TransKorean Services - Korean / English Interpreter

Annual Letters from years gone by

2015 2010 2006 2002 1998
2014 2009 2005 2001  
2012-2013 2008 2004 2000  
2011 2007 2003 1999  

December 2009

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients:

I just went on an 8-mile hike at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, California with my dear friends from the Berkeley Hiking Club (BHC); during the hike, I realized that there are so many things I should be thankful for during this season of gratitude: my health, my friendships, the blue sky, shared laughter, delicious food, and my ability to smile, among others. At the annual luncheon organized by BHC, I met an elderly member with whom I started sharing my love of nature and hiking; he quietly listened to me for awhile and finally said "I CAN'T HEAR BUT I CAN SMILE" with the biggest smile I ever witnessed. From now on, for my foreign travels where I don't speak the local languages, I can say, "I can't understand but I can smile." The past 12 months were a challenging time for me, yet your willingness to share your love, friendship, support, and confidence in my work has given me reasons to smile. With My Deepest Gratitude, Thank You! In this 15 year-old annual letter, I will attempt to answer one of my most Frequently Asked Questions, "Where have you been, Jacki?" Time flies. Doesn't it feel like it was just yesterday when we all talked about Y2K? That, my friends, was 10 years ago. WOW!! I know.

My noisy sea-lion friends!

The first half of my year was spent in beautiful Monterey completing my graduate work at the Monterey Institute of International Studies Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation and listening to my noisy friends on the water (sea lions). After two long years, I was bestowed with a Masters of Conference Interpretation in May.

Graduation Day

After graduation, I was happy to plunge back into work. Since May, I made 20 domestic and international trips, including visits to Europe and Asia. I worked as an interpreter covering a wide range of topics including entertainment, financial, human resources, information technology, marketing, nutrition, and oral implantology. Without a doubt – and you can probably guess – the most challenging topic for me was oral implantology. To prepare for the assignment, I even made a dental appointment to pick my dentist's brain and to borrow her textbooks on the subject. She was wonderful and very supportive of my efforts. Despite all the hours I spent on preparing for this assignment, I still had butterflies in my stomach before and during the conference. Incidentally, I also faced a minor linguistic challenge when I had to interpret three variations of English – Irish, British, and Scottish – in three short weeks.

As a judiciary interpreter, I worked both in the United States Federal and California State courts as well as at depositions, attorney-client conferences, interviews, and various hearings. I also worked as a translator, editor, proofreader, and voiceover talent. My two favorite voiceover projects involved cheese and pineapple; I was the friendly tour guide on the CD for Korean-speaking tourists at a cheese factory (Yum!) and at the Dole Pineapple (How sweet!) Plantation on Oahu, Hawaii. During the Dole project, I also had fun learning and telling tourists about Hawaiian mythology.

After graduation, I felt I deserved a little break, so I went to Italy for two weeks with my beloved Italian friend. We went to Rome and Lake Como. I had the time of my life! My friend's relatives were our chauffeurs, tour guides, chefs, interpreters, shopping consultants, photographers, and everything a vacationer could desire. Each day I had no idea what was waiting for me. I just followed them like a happy puppy and was pleasantly surprised with everything that was presented to me without fail. I could not ask for a better host and hostess and traveling companion.

Meeting James Joyce I also went to Europe for business where I tried to take time for pleasure as much as I could. Thus I was able to take in the following: I saw the beautiful Irish countryside; I met with James Joyce in the heart of Dublin; I took a city tour of London; I visited Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace; I walked around Birmingham, the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution in England; and I visited the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland in the rain. On the home front, I had mini vacations at Clear Lake in California and in McMinnville, Oregon to visit my precious friends.

Inside the Vatican
Now, as I have done each year, let me share my picks of the year:

•The most memorable speaker I interpreted for: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
• The speaker who touched me most deeply: Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's half sister who spoke about promoting conflict resolution and creating peacemakers through education.
• The best decision I made: Joining the Berkeley Hiking Club and hiking every Sunday whenever I am in town with the wonderful group of people who have already taught me so much.
• The best workshop I attended: Storytelling workshop: Cutting through today's media fog

• As a translator, I enjoyed reading In the Language of Love by Diane Schoemperlen
• As an interpreter, I enjoyed reading Translating History – Thirty Years on the Front Lines of Diplomacy with a Top Russian Interpreter by Igor Korchilov
• As a lifelong learner of the English language, I enjoyed reading French Lessons by Alice Kaplan
• As an immigrant, I enjoyed reading A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li

• Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino,
• Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire
• Bong Joon-Ho's Mother, which I saw in Korea this summer and will be released in the United States in March 2010.
• Documentary – Koryo Saram – The Unreliable People directed by Y. David Chung and Matt Dibble

In Scotland, I met Baxterbear who taught me an important life lesson. He said, "I can only have one thought at a time and it's always positive. I never hold a grudge, as that part of my memory doesn't work very well. Before a memory becomes a grudge, it falls out of my head." With that I will say "That's it, folks! Thanks for reading. HERE'S WISHING YOU VERY HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!"

That's all Folks!

With warm regards,

Jacki NOH


Shakespeare's Birthplace
Shakespeare's Birthplace

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Clear Lake, California
Clear Lake, California

Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy

Irish Countryside Lake
Irish Countryside Lake