BY NINA KUNG
Before I decided to join NCTA, I had read everything on the association’s Web site and thought I would check out the group before joining. I was looking for a professional support group that saw the world through the lens of more than one language and from a global perspective. Also, I needed to find out about freelance translation as a career option. NCTA’s picnic at “Paradise Park” on Saturday, June 24, provided just the perfect opportunities for both things.
I arrived at the park on a mild, sunny day. The park had a sweeping view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. A group of about 15 people—plus a small dog—were present around two picnic tables and a BBQ grill. I introduced myself and was greeted warmly by Kristen, Raffaella, Mark, Javier, Linda, Seungmin, Yana, Sonia and a few other people. The world languages represented included French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Swedish and some others. The food, of course, reflected wonderful gifts and abundance from many cultures. The conversations I had were the most interesting and international ones I had ever had. We talked about a South Korean TV epic, Dae Jang Geum (“Jewel in the Palace”), which had gained worldwide popularity, a Peruvian term from Chinese for “dining out on excellent food” resulting from the popularity of Chinese food in Peru, the usage of the term “crowd sourcing” and the European convention of using a bidet.
As people left to beat the traffic home, I luckily had a chance to ask Sonia Wichmann about freelancing as a translator. She generously answered all my questions and pointed me to two useful reference books. As we parted, I thought, “What a cool and special group of people!” I decided I was definitely joining NCTA. NK