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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.

Siemens training at the National Cardio Surgery Center

February 26th, 2012

For a week I worked at the National Cardiosurgery Center where Siemens conducted training for surgeons. I have already interpreted a similar training in Karaganda last year so I knew what to expect this time.

Training was dedicated to the special system and its applications that are used in such medical examinations as electrophysiology and hemodynamics. We started with the general information about the application, with the ways of registering a patient in the system database, with different ways of measuring pressure in heart chambers and vessels, so in the beginning my translation was more IT related. However, when we  moved onto more specific questions such as catheter pullback sequence, translation became very specific in terms of medical vocabulary – atrium, ventricle, shunt, mitral valve,  superior vena cava, end diastolic pressure, etc.

The training was “hands-on”, i.e. hands on the patient, doctors were performing their usual daily procedures while learning about the possibilities of the programme. Over this week I have seen about 15 operations and now feel like a cardiosurgeon  myself :) I have definitely learnt a lot about heart and the way it functions. I should say I am really impressed by the work that the doctors do every day.  Many of them are very young and yet so professional, you could trust them with your life and heart without any doubts!

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!

Translation at the fair “Education in Australia”

January 1st, 2009

Nowadays the idea of studying abroad is extremely popular in Kazakhstan that is why different fairs concerning education are held several times per year. “Education in Australia” was one of the fairs I translated at.

Education in Australia. Translator Snejana Skakovskaya

"Education in Australia". Translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

I translated for Ms. Gaynor Green, marketing project manager from Adelaide and Mr. Darren Turner, regional recruitment manager who represented Flinders university. There were a lot of people interested in education in Australia in spite of the fact that Australia is too far away from Kazakhstan. Mostly students took a keen interest in medical science, civil engineering, information technology and tourism. Some students or postgraduates had already taken TOEFL or IELTS and for that reason they knew the level of their English. No matter what the result of English exam is there is always an opportunity to take a foundation course and then enter a university.

Education in Australia. Translator Snejana Skakovskaya

Education in Australia. Translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

In my opinion what is also useful to know for those who want to come to Australia to study is that there is a lot of information on not just studying but also working in Australia. It means that a student can earn enough money working either on campus or off campus that allows to cover education fee and other expenses.

Couple hours after we got started our “neighbour” – Mr. Walter Ong – dean, who represented Curtin University of technology asked me to translate for him as somehow he didn’t have a translator. I really liked the way he talked to students: he didn’t just answer to their questions but gave them many pieces of good advice. It turned out for example that there were some specialties studying which a student could apply for Australian citizenship. And what is really amazing Mr. Walter Ong brought with him some information on Muslim culture centers in Australia. It was very wise as Kazakhstan is a muslim country and maybe I am mistaken but some people are afraid to go to a foreign country without having access to a mosque they got use to go to. So in my opinion this kind of information can make things easier.

Our team on the fair

Our team on the fair

One more thing that I would like to mention is the fact that Australian English is differs from British or American English. I can’t tell that I had hard time with understanding but there was a remarkable difference in pronunciation.

I hope the fair was really successful both for australian and kazakh sides. I am sure it is good long term partnership.