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  

January 2011

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients:

Happy New Year! This annual greeting comes to you later than usual as I spent much of December 8,000 miles (12,875 km) away from home in Egypt and I have just returned. I visited Alexandria, Aswan, Cairo and Luxor for 3 weeks, utterly mesmerized by the ancient Egyptian achievements.
Sadly, there was unexpected tragedy in the midst of such beauty. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those who expressed concern for my safety after learning of the fatal accident involving a tour bus near Aswan on December 26th. I was there, as I was part of the same tour group, and witnessed the most horrific accident in my life. My bus was right behind the one that slammed into a truck. I was unscathed, physically, at least; however my roommate whom I had met a week earlier was one of eight people who lost their lives on that day. This incident made me really think how fragile life is and my resolve has been strengthened to treasure each and every moment from now on. I believe that we all should make the most of our lives while we can.

The other day I found a wrapper inside of my favorite Dove chocolate that said "Blessings only come to those who notice" and have been thinking how blessed I am by having such wonderful friends, colleagues and clients. I thank you for your long-lasting friendship, love, support and confidence in my work for all these years.

Since I don't tweet my daily activities and many of you have given me an incredulous look when I said "I don't have a Facebook account," I have decided to keep you up to date on my activities here in my letter.

Rio de Janeiro

During the past 12 months I made over 30 domestic and international trips: a) to work as a simultaneous conference interpreter (there seemed to be more local assignments in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in 2010); b) to attend seminars; and c) for entertainment. Most of the trips were work-related, including trips to Rio De Janeiro and Mexico City where I covered a wide range of topics and industries including almonds, automobiles, copper, the environment, film, humanitarian aid, information technology, patent processes, pharmaceuticals, politics, retail strategies, telecommunications and vision technologies. As a result, I had to spend far more time outside of my interpretation booth (a.k.a. cage) than inside, developing a deeper understanding of the topics I was assigned to interpret.

As a judiciary interpreter, I worked in both the United States Federal and California State courts as well as at depositions and attorney-client conferences. I also worked as a translator, editor, proofreader, evaluator and voiceover talent. My favorite voiceover project this year was a short commercial for headsets because it gave me a chance to play with my improvisation skills.

Lake on Mount Lassen

Now, here's how I spent my free time. I continue to explore California with my sturdy, dusty and muddy hiking boots. I spent a total of 75 days hiking around San Francisco Bay Area, Carmel and Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park (hiked around various lakes, Brokeoff Mountain, Bumpass Hell and Mount Lassen Summit Trail). The toughest one for me was a 16-mile hike with 2,500' elevation gain from Sausalito to Larkspur in California. I still have a long way to go! I thoroughly enjoy being with nature and always learn from it. As Chinese Taoist Philosopher Lao Tzu said "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." Also I feel that I can never have enough of nature. Kindly share your favorite hiking trails and call or email if you need a hiking buddy.

Whenever I had a little break from researching and studying for my assignments I tried to learn about other cultures through books. Here are some of the books I read in 2010 that stand out. As an interpreter, I enjoyed reading The Interpreter by Alice Kaplan. As a lifelong student of other cultures, I read the following books: The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri; The Lost Traveler by Sanora Babb; Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin; Digging to America by Anne Tyler; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See; and The Vagrants by Yiyun Li. I also rediscovered J.D. Salinger with his Nine Stories.

As an avid fan of films I have to opine that 2010 was a weak year. Among 35 films I saw in theaters only The Hurt Locker left an indelible impression on me. My picks from the few DVDs I watched are as follows: Departures (Japanese film by Yojiro Takita), Persepolis (French animated film) and The Station Agent by Thomas McCarthy.

I also had an opportunity to watch Carlos Santana perform in Las Vegas. As I expected, it was a wonderful show. In Chicago, I laughed my head off when I watched The Second City's Fair & Unbalanced. This is one of the best improv comedy shows I have ever seen.

Please remember to share your favorite books and films with me as you have been doing over the years. Thank you.

"That's it, folks! Thanks for reading.

I have posted some of the pictures from my travels on

With warm regards,
Jacki Noh