Newsletter December 2004

Lost in Translation

is not our new motto at SIMCONSULT. It is the title of a film by Sofia Coppola about two people in far off Tokyo, but what has that to do with SIMCONSULT? In the film the Japanese director of an advertising spot gives lengthy instructions to an American actor which are then translated into English in extremely truncated form by an interpreter.

We were dealing with Osaka and not Tokyo, nonetheless we are sure that when a delegation from Osaka came to the Hanseatic City in September to celebrate 15 yearss partnership as a twin city of Hamburg, nothing was lost in translation. At the request of the Senate Chancellery SIM-CONSULT recruited two Japanese colleagues from Berlin to make sure there were no glitches in communication.

Thinking of Osaka in Japan, our thoughts turn to other cities twinned with Hamburg, such as St. Petersburg, Leen in Nicaragua, Chicago and Shanghai, ports of call on a fantastic journey around the world.

Athens and The Hague

To get back to the harsh realities of winter in Hamburg here are some highlights since our last newsletter.


Our partner Susan Fergusson was recruited by the Greek organising committee for the Olympic Games in Athens. Of the total of 180 conference interpreters from all over the world there were only a handful from Germany, but all of them were winners: 21 days of live sport, working at press conferences with the Olympic medalists, and the opportunity of seeing Athens at its very best. The organisation was first-class, Athens was in party mood and the cultural events on offer were very diverse; all in all an unforgettable experience.


In October, SIMCONSULT partner George Drummond was recruited at short notice by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague to interpret at the resumption of the Milosevic trial. German is not one of the most common languages spoken there, but in this case there was a German-speaking witness for the defence giving testimony. With little in the way of preparation George Drummond interpreted during the two-day hearing, only to discover later that the colleagues for Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian and French were depending on the English interpretation to interpret in turn into their respective languages. Sometimes it is better not to know such things in advance because the pressure of acting as what we call a pivott is considerable under the circumstances.


VIPs visit Hamburg

On the first of September Hamburg received some very important visitors. German President Horst Köhler, accompanied by representatives of the diplomatic corps from Berlin paid a visit to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. A team was assigned by SIMCONSULT to interpret into German and French during the subsequent visit to Airbus Deutschland in Finkenwerder.


The latest news from Kiel

SIMCONSULT teams interpreted at two interesting events in Kiel to facilitate international com-munication. A congress held at the end of October discussed the issue of Health for all: modules from the Baltic region and a panel discussion organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung focussed on Europe at the beginning of a Maritime Centuryy.

Investment Business

In September a SIMCONSULT team interpreted for the 7th year in succession at the Fidelity Investment Services Roadshow. This time the show travelled from Berlin to Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich.


Property investment was also high on the agenda at the DIFA Forum for expert journalists from all over the world, where we interpreted on behalf of moment Agentur, Hamburg.


Medicine in November

The regular team of medical interpreters worked again for the 7th year running at the conference organised by Endo Club Nord in the Hamburg Congress Centre and for the 11th year in succession for the Colon Workshop at the European Surgical Institute in Norderstedt.


Air, water and furniture

Air humidifying systems and water treatment were the topics under discussion at the meeting held by Draabe Handels GmbH at the beginning of December In Hamburg and, as two years previously, our interpreters were present once more.


This year like nearly every other year we round off with an assignment for Schieder Möbel, the international furniture makers, where for the 7th time in a row a SIMCONSULT team interpreted English and Italian.


And finally, with the support of SIMCONSULT interpreters, the InterMareC project will meet in Kiel mid December to address the issues of clustering maritime com-petence and potential and expanding international business contacts. As usual at this point, we would like to close with our best wishes for the holidays. Thank you for your confidence and support and we look forward to getting in touch once more in the new year.



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