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Meet the linguist: Sergey Bessonov (@sergeybessonov)


Hi there, good people :)
I am happy to go on with my Meet the Linguist series and I would like you to meet Sergey Bessonov! Here's how Sergey describes himself: "Active, young and constantly developing interpreter and translator. New challenging projects are welcome". I had a chance to see the amount of energy and enthusiasm Sergey puts into his work during the three-week course for Russian translators I taught back in April. You can follow Sergey on Twitter (@sergeybessonov) or become his fan on Facebook
As usual, I asked Sergey to answer a few questions. Here are his replies:

1. Sergey, please share a couple weird or fun facts about you that you don't normally share in your bio.

It's hard to remember them on the spot, but there is one thing that came to my mind. It's strange but every time I work as an interpreter (for several hours just whispering or doing simultaneous interpreting) my clients want to feed me. I can't say that I look raw-boned or spindling, but they constantly order me something to eat. There is no chance I can possibly eat what they order because they keep talking and I need to keep working. This situation is weird to me as I got used to the idea of working as some kind of a machine without noticing "dinner times". Does it happen to all interpreters?

2. What was your best project so far?

All my projects are fascinating. But there was one that taught me to work no matter what happens. Once I was asked to interpret for some loсal fire department. They had a meeting with one of Hamburg Youth Fire Department directors (who came to Novosibirsk to observe solar eclipse) and needed an interpreter. That was one of my first orders and completely new sphere to me. Two days and nights spent in front of a computer (great thanks to those who invented the Internet!) and all possible and impossible sources covered. Still there was a feeling that lots of info needed to be collected before I could even understand what they were discussing.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day my clients told me "Hey, you were doing great, we had interesting conversations with Germans and didn't even notice you were there."

Since then I realized the sacred goal of an interpreter - to be a connection between the two cultures – an invisible connection! - so that everything was clear without any third party mentioned.

3. What was the worst project in your career?

Well, there was also one bad day in my carrier. We have an annual project in Novosibirsk called Interra. It is a huge venue for innovative projects (some really worth seeing) and investors. I was called to interpret for a person from Europe (nothing difficult). For starters, the guy didn't arrive (nobody still knows why). But there were two other people who arrived as investors from Cyprus. They came with the same flight that the missing guy was supposed to take. The Cypriots appeared without any interpreter and I found myself near them just doing somebody else's job. The worst thing was that I was completely unprepared for what happened next. We headed to an official meeting with the Governor of Novosibirsk region. I got worried and screwed up the whole interpreting job (delays, mumbling and missing parts of phrases). That, for sure, was the worst day in my life.

The only good thing is that after that meeting we headed to the mayor and I could rehabilitate myself.

4. What do you like most about being a freelance translator and interpreter?

There are many questions about ups and downs in the life of a freelancer. I can say there is one good thing that may cover all disadvantages - it is working for yourself. I can take the projects I like and I am interested in. This is a remarkable thing - you do it for yourself and not for some other person.

Some say sleepless nights are no good. Well, we can sleep all we want in the next life when we are cats* :)

5. Why do your clients love working with you? What's unique about your services?

It is truly hard to say why they work with me. I do not provide any outstanding services and do not think my quality is higher than others can provide. In my humble opinion, it is only due to energy and enthusiasm I put in every new task I receive. When I see other translators being so passionate about their work, I want to work with them! I just hope my clients have the same feeling when they see me.

Dear Sergey, thank you so much for your honest and insightful replies! It felt refreshing just talking to you. I wish you all the very, very best in your career!

*I guess I need to insert a little explanation here. Sergey refers to a well-known Russian pop-song "In the next life, when I become a cat". 

Olga Arakelyan
Your Professional Translator 

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