Translators’ help worth a thousand words

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Although it is late, we want to take a moment and share some well deserved thank-yous regarding the Arctic Winter Games held on the peninsula last March. Team Alaska and the biathletes were particularly grateful for Marathon Oil Co.’s financial support, but Marathon and especially their employee, Ronda Thompson, deserve additional kudos for going above and beyond the call of duty. Ronda possesses a general knowledge of the Russian language and completed 30 trips to the Russian Far East when she worked for the Alaska Legislature. Hearing this, the AWG director asked her to volunteer her time to assist Team Yamal in getting set up and to monitor their progress throughout the games.

Ronda and Marathon provided cowbells to help cheer the athletes on, as they had no supporting participants from their own country due to extreme travel expenses. Further, Marathon provided English/Russian-Russian/English dictionaries to each of the members of Team Yamal. The leftover dictionaries found their way into hotel lobbies, restaurants and transportation managers who were then better able to assist Team Yamal.

As noted in the Peninsula Clarion on March 5, teams Alberta and Greenland table tennis competitors were seen hovering around one of the dictionaries to learn Russian words for “good shot” and “good luck.”

Another big thank-you goes to Jeanne Camp, who was up at 5 every morning to deliver Svetlana Berezovskaya (who came down from Fairbanks to translate for Alpine skiing and snowboarding) to the bus by 6 a.m. and to Natalia, Irina, Victoria, Elena, Jenya and the students from Voznesenka who provided top-notch translating for Team Yamal. As noted at the volunteers party, thousands of you did your part in making these games such a success; we just thought it nice to give these folks, who made one part of our job so much easier, an extra thank you.

Kari Hulien

Translator recruiting

Jan Kornstad

Translator scheduling

AWG Language Committee volunteers

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