, as well as those of the business.

I worked in a Green Economy section with the representatives of UNECE, mostly dealing with the concepts such as green growth, green development, etc. There were speeches on the advantages of the green economy, approaches and good practices in the UNECE region in terms of greening economy.

There were also some discussions related to the Ministerial Conference that will be held in Astana  in September, that is why I accompanied some participants during the negotiations at the Minsistry of Foreign affairs and the Ministry of Environment Protection  next day.

I will be working with UNECE in the end of  May again, so I am looking forward to meeting the participants again.

Conference Interpreter at Nazarbayev University

May 2nd, 2011

On April, 18-22 I worked as a conference interpreter at Nazarbayev University. I was doing simultaneous translation –  professors of Public Policy from National university of Singapore were  invited as lectors for a week long seminar for government officials.

Conference Interpreter in Astana

Seminar was divided into several parts: Professor Asher made a presentation on what makes countries grow: implications for Kazakhstan. Professor spoke about main drivers of growth, knowledge economy and knowledge management, national and firm competitiveness. Second lecture was dedicated to the public finance and budgeting, that lecture mostly covered accrual accounting in comparison to cash accounting. Pr. Asher gave many examples of international practice, including IMF code of good practices on fiscal transparency.

Next lecture was on the State Enterprise reform and on Public Private Partnership, including different models, risk classification, etc.

Two following days lectures were held by Vice dean and Associate Professor, Dr. Fritzen. His main topic was transformational leadership in the public sector with the focus on strategic triangle  of effective policy desing, effective implementation and strong stakeholder support. Participants took a great interest in that lecture, as well as in that on controlling corruption. Dr. Fritzen made his two sessions interactive, he encouraged participants to come up with the examples that are relevant to Kazakhstan.

The seminar was a great experience for me since I worked in a pair with a very experienced conference interpreter, I had a chance to learn from her and  ask for her opinion on different aspects of being an interpreter.

English Interpreter for INNO Group Seminar

April 10th, 2011

Recently I came back to Astana from a business trip to the regions of Kazakhstan. National Innovation Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan organized a seminar that was held in all the cities of the country to which I was invited as an English interpreter for the experts from INNO Group (Sweden).

English Interpreter  for seminar

First seminar was held in Karaganda and was followed by a number of seminars in Aktau, Atyrau, Kostanay,Uralsk, etc. In 8 days we covered 7 cities which meant one flight a day.

The seminar touched upon issues like transfer of technology, licencing, patenting, intellectual property and the like. Target group of the seminar was university professors and scientists who come up with inventions and should know how to introduce these inventions to the market and how to protect their intellectual property.

INNO Group is a German company with offices all over Europe that has a 20+ years of experience in the field of transfer of technology. The whole concept is quite new in Kazakhstan, that is why it was very important to listen to the experts and to participate in the seminar. INNO Group experts, Mr. Biorkman and Mr. Grankvist, in the course of the seminar among other things aslso had a couple of case studies which made the seminar very interactive and dynamic.

We were warmly welcomed in every city and every university, we visited a laboratory in Kostanay where we we shown the latest inventions of the university scientists. All in all it was a very nice and interesting trip, I have definitely learned a lot about innovations and transfer of technology, business incubators and copy rights, business angels and validity of patents. There is another series of seminars planned, so I hope that my list of newly acquired  knowledge will be even longer!

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.

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 :)