Tourism and the translator - The Association of Professional Translators of Moldova (ATP)

O abordare profesionistă a comunicării interumane

Tourism and the translator

Very often interpreters that carry out consecutive translation have to fulfill the job of a tour guide. Translators-interpreters are those that, the most often, accompany foreign citizens in their city walks or in the republic.

Except the time spent in carrying out the translations as such, these translators spend a great part of their "free" time accompanying the clients. These pauses in translations are the opportune moments when the translator can communicate to the foreign guest details about the republic, the main historic monuments, important personalities of this land, etc.

The translator, when one does this thing, volens-nolens, has to answer numerous questions from the foreign people and must depend on ones memory in order to extract the necessary data.  We have to be honest and to admit that we, the translators, are not always at the highest level. 

Due to these reasons, the Administration Council of the Association of Professional Translators made the decision to help the members of the Association and on the 30th of October 2015, invited Mr. Valentin Reabțov to a meeting dedicated to this subject.  Valentin, - at the moment translator at the Parliament of Republic of Moldova and in the past tour guide in the frame of the famous "Intourist" - accepted with pleasure to teach us these things.  But, the pleasure was ours, asthe participants at this meeting.  In addition to the fact that he refreshed our memory with multiple historic facts, Valentin drew our attention to many important details of the job of tourguide, that we did not know.  

Thus, he drew attention to the fact that we need to be careful at political subtleties and to avoid launching ourselves into debates of this type, otherwise we can find ourselves in embarrassing situations.   Another warning in this context was joke retelling, as that could be offensive for certain individuals, especially when they have as a subject the particularities of a nation or another.  A professional guide has to care about the curiosity of the touristis, waking up the curiosity about this republic, nation, land etc. and this skill requires certain study.  We have to ask ourselves the question: how many of us know details about the Act of Unification from 1918 and the building situated on A. Mateevici Street, where this event took place?  How many of us know about the bell tower, - an exceptional, architectural monument, that in 1963 was blown up by the communistic regime?  What could you tell a foreign citizen about Carol Schmidt, who was the mayor of Chisinau for 26 years at the end of the XIXth century, beginning of XXth century and whose monument was recently installed in front of the Philharmonics in Chisinau? 

This is the type of information that present interest for a foreign citizen.  Then comes the category of information about famous people of this region.  "If by chance you arrive close to the public park Stefan cel Mare - Valentin urged us, - invite people from abroad to visit.  Then overwhelmed with histories about the big personalities immortalized on the alley of classics, one of them being Nicolae Milescu Spataru, who used to be the teacher of Peter the Great of Russia, the one who visited China and described this country in "Description of the trip to China in 1675-1678." When you arrive in the middle of the park, due to the fact that everybody knows the poet Puskin, you can talk about his statue, made by A. M. Opecuşin, but do not forget to talk about Eminescu, whose bust was executed by LazărDubinovschi, - the sculptor which, in intention to remain immortalized like the poet, sculpted his own face on the back part of the bust" - Valentin continued.  

If we recoutned all the interesting things about which Mr.Valentin talked, it would take us a lot of time, which is why we limit ourselves only to what we narrated above.  I want to add the surprise of the evening was that, with the exception of Mr. Valentin, among the participants from the room were four more people - former touristic guides of the Soviet "Intourist" and namely: Valeriu Anițchevici, Svetlana Chirița, Marina Creajeva and Alexandra Dobreanschi, - all members of the Association of Professional Translators!!! All four filled in the narrations of Mr. Valentin with other spicy stories about what it was like to be a translator-guide in soviet times.  We had a lot of fun on the narrated stories and learned a lot of things about how should NOT be a translator-guide.  It was a pleasant evening for everybody and we thank Mr. Valentin, but also to our colleagues for the interesting stories. 

Eleonora Rusnac, President APT Moldova

Category: Activities