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Translation for the Development Bank of Kazakhstan

March 31st, 2012

On March, 30th -31st I worked in the Development Bank of Kazakhstan where OXFORD training conducted a seminar on loan restructuring. When I first heard of the seminar, I said to myself: “OK, here is an interesting challenge!”   And it was, indeed, because the topic can’t be called a very common one and it’s definitely not something they teach you how to translate at the university, so I had to figure that out myself.

The good thing about the seminar is that I was informed well in advance which gave me enough time to familiarize myself with the subject.  I was reading up on loans, debt crisis, world financial crisis, remediation management, austerity – it was quite a journey in which one article led to another one, one term to another one, one concept to another one.  I should also mention that I had a presentation for the seminar beforehand and I felt more or less fine when I entered the bank on the first day of the seminar.

The trainer for the seminar turned out to be a nice Hungarian lady who had more than 20 years of experience in working in the banking sphere.  Before the seminar I had a chance to ask her a couple questions to clarify some of the concepts that were still unknown to me and at 9.00 am we started our seminar.  First 15 minutes went very well – the trainer stack to the presentation which started off with some theoretical background on loans, portfolio and corporate client.  But already 15 minutes later participants started saying that they know the theory and they are more interested in its practical application.  That means the trainer had to change her strategy and improvise. This means I had to improvise, too. Participants  were happy they were no longer in “a school mode” with a lecturer but with someone who can actually answer many questions they have about loan restructuring and bad loan management.  Our conversation got immediately livelier and more interactive. I was glad, too, because for an interpreter it is also much easier to work with the audience that is interested and active rather than with people that hardly stop themselves from falling asleep.

Mrs. Esther (our trainer) talked about case studies that she was personally involved in, we learned that something a banker has to run a sausage factory and that a bank might have 65 bouchers  among its personnel – all this being a part of crisis management.  We also learned that it’s not always all about business, it’s about personal relationships, too, when it comes to bad loan management. We have learned other tricks, too. I always use the pronoun “we” because at any seminar I learn as much as other participants do and this is something I simply love in my job that is a source of my constant development.  Without the seminar I would have never looked up  “collateral”, “outstanding account”, “coverage”, and others.

Looking forward to more seminars and more things to learn!

Technical translation services in Kazakhstan

May 12th, 2009

I’ve recently come back from Germany where I have studied for 6 months as an exchange  language student.

Had  I barely come through culture shock when a representative of a consulting company contacted me regarding remote translation services. Next day I got a document which consisted of 106 pages. The  topic is technical and it concerns the  reconstruction of the power plant in Southern Kazakhstan.

First I was a bit scared because I had never dealt with technical wording like “impeller”, “rotary-blade system”, “hydraulic unit” and so on.  So I had to consult some handbooks and dictionaries.  The more I was workin on this translation the more  confident I was getting.  Also the same words were repeated several times so I got to learn those words without puttting any effords into it.

There was a problem I tackled- from a  synonymic set of terms I had to pick up the right one. It’s a bit difficult when one isn’t very good at this specific field of knowledge.

When translating the document I realised how important it was for a translator to be a specialist not only in  grammar, syntax or vocabulary but also in the various fields of knowledge he or she has to deal with.