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Simultaneous translation at the International Scientific Conference on regenerative medicine

May 17th, 2016

On May, 11-12th I worked as a simultaneous English-Russian interpreter in Astana, at the Nazarbayev University at the 4th International Scientific Conference on regenerative medicine and healthy aging.

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English translator at Nazarbayev University

The conference was really multidisciplenary as it touched upon such issues as risk factors of the coronary heart disease, rodon-induced lung cancer, treatment of end-stage liver desease as well as targeted sequencing and carbon wound dressings. As it happens quite often at medical conferences, the speaker do not provide organizers with their presentations ahead of time due to intellectual property reasons, so interpreters cannot prepare for the conference which make the work so much more difficult. The topics were also very varied: they ranged frm cardiology to oncology, from gerontology to neurology which means as a translator you have to be prepared for everythign and anything.

Finally two challenging but interesting days are over and among other things that I learnt at the conference I now know there is an app for mobile phones that can track wrinkles on one’s face :)

Translating for the President N.Nazarbayev

July 17th, 2015

Last week I had a great honor of translating the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. He participated in the Nazarbayev University graduation ceremony in order to personaly issue diplomas to the best students; I was providing English-Russian simultaneous translation services during the ceremony.

Iranslating for the President N.Nazarbayev in Astana

Translating for the President N.Nazarbayev in Astana

Eventhough translating the President is a great responsibility (and quite a lot of pressure, too), it went very smoothly: the President is a great speaker; he knows how to deliver a speech keeping in mind he is being interpreted at the moment.
The President opened the ceremony which was continued by speeches delivered by university’s faculty members; diplomas were issued to bachelor and master degree students.
I am sure it was a great honor for them too to receive such an important document from the hands of the President.
I wish all the best to alumni of the Nazarbayev University, let theor professional lives be as impressive as their graduation ceremony!

Simultaneous Translation at the congress of traumatologists and orthopaedists

October 11th, 2014

On October, 2-3rd I translated from Russian to English and English to Russian at the second congress of traumatologists-orthopaedists of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

My task was quite challenging as medical translation should always be very specific, topics like hip replacement, short legs, different types of prothesis, congenital dislocation of hip, arthroplasty were discussed in great details.

The night before translation was very intense  I had to read up on traumas quite a bit both in Russian and English. I didn’t become a doctor over a night of course, but I read enough to differ between talus and patella, shin bone and spoke bone, lavage and sanitation.

During the forum lectures were given by the guests from Germany, the UK and Luthuania. Questions and answers session followed each lecture. Participants were eager to know why cementless prothesis is better than cement one, why metal leg of prothesis has a better effect than the ceramics one, in which cases fast track surgery can be used, etc.

I definitely learned a lot about hip replacement and its prevention. I have prepared my own glossary of terms related to traumatology and orthopaedics, so hopefully next time it will be easier!

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.

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.

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 :)