Slavic Languages

SL-1 (T, 1:45-3:15pm) Leamington C - ALL
Slavic Languages Division Roundtable
Michael Ishenko, freelance Russian and Ukrainian translator and interpreter, San Francisco, California; Vadim Khazin, Center for Water Resources and Environmental Research, City University of New York; Jim Walker, freelance Russian to English translator, Ellijay, Georgia; and Laura E. Wolfson, Russian interpreter and assistant editor of the SlavFile, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Panelists will discuss linguistic and job-related topics. The presentations will be brief, allowing time for the audience to participate in a discussion based on, but not limited to, these topics. The session is not intended to resolve these specific questions, but to give members an opportunity to share their views and, in doing so, to get to know each other, create a collegial atmosphere, and form a closer bond among the group.

SL-2 (T, 3:30-5:00pm) Leamington C - ALL
Terminology Usage in Russian-English Commercial Translation
Kevin Hendzel, chief operating officer and director of language services, ASET International Services Corporation, Arlington, Virginia

This workshop is designed to review and examine key phrases and collocations that commonly appear in Russian-English technical and commercial texts, but are neglected by the major dictionaries and lexical resources. This lack of coverage often results in awkward, inelegant English renditions that rely excessively on the original Russian source language. The session will begin with a master list of terms from technical, financial, and commercial sectors and suggested English translations. The audience will then be presented with a more extensive list of untranslated terms for open discussion and exchanges. Participants will be encouraged to throw off the shackles of the source language and seek out the underlying intent and purpose of the original

SL-3 (F, 10:15-11:00am) Leamington C - ALL
What Makes One a Great Interpreter?
Leonid Fridman, founder and executive director, Russian Interpreters Co-op, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The ability to render technical material quickly and accurately from the source language into the target language is certainly a prerequisite for being a good interpreter. But is that enough? In this interactive discussion session we will consider other real-life demands on interpreters. In particular, we will discuss the problems of project-centered interpreting in high-tech and nuclear industries.

(F, 11:00-11:45am) Leamington C - ALL
Adventures of an American-born Russian-language Medical Interpreter

Cornelia E. Brown, future director, Mid-York Health Interpreters, Clinton, New York

This talk will explore the pleasures and challenges of doing medical interpreting as a native English speaker for Russian-speaking clients and their caregivers. What is great about doing medical interpreting as opposed to other kinds of interpreting, including the profession's procedures, pay scale, and newness? More particularly, what are the joys, glitches, and special challenges of interpreting for Russian speakers visiting the doctor? What sorts of cultural and personal misunderstandings are most likely to arise and how might an interpreter deal with them? Can a native English speaker be an effective medical interpreter for Russians without having experienced first-hand the Russian medical system? What obstacles might she negotiate more easily than a native Russian speaker? In short, should Russian interpreters in other fields heave a sigh of relief now that they are gainfully employed, or should they sally out and consider joining this new profession?

SL-4 (F, 1:45-3:15pm) Woodward - ALL
Workshop: Tools for Translating Contracts (English/Russian)
Natalia Kissock, freelance translator, interpreter, and administrator, ATA Slavic Languages Division, Morris, Minnesota

The workshop will focus on the structure, content, and vocabulary of a Russian contract. This session will also include an analysis of several contracts. The participants will translate short passages of a generic contract into Russian and discuss problem points. Dictionaries and other reference materials will be recommended. A glossary of terms will be offered.

SL-5 (F, 3:30-4:15pm) Palmetto Room - ALL
Transplanting Toads*: Russian-English Poetry Translation Workshop II
Lydia Razran Stone, freelance technical Russian translator, Alexandria, Virginia

The workshop leader will present a partially finished English translation (rhymed and metrical) of a classical or "Silver Age" Russian poem and discuss the issues considered and the difficulties encountered to bring it to this point. Discussion will then be thrown open to the audience, who, through suggestions and criticism, will attempt to turn the translation into an acceptable final version. This procedure was pilot tested at the 1996 ATA conference in Colorado Springs and was found not only to produce a lively session, but actually to produce poetic insight and solutions.

*Writing poetry is like putting real toads in imaginary gardens Marianne Moore paraphrased.

(F, 4:15-5:00pm) Palmetto Room - ALL
English-Russian/Ukrainian Discrepancies in Administrative Divisions
Vadim Khazin, Center for Water Resources and Environmental Research, City University of New York

American terms for administrative divisions are numerous, overlapping, and most do not correspond with those in the former Soviet Union, which prevents their uniform and agreed translation into Russian or Ukrainian. Examples are such terms as county, district, township, borough, commonwealth versus state, etc., which are translated (or just transliterated) quite diversely. Although corresponding Russian terms are less numerous and more consistent, their rendering in English also presents problems, especially when dealing with new terms emerging in various parts of the former U.S.S.R. Since these are not just geographical terms but also make up expressions for a number of official institutions, it is very important to establish a proper approach to these problems.

SL-6 (S, 10:15-11:45am) Leamington C - ALL
Susana Greiss Lecture: Publishing Translations from Eastern European Languages and Russian

Jonathan Brent, editorial director, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut

The following topics will be covered during this presentation: Where do languages of limited diffusion fit into U.S. literary culture? How should one translate languages of limited diffusion, including ones like Hungarian? How is contemporary Russian literature being received today in comparison to Polish, Czech, and Serbian? How should translations be paid for? The retranslation of classics and the place of translations in university publishing will also be discussed.

SL-7 (S, 1:45-2:30pm) Leamington C - ALL
How It Gets Done

Mikhail (Mike) Brown, Department of Defense translator and project manager, Redstone Scientific Information Center of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama

This presentation will focus on the requirements, equipment, and hardware/software aids used by the in-house Department of Defense translator for the Redstone Scientific Information Center of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and National Aeronautical Space Agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Due to the research and development nature of their engineers' work, these organizations often deal with cutting-edge technology. Topics will include approaches to translation procedures and quality control, publication format, customer feedback, a Cyrillic OCR package and keyboard, and use of a credit card to become a translation provider for the library. The unique collection of the Peenemunde World War II German rocket papers will also be treated.

SL-8 (S, 3:30-5:00pm) Leamington C - ALL
Slavic Languages Division Annual Meeting

Natalia Kissock, freelance translator, interpreter, and administrator, ATA Slavic Languages Division, Morris, Minnesota

Members of the SLD will discuss the work of the division and the ways that the SLD can best serve its members.

(Related Sessions: Law, Long(er) Arm of the Law; Literary, Translation as a Function of Human Mind; TAC, Using WordPerfect 5.1 (DOS) for Rare Languages - Bulgarian)


For more information, contact ATA,
phone: (703) 683-6100; fax: (703) 683-6122;
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