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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.

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!

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.

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 :)