TransKorean Services - Korean / English Interpreter

Annual Letters from years gone by

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December 2005

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As 2005 comes to an end, the phrase "Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open" comes to mind, as I reflect on the state of the world. I encountered this phrase while interpreting at a conference. Only rarely does a speaker utter something I myself so desperately want to say! Before wishing you all the best in 2006, I wanted to share this wonderful phrase with you in this, my 11th annual holiday letter.

It is hard to believe another year has gone by and I find myself sitting in my hotel room far from my home in Albany, California, writing this letter to you. Thanks to you I have this opportunity to reflect and reminisce about the past 12 months. With the end of 2005 fast approaching, I want to wish you all the best in 2006 and offer my sincere gratitude for your trust, support, friendship, and love. If I have been lax in keeping in touch with you, please accept my apologies and read this letter.

In 2005 I worked as a simultaneous conference interpreter at 31 different conferences at various locations from San Jose,California toSan Jose, Costa Rica

The most fun assignment for me was at Pixar Animation Studios interpreting during the
facilities tour and interview with Brad Bird, the brilliant creator of animation for The Incredibles.
Forever a kid at heart, I felt at home at the studios with all the Pixar characters.

The best place I interpreted was Peter Island, British Virgin Islands, where Morgan Freeman flies in to have Sunday brunch. The most challenging assignment was "The Harvard Conference on Koguryo History and Archeology." This 2.5 day conference seemed to last 2.5 years, with 80+ hours spent on study and research. It was the very first conference on the ancient history of the Koguryo Kingdom held in an English-speaking country. The most memorable assignment was in Beijing,China during the 4th round of the 6-party talks. But the assignment that made my mouth water was for the Almond Board of California with all the delicious almond cooking demonstrations. The other conferences where I interpreted covered a wide range of topics, such as consumer electronics, software, organic farming, marketing, textiles, hepatitis B, retailer training, kiwifruit, and salmon.

As a judiciary interpreter, I worked both in federal and state courts appearing at 111 half-day sessions. Other types of interpreting assignments included depositions (20 full days), psychiatric evaluations (23 hours in jail on very uncomfortable chairs), medical appointments (5 occasions), etc.

I also shared my professional experience as one of the presenters at the Northern California Translators Association's workshop "Getting Started in Translation and Interpretation." I focused on the topic of interpretation, emphasizing the importance of being truly bilingual and bicultural and having intellectual curiosity as an interpreter. I explained different modes and types of interpretation and how to prepare to become a court and healthcare interpreter.

I spent 19.5 hours at recording studios doing what I love to do, which is voiceover work. I also worked on translating and recording of the scripts that were to be used for Gray Line's half-day city tour of San Francisco. So you can still hear my friendly voice even if I happen to be out of town – just hop on that Gray Line tour! The tour is quite fun and informative, I might add.

With quick-witted and well-informed Garrett, my company, TransKorean Services, along with my wonderful team of translators including Steve, and I worked on myriad translations: employee/client surveys, government forms, websites, company newsletters, ads, press releases, patents, newspaper articles, privacy policies, speeches, employee rights, sexual harassment, election materials, brochures, parents' guides, and 5 love letters (I wish there were as translating love letters is one of my specialties), among other topics. In less than 3 months TKS will celebrate its 20 year anniversary. Amazing how time flies!!

This year I ran for and was elected to the American Translators Association's (ATA) board of directors at their 46th annual conference in Seattle Washington

I have a lot to learn and will work hard not to disappoint all the members who voted for me and offered me congratulatory remarks and encouraging words in person and via email. Personally it was one of the most frantic ATA conferences I attended. At the same time it was one of the best conferences I attended: I had an opportunity to meet about 20 Korean interpreters/translators who came from all over the United States

In order to escape from the world of interpretation and translation I attended numerous lectures and forums with titles like "Confucianism: Past, Present and Future," "The Uneven Burden of Vitality: College Rank, Class, and South Korea's New Generation," and "South Korea's Education Fever: Origins, Impact, and Challenges."

As an ardent movie fan I saw 50 movies (Can you believe it?) in theaters and quite a few more on airplanes while venturing to and from my assignments. To my great disappointment this year was not a strong one for movies. There were a lot of mediocre films with lots of hype. Among the 50 movies I saw in theatres, these left an indelible impression on me: Hotel Rwanda and Crash (both with my favorite actor, Don Cheadle, who should have won an Academy award for Hotel Rwanda), A History of Violence, and The Constant Gardner This year I had the great pleasure of reading a couple of books written by my brilliant friends, How Much of Me Is True Korean: Westernism Within Us by Jung-In (George) Kang, PhD (written in Korean), and Building Mental Muscle by David Gamon, PhD. Here are other books I highly recommend: Links by Nuruddin Farah, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, and All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg. Please share with me your favorite books and movies.

Between assignments, movies, and books, Robert and I were able to squeeze in mini-vacations in Austin Texas during cold January, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Bay St. Louis and Biloxi, Mississippi during the hot and humid summer. I witnessed the most beautiful autumn I had seen in many years in the northeastern part of Korea, Kangwondo. Late October to early November found me hiking in the mountains in Korea where I could appreciate the splendid beauty fall brings us each year with changing leaves, high clear skies, and the perfect temperature. I still hike with my mom and her friends Saturday mornings whenever I am in town. If you enjoy hiking and want to join me please let me know. Also winter is here—how about some ice-skating? Please let me know if you are interested in hitting a local rink!

That's It Folks! Thanks for reading. Hope to hear from you.

With Warm Regards,
Jacki Noh