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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!

English-Russian translation at the National Testing Center

March 2nd, 2012

This time I worked in the National Testing Center providing English-Russian translation at a series of lectures on evaluation in education.

The lecturer, Dr. Shonau, who came from the Netherlands, gave an overall view on the education system in the Netherlands, on the role of examinations and test in education. He explained different types of taxonomy models: that of Bloom and Romiszowsky, that are the basis for test constructing.  Lectures touched upon test types: multiple choice tests, open end tests, written and practical tasks and the ways how to best evaluate each of them. The whole day was dedicated to the final examination and its administration and evaluation criteria as it as done in the Netherlands. Participants: those who develop test items, put them together in a test and later assess the results, took great interest in that part since the final exam that combines both school leaving and university entrance exam in Kazakhstan will no longer exist. The discussions are held as to how change the format of the exam and what is the best practice in the world.

It is obvious that there are differences between the education system in the Netherlands and that in Kazakhstan but still there are similarities, too, and both countries win from learning from each other’s experience.

English to Russian Translation at the Ministry of Agriculture

January 19th, 2010

Last week I worked with the representatives of the Inkoa and BCC companies which won the tender in Kazakhstan.

The topic was rather unusual for me: I was translating the presentation on the forest nursery. I have never worked in that sphere before, so the material that I received on the eve of the presentation was very helpful. Some words were familiar, like „greenhouse“, „irrigation“, „seeds“ and others, some concepts were new to me, such as „germination“ and „micoriza“. It was rather a technical translation since we discussed the process of seeding and planting.

As an interpreter I always learn many things when I work. You never know in what field of knowledge you will work tomorrow, this is why you can’t be 100% equipped with the specific vocabulary. An interpreter must have an excellent memory so that if a word is mentioned once, this word should be buried in one’s memory forever. During presentation several people might be talking at the same time, so an interpreter should be very attentive, so he or she does not miss out anything. Some people might also be talking for too long and it’s not always a good idea to inetrrupt and start translation. So there should be a notebook and a pen. And an excellent memory again!

The atmosphere at the Ministry was very friendly, the protocol was signed and a new meeting was scheduled for February. I am sure I will learn even more about bare-root seeding, dripping system of irrigation and seed hardening!

Translation at the Congress of World Religions- another task for me

October 5th, 2009

Translation at the Congress of world religions- another task for me

I worked at the Congress of World Religions that was held in Astana on the 1-2 of July as a Liaison Officer for the World Church Council General Secretary Samuel Kobia.

WCC-Chef Samuel Kobia & Snezhana Skakovskaya

WCC-Chef Samuel Kobia & Snezhana Skakovskaya

It was a very interesting task since the Congress of world religions is unique in its nature. Religious leaders from more than 77 countries came to Astana in order to have an open dialogue between the religions.

Buddha Monk & me

Guest from Korea & me

The Congress was well organized, our guests were placed in hotels of Astana and they were daily informed by their liaison officers about their programme.  Usually we came at the hotel and accompanied our guests in the buses and led them to the Palace of Peace and Accord or to the Palace of Independance where all the meetings were held. We were accompaning them every minute and  were solving all the problems they could have: whether someone has lost his badge or hasn’t gotten his invitation to the reception, the liaison officers were called to help. We also did translation for our guests since  many  of them were foreigners and didn’t speak  Kazakh or Russian. Mostly translation was needed for the purpose  of communication between kazakhstani part and our guests or sometimes for the communication among guests themselves. Arrangement of accommodation and transportation was also our duty, as well as arranging siteseeing in Astana.

The Congress was a great experience since this was not only the meeting of different people, but also of different cultures and religions. I  am very glad that translation in Astana gives me the opportunities to meet very interesting people!