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Annual Letters from years gone by

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December 2002

December 2002

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Some of you have been asking, "Where is Jacki's year end letter?" Well, here it is. Hard to believe it is my 8th annual holiday letter. It is coming to you later than usual as I have just returned from Cuba. With the end of 2002 approaching VERY FAST, I would like to wish you all the best in 2003 and offer my sincere gratitude for your continuous support, trust, FRIENDSHIP, and LOVE. THANK YOU!!!! I'd like to share with you some of the highlights of my 2002 activities since I have not been able to keep in touch with you as often as I would have liked.

In February, as some of you already know, I had my 3rd Olympic experience. I worked as post-medal press conference interpreter during the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games. All my free time was spent on Budweiser Park's outdoor ice rink, skating with small people – I brought my own hockey skates – while watching various live competitions on a huge screen. Anyone interested in going ice-skating with me please let me know.

In 2002, I took 37 domestic and international trips, up from 30 trips last year. Some of the topics covered during my conference interpretation assignments were aircraft, cotton, computer software, a nuclear light water reactor, retail business, and transportation. This year I had opportunities to go to North Korea, Cuba, and China (twice). Those trips were definitely the most eventful and memorable ones. As in previous years, I spent more nights in hotels in unfamiliar cities – including Fayetteville, Arkansas, Bismarck, North Dakota, Havana, Cuba, and Pyongyang, North Korea – than in my own bed at home. In Fayetteville, while eating dinner with chopsticks at a local Chinese restaurant I was approached by an elderly gentleman who told me that he had never seen anyone eating with chopsticks! Of course he saw people using chopsticks on TV and in the movies but always thought they were merely acting! Yes, I gave him a short intensive lesson so by the time I finished my dinner he was able to pick up a rather large piece of watermelon from his fruit salad.

As a judiciary interpreter, I worked in both the state and federal courts (59 occasions) and numerous highly technical depositions concerning patent infringement lawsuits (31 days – mostly March and April). I also had an opportunity to share my views on court interpreter issues with the ethnic media when I was invited to speak at the Judicial Council's Media Briefing, "One Law—Many Languages." In addition, I testified in court as a Korean language expert witness in the states of Michigan and Washington.

For three months, from February to April, I wrote weekly columns for the Korea Times (Hankook Ilbo). I shared my views and thoughts on various issues with the readers. Some of the titles of my columns are as follows: "Who Is An Interpreter?" "Father's Love," "The Difference Between the Gold Medal and the Silver Medal" (this column was written during the winter Olympic games), "A Life Filled With 'Sharing'—The True Meaning of 'Sharing,'" "Remembering Director Billy Wilder," "Three Conditions For A Conversation." I truly enjoyed this experience while receiving remuneration for it.

As a translator, editor, and proofreader I had a wide variety of assignments including ad copy, election materials, public health information on anthrax and smallpox (for the first time ever), web sites (huge increase), survey questionnaires (again, huge increase which makes me wonder why the quality of customer service dramatically diminishes while companies spend so much money trying to figure out who I am and what I like and dislike), patent specifications, training materials (somewhat of a decrease), user manuals, and only one business ethics survey and business conduct guide.

In voiceover I had ten recording sessions concerning phone related services, elections, and interpreter recruitment messages.

To update my skills and more importantly to meet my friends and colleagues I flew to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the American Translators Association's 43rd Annual Conference. I also attended an excellent 1-day seminar on Court Interpreting and Legal Translation in San Francisco sponsored by the ATA. I wrote an article about this seminar for the ATA Chronicle November-December issue. If you are interested, please let me know and I will send you a copy via e-mail or snail mail. Recently, I flew to Havana, Cuba for an International Symposium on Interpretation, Translation, and Terminology and became a recipient of interpretation services for the first time. This 2-day symposium's presentations were mostly in French and Spanish except for two 30-minute sessions that were delivered in English. There were excellent simultaneous interpreters working to and from English, French, and Spanish. I learned that there are 10 Korean translators in all of Cuba and they were all educated in North Korea. I had the good fortune to meet two of them who had studied at Kim Il Sung University for five years. With poverty, the US trade embargo, Fidel, free education, free health care, great music, and natural beauty I felt that all Cubans could do is to love what they have in their lives.

Though Robert was not able to join me, my wonderful vacation this year took place in China where I spent 16 days in May visiting Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Chongqing, a Yangtze River Cruise (downstream), Wuhan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. My all-time favorite place was Guilin for its indescribable natural beauty. I was completely mesmerized and speechless. I believe I saw some of the most beautiful sites in China if not in the world.

Lastly, I would like to share my favorite movie this year, Barbershop with Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer and Eve, my favorite books, Katharine Graham's Personal History – I enjoyed her sense of humor a great deal – and Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True. Please share with me your favorite movies and books.

That's It Folks! As you can see I had another very busy year. Thanks for reading. HERE'S WISHING YOU VERY HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! "Don't worry, be happy!" or as Robert says "Don't worry, be Jacki!"

With Warm Regards,

Jacki NH
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