Newsletter July 2010
In the past few weeks the FIFA World Cup in South Africa has captured the attention of many of us. What does football have to do with interpreting, you may well ask? Major sports events like this do involve many interpreters, but the connection to SIMCONSULT is quite different…
The world kicks off:
One of the SIMCONSULT partners, Susan Fergusson was born in South Africa and feels particularly proud of her home country playing host to the rest of the world. And then there was the aircraft. One important highlight in the series of assignments we had over the past few months was the handover of the first Airbus A380 to Lufthansa on 19th May 2010. SIMCONSULT interpreters attended this great professionally staged event. Later that same day, the aircraft was officially named „Frankfurt am Main“ in a ceremony at Frankfurt airport and shortly afterwards on 6th June it took off on a special flight with the German national soccer team on board heading for Johannesburg. During the handover ceremony in Hamburg-Finkenwerder one of the speakers quipped: „Lufthansa’s chief pilot, Jürgen Raps, has promised to fly the aircraft at particularly slow speed to Johannesburg to give Jogi Löw time to practice short passes with the team!“ We would love to have been on board to watch them practice short passes to the hot rhythms of Shakira in the first class cabin.
Football was also on the agenda when the Europa League Cup was entrusted to Hamburg’s Lord Mayor, Ole von Beust by UEFA President, Michel Platini before the city hosted the soccer final. The cup was then handed over to the previous year’s champions FC Shakhtar Donetsk and our interpreters were there working with German and Portuguese.
Planes, ships, oil and wind
The myriad of topics our interpreters had to prepare from January to the middle of the year was impressive - cultural topics, the environment, supervisory board meetings, shareholders’ meetings and a wide variety of technical subjects.
The Annual General Meeting of UNITI, the Federal Association of Medium-sized Mineral Oil Companies was focussed on mineral oil, Hundhausen Kunststofftechnik GmbH on plastics and a particularly unusual and technical assignment was a photo shoot commissioned by Select NY for Procter & Gamble/Wella Professionals on the subject of hair colouring. The stylist and hair colouring expert came from Japan and SIMCONSULT engaged an interpreter for Japanese-German-English to cover the photo shoot along with another colleague for Chinese-German-English.
At a meeting for Lloyds Fonds the focus shifted from planes to ships, the subject being general trends in shipping markets. The languages were English and German.
A delight for the senses
Two of our colleagues working from English into German enjoyed a cultural feast at the multimedia presentation given by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities and Deputy Minister of Culture on the subject of Tutankhamun and the search for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti. Equally impressive was a presentation given by star architect Hadi Teherani to international guests invited by Uponor in Hamburg, attended by SIMCONSULT partners George Drummond and Susan Fergusson. The completed buildings and those still on the drawing board of this famous architect are indeed part of our global culture.
The environment also plays a central role in these projects, because Hadi Teherani‘s buildings are becoming more and more ecologically compatible with no CO2 emissions and a clean ecological balance sheet in terms of energy neutrality.
There were other environment assignments like the meeting of a well-known company in the field of environment service, where we interpreted French and German. At a meeting of the Johann Daniel Lawaetz-Stiftung we provided interpreters for German and English on the subject of Ecological Sustainability in Public Sector Housing.
Writing in style, forging in style
One of our colleagues interpreted Japanese and German for Montblanc, the manufacturer of luxury writing instruments in Hamburg, during the visit of a film crew from Japan. Pen, ink, paper and forgery were the subjects of one of the most challenging conferences, on our diary every three years. This year the 8th International Congress of the Association for Forensic Handwriting Examination was held in Dresden.
This is a three day congress where the team of three interpreters works in German and English. The topics addressed by the handwriting experts are so complex and diverse that after the last day we are glad to return home, exhausted but satisfied with a job well done. The presentations deal with the physiology of writing, physics, paper technology, chemistry, optical, chemical and physical high-tech methods of examination and psychology, in rapid succession with little or no repetition. This conference is always one of the most challenging for the interpreters.
Offshore Wind - the renewable energy of the future
And finally back to the wind, this time in the form of offshore wind energy. From 1st to 3rd June 2010 experts from many countries met in Bremerhaven at the „Windstärke 10 – Kurs Offshore“ congress to exchange information on the current status of offshore wind energy. For the sixth time in succession Windenergie-Agentur Bremerhaven/Bremen e. V. commissioned SIMCONSULT to provide interpreters, this time two teams of two working in English and German.
Knowledge, experience, routine
For Wind Offshore and for the forensic handwriting conference practice has shown that the same interpreters should always work in the respective teams, as far as possible, since their accumulated knowledge und understanding of the subject matter is important for quality assurance.
SIMCONSULT is grateful to the major companies in Germany who regularly assign us to interpret their supervisory board meetings. Again in such cases we try to keep to the same teams of interpreters for such demanding assignments where accuracy and sensitivity are called for, in addition to the specialized knowledge of the wide variety of topics on the agenda of this kind of high-level meeting.
The ball is finally in the net
Enough of changing subjects. By the time you read this newsletter Germany will not have become world champions, but the team did entertain us with a few good games and we can finally turn our backs to the TV set and enjoy the rest of the lovely summer weather.
That’s all for now from your SIMCONSULT team - now firmly installed in our new offices close to our old address which we had to vacate last month for lack of space.