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The TTS Proust questionnaire

Who is Linh?

Portrait of LinhLinh was born in Vietnam to a family of 7 kids of which she is the youngest. She grew up in New Zealand in Lower Hutt and now lives in Wadestown in a house that faces the bush. She studied Fine Arts and majored in audio visual art and theory. Her passion for lending a voice to others less able to communicate their needs led her to pursue a career in advocacy.

In her spare time she enjoys learning about the world through documentaries (particularly ones on nature, history, space, and the occasional conspiracy theory….ahem), She is also a lover of music.  Two of her goals are to make more videos and to one day to be able to film the Aurora Borealis.

So let’s find out a little more about Linh….

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A:  Freedom of the mind, and to have the space and time to learn more about the things I love.

Q: What is your greatest fear?

A:  Mice. They are my kryptonite and I have even had hypnotherapy to try and manage my phobia. More introspectively, I fear the idea of total lack of purpose. 

Q: Which person do you most admire?

A:  It’s a toss up between David Attenborough, Stephen Hawking, and Neil Armstrong

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A:  Shyness/awkwardness

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A:  Ignorance/lack of empathy

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?

A:  I spend a lot of time trawling through music, watching films and documentaries, and musing over various subjects, so my greatest extravagance is the amount of time and energy I devote to my interests.

Q: On what occasions do you lie?

A:  When I don’t like something, I don’t always say so in the moment because I believe feelings and opinions are subject to change. Lying on the other hand can cause an effect that is irrevocable, so I do my best to avoid that unnecessary stress.

Q: What makes you happiest?

A: Getting in “the flow” when I’m working on a project I’m passionate about, and listening/discovering music I haven’t heard before; It gives me angst to know that it is virtually impossible to listen to all the music in the world in one life time.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A:  To have less reservations.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: My first solo exhibition at the Film Archive and screening of two short films for WUFF (Wellington Underground Film Festival). It was my 15 minutes of fame.

Q: If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A: The Aurora Borealis

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A: My imagination

Q: Who are your heroes in real life?

A: 1960’s performance artist Marina Abramovic

Q: What is it that you most dislike?

A: Lack of trust

Q: What is your motto?

A: “There is no use planning for a future which when you get to it then it becomes the present you won’t be there, you’ll be living in some other future which hasn’t yet arrived; so in this way one is never able actually to inherit and enjoy the fruits of one’s actions. You can’t live at all if you can’t live fully now” – Alan Watts

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire. Do you wish to be featured in our blog? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

Who is MariPaz?

Photo of MariPazMariPaz was born in Madrid where she pursued her passion for the outdoors and studied a BSc in Geology. She married an adventurous Kiwi whom she met in a cave during an International Speleology Congress where she was working as an Interpreter, and has been living in New Zealand since the end of 1989. MariPaz is one of our longest standing freelance panel translators. She joined The Translation Service in 1992 after completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce, Marketing and Tourism at Lincoln University. Her husband’s work took the family for a few years to Europe where she undertook Technical Translation studies in the UK, and became a Member of the British Institute of Linguists. MariPaz has travelled extensively and loves interacting with people from different cultures. Back in New Zealand she pursued NAATI accreditation and became a Member of the NZSTI; taught Spanish for many years at The University of Canterbury and set up Spanish Communications Limited. MariPaz enjoys being part of the team at The Translation Service.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A: The simplicity of living by the sea, having enough work to live well and travel to exciting places; a good book to read, the companionship of family and friends and the pleasure to be able to exercise regularly.

Q: What is your greatest fear?

A: Losing my freedom

Q: Which person do you most admire?

A: My husband for his endurance, courage, determination and intelligence.

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A: Sometimes I get carried away and say things that I shouldn’t have, or I should have said using a different tactic.

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A: The lack of transparency; deceiving people for their own purposes, hypocrisy and cowardice.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?

A: To have married a kiwi and live in New Zealand.

Q: On what occasions do you lie?

A: Not sure. I don’t normally lie.

Q: What makes you happiest?

A: Being in the water, particularly in a sunny and warm day with the sun reflecting in the turquoise sea water and no time pressure.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A: There are many things I could improve on but maybe my sense of direction which leaves a lot to be desired.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: My children, without any doubt

Q: If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A: A mermaid or a surfer (or even better if I could be both)

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A: Our beach house

Q: Who are your heroes in real life?

A: I don’t have any heroes but admire old people that are young at heart and spirit.

Q: What is it that you most dislike?

A: To be limited by time

Q: What is your motto?

A: Make the most of what you’ve got and try to concentrate on the best that lies in others.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

Lisa

Who is Quintin?

Photo of QuintinQuintin is originally from Christchurch but has spent most of his life in Wellington. Many of you in the translation industry will know him well from his many years as a German to English translator, as manager of the Translation Service and as a member of the NZSTI Council. His studies in Linguistics, Translation, and European Studies at Auckland University, Victoria University and Leipzig University, as well as his time spent living overseas in Japan and Germany have led him down this challenging career path. As well as a love for all things linguistic, Quintin loves to sing as a tenor in the Orpheus Choir – see him in action on 29th August at the Michael Fowler Centre for Haydn’s Creation! His many interests include science and astronomy, music and drama, diving and wildlife, language and culture, classics and philosophy…phew!

Now let’s see if we can find out a little more about Quintin as he takes the TTS Proust Questionnaire….

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Simplicity.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Meaninglessness.

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. I admire many people for different things. One thing that sticks out right now is my old flatmate’s ability to have inspiring ‘wouldn’t it be great’ dreams and then actually come up with practical ways to bring people together and make it happen.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. Discomfort with asserting my own interests.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. Malice and spite.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. Books. Courses. Documentaries. Too many books. Too little time.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. I try to avoid any deception, especially self-deception. I find that using wording that is technically true, or omitting something, can be significantly more deceptive than using wording that is technically false.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. Passionate enthusiasm in all its forms.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I would be bolder.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. The enduring friendships I’ve gained over the years.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. I sometimes watch bunny sleeping on the couch in the sun or bouncing around the house and garden. His complete contentment with simplicity is something I would find hard to achieve as a person. That’s one lucky rabbit.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. None really. My health.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. xxx

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Intolerance and malice. Denial and wallowing in helplessness.

Q. What is your motto?

A. Be true. Be honest. Get enough sleep and eat lots of vegetables. If you live life by a motto, make sure you keep updating it.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

 

Who is Sadrach?

Picture of SadrachSadrach was born in Sibolga city, North Sumatra. He attended elementary, junior and high school in Bintan Island, before completing an English Language Skills Program in Jakarta through the English Language Institute of America, Pennsylvania. Since then, his 22 years of experience of the English and Indonesian languages have seen him successfully provide many language services.  As well as providing translation, interpreting and voice-over services, he has also spent time teaching English as a second language to Indonesian officials and has provided Indonesian language training for US officials based in Indonesia.

It’s not all hard work though…Sadrach enjoys travelling and it’s his dream to visit Africa as well as the North and South Poles. He loves a challenge and is always keen to learn more about complicated issues. He is a fan of the big screen and particularly enjoys watching science fiction and epic movies about space exploration and historical conflicts such as WW1 and WW2.

Sadrach is relatively new to The Translation Service; we recently had great feedback on a translation that he completed and are very keen to know a little more about him…

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. If I provide a good service to my clients, I feel complete and happy. There is more happiness in giving than receiving.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Not meeting my promise and becoming a distrusted person.

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. Nobody. Nobody is perfect, but characteristics such as integrity and loyalty are unique and admirable to me.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. People who can’t make up their mind and decide on a clear direction to go. I find a wavering person difficult to get along with.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. I like travelling, which can cost a lot! I also like watching airplanes and travelling by air.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. I don’t lie and do not like lying. I really dislike people who lie.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. To be a productive and loyal person.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I am happy with what I am for now; I do not expect anything beyond me and my circumstances.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. Having content clients, being trusted by people, making the people around me happy – especially my wife; the person that is always behind my success.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. I would be the same person I am right now but I’d live in a new era on Earth where there are no tears of sadness, no sorrow and where people live happily and joyfully

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. “The truth – it will set you free.” It’s the most significant thing in my life.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. My parents.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Lying.

Q. What is your motto?

A. Do it right the first time and you will have no regrets.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

 

Who is Pravin?

Picture of PravinPravin Patel grew up in India in a farming village near Navsari city, which is 250km north of Mumbai. In 1967 he came to New Zealand to marry his wife, a New Zealand citizen. He completed a degree in Business and Commerce and swiftly embarked on a career in accounting and financial administration. In 1973 a lawyer approached him and asked him to explain the contents of a will to his client. Having struggled with language difficulties himself when he arrived in New Zealand, Pravin accepted this opportunity to assist. He obviously did a great job and the lawyer suggested that he should apply to become a registered translator of Hindi and Gujarati with The Translation Service at DIA. Lucky for us, he did just that. Pravin enjoys his work as a translator and interpreter as it has allowed him to remain close to his mother tongue. We have enjoyed working with him for over 40 years now and are pleased that he agreed to our request to do this interview so we can all find out a little more about him…

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Knowing exactly what I have to do and seeing that it is carried out in a timely manner without running out of resources and energy.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Air travel and earthquakes in Wellington.   

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. Our cricket hero, Brendon McCullum for an excellent achievement recently, and radio talk back host Bruce Russell who provides entertainment, drawing from his wealth of knowledge and current affairs.   

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. Firstly, taking matters somewhat casually with “She will be right” attitude and secondly some regret that I can’t swim at all.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. When people believe in fault finding and blaming others regardless of the reality.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. Impulse buying, mainly on watches, clocks and clothing.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. While visiting Auckland, I have to reluctantly agree that their weather is better than Wellington though it is not. Sometimes I agree with a restaurant manager that the food is good when in fact it’s far from it.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. Receiving a reply or response from a friend, family or colleague to my email or telephone call. It becomes a two-way street, a most gratifying situation.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. Not to overreact or panic, and remain calm and cool in demanding situations.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. As an employee, securing a position of Trust at my workplace, and then establishing my own accounting practice and becoming self-employed.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. Any creature that can fly, move on land, and stay or live in water.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. A family movie of my childhood with my late parents, which my grand-parents filmed in India in 1955.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. My DADA (grandfather) Madhav Naran, who sacrificed most of his life-time to establish and run a secondary high school to provide education in India in 1919. The school currently has 493 students and is still going strong.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Falsehood and abuse of power. 

Q. What is your motto?

A. Creation and preservation of values. And: Never judge a book by its cover because the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

Who is Jing?

Picture of JingJing was born in Shanghai, China, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Shanghai Normal University. After spending one year teaching English to high school students, and a further year working for a foreign investment company in Shanghai, Jing decided to come to New Zealand to study towards a postgraduate diploma at Victoria University in Wellington. We are lucky to have had Jing as part of the team at the Translation Service since 2005.

Over to you Jing…

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Sitting in a bright and nice living room in late spring, having a cup of coffee and watching my kids playing in the garden with our kitten and puppy.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Losing people I love.

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. I’m still searching…

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. Being reluctant to move forward.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Doing one thing but saying another.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. Buying lots of glassware, but not using it very often.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. When my parents say that they are getting older.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. Having a nice big meal in good weather.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I’d be less sentimental.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. Leaving my home town and heading to New Zealand.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. A beautiful cat with a free spirit.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. My photo albums.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. Firemen.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Waiting for people at an appointment.

Q. What is your motto?

A. Use friendliness but do not use your friends.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

Who is Bill?

Photo of BillBill was born in Wanganui, grew up mostly in Taihape, and did a B.Sc. degree at Victoria University Wellington before spending four years as a meteorologist. After that he moved to Auckland to do a language degree in Russian, Chinese and Japanese, and graduated with an M.A. in Japanese.

He spent one year training as a secondary school teacher before landing a job with the Translation Service in 1978, in the days of manual typewriters. He worked alongside a number of translators including Patrick King and John Jamieson, but left in 1985 to work as a Japanese translator for Fujitsu Australia Limited in Sydney.

Bill rejoined the Translation Service in 1988 and has since completed 25 years’ service, during which time the translation industry has changed beyond recognition.

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Relaxing peacefully in a motel room looking out over Lake Taupo.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Environmental disaster (manmade or otherwise).

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. The late Sir Peter Blake.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. Putting off things I really should get into.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. Refusing to see differing points of view.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. My next purchase (an iPad when I already have an iPhone and iPod Touch).

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. I sometimes remain silent rather than tell people something they might not want to hear.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. Driving roads I’ve never driven before.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I would be more careful with money.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. I once translated two pages of legislation from Romanian, required urgently. The panel reviser only found one minor grammatical error.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. Perhaps a tui singing on a cabbage tree.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. My camera.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. People who live with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and show incredible courage in their everyday lives.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Political posturing.

Q. What is your motto?

A. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is probably not for you (not original unfortunately).

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

Who is Kamolwan?

Portrait of KamolwanKamolwan was born in Bangkok, Thailand and has been reading, writing, speaking and listening to both the Thai and English languages for almost half a century. Education is at the heart of everything she does; educating herself and sharing her understanding and interpretation of life.

Having worked with Kamolwan since 2004, we know that she travels and moves from country to country a lot, but more than that, she really enjoys getting involved with and contributing to the local community, whether she is in New Zealand, Thailand or other parts of the world. With such an international lifestyle, staying connected is very important, and to help with this Kamolwan is developing her online skills on what she calls her ‘play station’! Kamolwan finds great joy in sharing her skills and experience with future generations!

Lets find out a little more…

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. To be content.

What is your greatest fear?

A. A road accident.

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. Edward W. Siad

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. Anxiety

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. Insincerity

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. To have a chauffeur.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. When I am not being truthful.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. When a message is communicated.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I’d have a face lift.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. Contributing to local communities.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. A cheetah.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. My diaries.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. King Bhumibol of Thailand, my father, Nelson Mandela, Robert Rodreguez, David Bowie and Tom Petty.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Sweating.

Q. What is your motto?

A. One should be able to correct oneself.

If laziness is the cause, who then would do it?

[translated from a Buddhist teaching]

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.

 

Who is Stefan?

If you’re not Julius Caesar, it’s a bit odd to write about yourself in the third person. Since I don’t aspire to be an Imperator (although Istefan used to when I was a child), I’ll introduce myself in the first person. My name is Stefan, and I am the editor of this newsletter. After four years at the helm of the French Department of a private translation agency here in Wellington, I joined the Translation Service and have been the external relations advisor for about a year now. Half German, half French, I grew up in the beautiful Provence, studied in Paris where I got a Master’s degree in translation studies, and moved to Wellington five years ago with my partner. We had originally intended to stay here for two years, but you know how it is…

Here are my answers to the Proust Questionnaire. I hope you
enjoy them!

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Having long and delicious, epicurean dinners with friends and family in a home by the sea or in the woods.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Since moving to New Zealand, I am most afraid of spiders – I know it’s silly, but I often wake up in the dead of the night looking for spiders in the bed. I’m also afraid of vampires.

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. My history professor when I was in classe prépa in Paris – an astounding teacher, with a great sense of humour and a certain je ne sais quoi which enabled him to turn a rather dull subject (rural France from 1815 until the 1960s) into a fascinating learning experience.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. My gullibility – I could write books about the made-up stories that people made me believe.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. Dishonesty.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. When I got my current job about a year ago, I decided to treat myself and bought a $2,000 coffee machine. I love coffee.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. Hm… I suppose that I lie by omission to protect peoples’ feelings. I always try to put a positive spin on things.

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. Travelling. Cooking and eating. Hot summer days. Swimming in the ocean. Snow. Southern France. The Black Forest. And many more things…

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I took more risks and were better at handling uncertainty.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. Convincing my partner to move to New Zealand with me three weeks after we met. We are getting married in the Rangipo Desert in January!

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. Wouldn’t that make me a zombie of some sort? I’d rather avoid that.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. My glasses – I can’t see a thing without them.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. My grandfather was my hero. He had hundreds of stories of his time in Russia, how he learnt his trade in a Siberian gulag, escaped and crossed Europe to return to my grandmother who had been waiting for him.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. Shrimps. Too many legs for my liking.

Q. What is your motto?

A. Don’t worry, be happy.

We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Stefan for more details.

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