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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.

Russian-English translation at the I Eurasian Congress of Gerontologists.

April 10th, 2015

On April, 9th 2015 I worked as a simultaneous Russian-English translator at the I Eurasian Congress of Gerontologists.

The Congress gathered scientists from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, USA, Japan with the participation of the State Secretary of Kazakhstan and the Minister of healthcare and social protection of Kazakhstan.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at the Congress

Reports were delivered on topics like: “Molecular Aspects of Peptide Regulation of Ageing”, “Heart tissue engineering”, “Geriatric Frailty and Its Prevention as a Concept of Modern Gerontology”, “Treatment of Comorbidities Improves Overall Survival and Quality of Life of Brain Tumor Patients” and many others.

It was the first time that I had a chance to translate this area of medicine but its terminology is not that specific; it has a lot of terms from a general medicine, such as cardio-vascular deceases, diabetes, malignant tumor, mortality, healthy life style, etc.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at the Congress

I have learnt a lot of interesting things: for example, it is not a good idea to switch on bright light at night as it reduces the level of melatonin being produced in out bodies which protects us from ageing. Or that there is such thing as light pollution: our cities are never in complete darkness, they are highly illuminated which is again not good for our bodies that should be experiencing darkness at night and light during day time.

In other words, the Congress was very informative and fuitful, scientists have shared their achievements and new ideas with each other. Now thanks to my work I know a little bit more about how to live a long and healthy life and, as Ashley Montagu said, better die young as late as possible.

Simultaneous translation at the VI Astana Economic Forum

June 8th, 2013

On May, 22-24th I provided simultaneous translation services at the VI Astana Economic Forum. The Forum is a big-scale annual event and it is the third time that I participate in the Forum.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at AEF

The second day we were at the session: “Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan: challenges and opportunities” which was followed by the sessions on transition to a green economy and by a political discussion on Kazakhstan, Russia and the EU with a participation of a former President of Poland.

Together with my collegue we worked at a session dedicated to Expo 2017 Astana and the fact that I am actively involved in that project really helped as I knew the speakers and the materials they were presenting.

Snejana Skakovskaya  Translator at AEF

We also provided simulatenous English-Russian and Russian -English translation during the participants’ dinner.

Besides its numerous sessions, the Forum offers a big variety of side events, many foreign companies and Embassies participate in those events.

The couple days during the Forum are always very busy for the translators, translators are booked couple months in advance to ensure their availability. Additional interpreters are brought from Almaty, Moscow and other cities to provide a necessary number of translators that the Forum requires.

Annualy the Forum gathers schientists, businessmen, and journalists from all over the world. It is a great honor to be a part if this huge event.

Translation for EXPO 2017 Astana: “Future Energy” Symposium

July 17th, 2012

As the follow-up of the EXPO 2017 Astana candidacy promotion campaign I worked as a simultaneous translator in Astana at the Symposium which gathered 160 International Bureau of Exhibition’s delegates from all over the world.

Symposium was organized to show Astana to the delegates who will later vote for the city to host EXPO 2017. The idea was to explain in more details the theme of EXPO 2017 – Future Energy as well as introduce delegates to the Kazakh culture, to show places of interest in Astana. So the first day was spent in the palace of Independence where several panel discussions took place. I worked as a simultaneous Russian-English translator and I was lucky to work with simultaneous translators who came from Paris specifically for this Symposium. It was a great opportunity for me to learn something new about simultaneous translation. The day ended with a reception held by the Prime Minister. The guests could listen to Kazakh music and try out Kazakh food.

Next day was dedicated to sightseeing in Astana: Baiterek, Khan Shatyr, Palace of Independence, Pyramid and other places of interest in Astana were shown to the guests.

The voting will take place in Paris in November 2012, we are all looking forward to it and crossing our fingers to get the right to host EXPO 2017 in Astana.

EXPO 2017 Enquiry mission visit to Astana through the eyes of interpreter

February 15th, 2012

First I would like to give some background information on the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) and how it is related to Astana and my work.

I am sure that many people have heard of the Universal Exhibition – for example the one for which the Eiffel Tower was built. Something similar but of a smaller scale (not a universal but a so-called recognized exhibition) is planned for 2017 and Astana is bidding to host this exhibition. Astana’s main competitor is Liege (Belgium). The decision on the host country will be made by the end of 2012 and in order to facilitate this decision the Enquiry mission visited both Astana and Liege to see if the cities are able to host several millions of visitors that will come to see the exhibitions. This is how 9 delegates of BIE found themselves in Astana in March, 12-16. It was my job to provide both simultaneous and consecutive translation during the visit. It goes without saying the programme was very tight so I will only mention events in which I was involved myself.

March, 11 – arrival day. Organizers of the visit decided to make it an “easy” day for the delegates and use some time before the official part of the visit to introduce guests to the Kazakh culture. That is why the first day was spent in Khan Shatyr, Pyramid and Palace of Independence where guests got a chance to visit the Ethnical Kazakh Village where the Kazakh traditions (including a traditional wedding, dances, jewellery, handcraft, etc) were shown.

March, 12 – beginning of the official programme

My main task on that day was to provide simultaneous translation during the presentations aimed at proving that Astana has enough capacity to host the EXPO 2017 – financial, economic, political.

March, 13 started with the meeting with the Minister of the Interior Mr.Kassymov at which the political situation in the country was discussed.

It was then followed by the excursion to the newly built TV and radio center where we were shown the future news rooms, studios and other facilities of the center.

After a number of presentations delegates left for a working lunch with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs where I was translating as well.

March, 14
was marked by the meeting with the President Mr. Nazarbayev who emphasized the political will to support the idea of EXPO 2017 being held in Astana. The delegates then visited Eurasian National university where a meeting with the Minister of Education and Science, students and academicians was planned. I graduated from this university 2 years ago and it was a very interesting feeling to come back to my alma mater not as a student but as a simultaneous translator. I continued my translation at yet another working lunch, this time with the Mayor of Astana.
March, 15 was another day of presentations on the future site of the EXPO and the future use of EXPO facilities since it is very important to invest in something that will last longer than just 3 months of the EXPO.
When I wasn’t in a booth doing simultaneous translation, I was down in the conference room to help with the consecutive English-Russian translation.

On the March, 16 together with the delegates I left for Almaty where a tour of the city and its surroundings by helicopter was organized. The official visit of the Enquiry mission finished with the internal meeting the results of which will hopefully have a positive impact on the final decision.

Russian Interpreter in Astana for ALSTOM

January 11th, 2011

Since April I’ve been involved in two projects of ALSTOM TRANSPORT in Kazakhstan. These are two strategic projects: delivery of electric locomotive and construction of tramway line in Astana. I work mostly as a technical Russian-English translator, sometimes also as a Russian-French translator since ALSTOM is a French company.

The projects are very big so we had several working groups: technical, legal, financial. I mostly work in a technical group where we talk about electric locomotive manufacturing process, about its parameters and technical description. At the beginning I didn’t know much about „locos“ – as we call electric locomotives, I saw no difference between BoBo, double BoBo and CoCo locomotives, but step by step I was getting more and more into it. Now I know why it is that important for a locomotive to have an unbalanced lateral acceleration up to 1.0 m/s2 and what impact it has on the rails and on the locomotive bogie.

But it’s not always the technicians that I translate. Sometimes we have a hectic schedule and after interpreting at the technical meeting, I have to run to a finanical one, where specialists discuss cash flow, overheads and structure of Joint Venture. I also became familiar with the notions such as P&L, CAPEX and OPEX. I might also translate at a legal meetings where I deal with words as precedent conditions, preemptive right and fundamental breach.

Everybody involved in the project worked quite hard, often without days-off and working long hours but it was worth it – on the 27th of October, 2010 in Paris there was signed the Contract by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the President of France. Now the project is officially launched which means we have more work ahead!

Translation for OSCE session in Astana

June 22nd, 2009
Translators Snejana Skakovskaya & ...

Kurt Lerras & translators

Summer 2008. Astana is filled with foreign guests from all over the world. There was one really important event: the 17th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

I participated in organizing this session as a volunteer translator with some other girls. We worked for an International secretariat and we were involved in paper work. Before the session we prepared bags with documents for all members of delegation, put signs on the tables at the meeting rooms, spread stationery and so on.

We worked closely with two people from Denmark: Mr.Kurt Lerras-general services officer and Mr.Kim H. Pedersen – head of security. It was such a pleasure  to work with these gentlemen!

Translation OBSE

Translation OSCE

I did some translation but most of the time I just spoke English or French. One of our task was to issue some documents to a secretary of each delegation (that is about 50). When I came up to a person from French-speaking country I spoke French to him. Usually people were surprised as French is not as popular in Kazakhstan as English. People told me that they were tired of speaking English all the time and it was pleasant to hear French at long last. That is how for example I met memebers of the delegation of Monaco. Some days after I translated for them on an excursion to ALZHIR.

I learned a lot about OSCE that was new to me. For example I had an idea what sort of issues are usually discussed and produced at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly but I knew nothing about its structure.
Moreover I was lucky enough to meet a skilled simultaneous English-Russian translator. He gave me many pieces of advice that I really appreciated. It was for the first time that I’ve been in translator’s booth and seen all technical devices that are used in the process of translation with my own eyes. It was a great experience for me!

I liked the atmosphere of all this session so much! I noticed the fact that people who had a high position weren’t arrogant but friendly and amiable.

I hope to meet all these people in 2010 when Kazakhstan will be the Chairman of OSCE.

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.

Translation in Astana. Fair “Education in Europe and USA”

September 11th, 2008
Ian P.Little & translator Snazhana Skakovskaya

Ian P.Little and translator Snezhana Skakovskaya

It was a really interesting day since I was invited to the “Education in Europe and USA” fair as a     translator. It was held at Eurasian national university in Astana.

There were many representatives of universities in England, Scotland, the Czech Republic, the USA and     others. I was translating for Mr. Ian P.Little, who is a director of international recruitment office of     international education.

I took part in such kind of fair  as a translator for the third time that is why I knew what was going to     happen and actually I knew what kind of translation I would be doing. Pupils with their parents, students    and post-graduates were interested in getting more information about tuition fees, accommodation,    deadlines for application forms and so on. These are standard questions that have standard answers so    the process of translation went smoothly. These fairs are usually extremely useful both for students and    representatives of universities.

Fair started at 14.00 and so many people came up to our table that I couldn’t stop my translation even    for a minute.  There were several heads of universities of Kazakhstan who wanted to sign an agreement    with Virginia Commonwealth University and these people turned my translation from common English to    Business English. That is the moment when my work became more important and more interesting.

Four or five hours later we didn’t have many visitors so we finally had a chance to talk. It is always very     interesting to find out what a foreigner knew about Kazakhstan before he came over. I tried to look at     our country from his prospective and share with him my knowledge in the sphere of culture and  history     of Kazakhstan.

The fair is over but I  am still thinking about  it . For me it is a great opportunity to meet people from      all over the world, work with them and keep in touch with them afterwards.  It is also an extremely useful experience for me because of the practice I have since  both language and communication skills are involved in the process of translation. Usually I make a list of words or phrases that were difficult to  translate, then at home I look those words up in the dictionary and learn by heart in order for me  not to have difficulties in translation next time.  Thus step by step I enlarge my vocabulary.

So I am looking forward to new fairs, new universities, new people!