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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.

NATO Security forum in Astana, french-russian Translation

August 10th, 2009

Translation in Astana for NATO was possible due to Security forum that took place in the end of June 2009.

NATO security forum in Astana - french-english Translation

NATO Security forum in Astana: french-russian Translation

The Ministry of Foreign affairs of Kazakhstan selected volunteers for this forum. It was decided that some would work at the airport coordinating arrival and departure of delegations, some would locate in hotels helping out with accomodation, some would be responsible for transportation. Initially I was among those who would work with NATO advanced group in the international office. My skills in French language were quite useful since both French and English are official languages of NATO and I could translate from French to Russian directly. As one of NATO officers told me it was very nice speaking French because many English speaking people ignore their duty to be in command of the other offcial language. I was asked by some people to show them the city and to help with bying souvenirs so I had a chance to tell our guests more about Astana, its history and places to visit.
When the forum started I was assigned as a Liaison Officer of the French delegation. It means I was fully responsible for their stay in Astana – starting from visa issues and list of delegates to drawing up their personal schedule, arranging transportation and accommodation.

Translation Service in Astana

Me & NATO Officer

It was a very good experience for me since I could get to know more about the internal work of both Ministry of foreign affairs and NATO – now I know that one  can hardly get any rest during forum, working day doesn’t finish at 7p.m., cell phones never stop ringing but at the end there is a feeling of satisfaction of your own work

Translation for OSCE session in Astana

June 22nd, 2009
Translators Snejana Skakovskaya & ...

Kurt Lerras & translators

Summer 2008. Astana is filled with foreign guests from all over the world. There was one really important event: the 17th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

I participated in organizing this session as a volunteer translator with some other girls. We worked for an International secretariat and we were involved in paper work. Before the session we prepared bags with documents for all members of delegation, put signs on the tables at the meeting rooms, spread stationery and so on.

We worked closely with two people from Denmark: Mr.Kurt Lerras-general services officer and Mr.Kim H. Pedersen – head of security. It was such a pleasure  to work with these gentlemen!

Translation OBSE

Translation OSCE

I did some translation but most of the time I just spoke English or French. One of our task was to issue some documents to a secretary of each delegation (that is about 50). When I came up to a person from French-speaking country I spoke French to him. Usually people were surprised as French is not as popular in Kazakhstan as English. People told me that they were tired of speaking English all the time and it was pleasant to hear French at long last. That is how for example I met memebers of the delegation of Monaco. Some days after I translated for them on an excursion to ALZHIR.

I learned a lot about OSCE that was new to me. For example I had an idea what sort of issues are usually discussed and produced at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly but I knew nothing about its structure.
Moreover I was lucky enough to meet a skilled simultaneous English-Russian translator. He gave me many pieces of advice that I really appreciated. It was for the first time that I’ve been in translator’s booth and seen all technical devices that are used in the process of translation with my own eyes. It was a great experience for me!

I liked the atmosphere of all this session so much! I noticed the fact that people who had a high position weren’t arrogant but friendly and amiable.

I hope to meet all these people in 2010 when Kazakhstan will be the Chairman of OSCE.

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!

Interpreter’s Ethics

February 11th, 2008

These are ten really useful rules that every interpreter should know.

Rule № 1
Not to spread any information which you possess. Watch out for notes that were taken while translating.

Rule № 2

It is advisable to set up very trusting relations with the principle (the person you are interpreting for). Keep in mind that “trusting relations” does not mean “friends”.

Rule № 3

It is necessary to keep patience even in extreme situations in order to be always polite and tactful. Be ready to face some difficulties.

Rule № 4

Not to add any information from yourself to the translation and not to miss any information while translation. Not to distort any information and not to express your own point of view.

Rule № 5

If it necessary to explain peculiarities of the national character, cuisine, mentality, culture known to an interpreter and unknown to a partner, an interpreter should increase the usage of communication and mutual understanding.

Rule  № 6

It is necessary to help those people who need help in any situation especially abroad even after work and without extra payment.

Rule № 7

Constantly improve your qualification, professional skills, to expand and deepen your erudition in different spheres of knowledge specializing in only one direction (law, finance, ecology and on).

Rule № 8

To share your knowledge and experience with younger and fresh interpreters or from time to time give some advice to students studying interpreting.

Rule № 9

To keep solidarity and professional ethics, to increase the prestige of the profession. Keep in touch with other interpreters.

Rule № 10

Having broken one of these rules shouldn’t be caught :)