Post 22: One Sixth of the Challenge! 100 to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

 

I am past one sixth of this challenge!!!  Does this count as some sort of achievement? I hope so, although it may not sound like and I still have a long way to go.  Tonight just a quick update on how things are going. I am in the middle of week and half of working marathon. On my only day off in between I was just tiny bit useless. When the sun is out in the UK, you HAVE TO enjoy it! Anyway the new system of doing certain tasks by every certain amount of days seems to be working. Although not fully yet there, as I am sometimes skipping some of them depending on how busy schedule I have, but at least heading the right direction.

 

I have been translating my second post into Czech and I have not even bothered to read it after myself again. I know it sounds pretty dreadful right about now. Perhaps I should only translate the interesting ones. My first post is still kindly waiting to be corrected by my friend. (Ehm, just a little reminder, because I know he reads this blog, ha.)

 

Recently through one of my jobs I met a guy, who I was telling about my language classes and guess what? Next time we saw each other he suddenly said he is interested and not only him, but also his girlfriend. Excellent! I am planning the introduction lessons with them in the next few days, so let’s see if they like it and my unusual teaching methods.

 

Talking about pupils, I had another class with my Spain loving student, but by the end I thought he may fall asleep. Honestly, he was tired from work! He enjoyed the story of Little Rabbit and told me what happened, we have talked about airports in Spain, went through some homework and did fun tasks from the Big Nate Fun Blaster book. Obviously I am not really familiar with this character, but this activity book I bought is really fun. (Well I enjoy the jokes in there!) Could anyone perhaps recommend another one or similar kind?

In the next few weeks the plan is to sort few bookings out, tickets and all sorts. Apart my two jobs next week, I am also booked for an interpreting session and I should be meeting with someone new for a drink. It has been great making the effort and about once a week I meet someone I know. Someone I should also be meeting soon is my dentist, because at the moment I feel like I think grinding my teeth for whatever reason. Although I am really not bothered about what clothes I wear or make up on my face, when I open my mouth, my smile works the magic! And however narcissistically it may sound, I do not want to lose that! Back soon. Love Kat xx

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Post 20: Resolutions Review February! 102 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews month of February as part of 3 Days challenge:

Design career–  Right, I will be very honest, there was not much art or design going on this month. I have been so busy earning money in other ways, I only managed to do a sketch of Fyodor Dostoyevsky on the train. I also had to move the furniture in my room once again, which means I have not finished Darwin on my wall yet and there were things everywhere for quite some time. However I did buy subscription to a new interior design magazine as I got discount since being subscribed to another one already and I have managed figure out some plan of how to be more organized when it comes to following all my resolutions. Alright, swiftly moving on.

Blog every three days– I am on top of my list with all the posts I should have written, so that is all good. If you search through February posts with numbers 12-19, one of them is dedicated to posts and links worth to be to be mentioned and one of them is about books. There are few other interesting ones which include mentioning spelling book for children from Carol Voorderman and great recipes to try.

Translating blog into Czech– The young man, who expressed the interest of translating my blog after he did it for the first time, never got back in touch after receiving my reply with comments on his translation. Looks like he is no longer interested then. I had a chat with a friend and he said he is more than happy to help me with the correction, when he is off work, so I just need to get myself into translating all my posts.

Social networking– Running between jobs and barely being at home, there is not much update on social networking either. I have not really had a chance to look that that traffic via Facebook adverts yet, and I just about managed to keep up reading my favourite posts. Most of them on my phone in bed just before bed time. Hopefully with my new schedule I can soon catch up and do little more.

Teaching and interpreting– Lots going on in this section! Obviously you may know I got offered a job interpreting for another company and I have done quite a few assignments with them this month. Definitely interesting new experience worth to have.

Next wonderful news is I managed to get another student, so that will also keep me busy working from now on. He is little more advanced than the other one. I spend few days preparing lesson plans and managed to get some books to use during the lessons. Getting my student-chef speaking more, I slotted in one very practical session and it was so much fun. You can read about our ‘best ever spaghetti bolognese’ and blueberry & banana pancakes in one of the posts.

Learning how to drive– That is a bit of disappointment as I have not done any driving or any theory learning this month at all. I know, shame on me. Do not worry, I am aware of that, every time I pass a car with L sign. But I did a bit of thinking and I decided to leave the lessons until I have lot more spare cash to go and pay for frequent slots and have them something like once a week. Until now I was practicing every two to three weeks and it is not quite working out with the money flow for other things and the work timetable. I need to learn often enough, so it becomes a second nature.

New people, new opportunities– I met up with few friends over the last month catching up with what is going on in town, getting carried away having a bit way too much fun as usual. If you are reading  my blog regularly, you must have noticed also my post about my upcoming birthday and having a bit of that question time of what I am I doing with my life, so hopefully things are going to turn around soon for the better. And I need to learn how to be less scattered and let things roll more.

Learning Autocad, Sketchup, creating a website, saving money– I have turned into my mother and finally wrote down all the receipts from the last few months. I ‘spoiled’ myself and got new cycling shorts (and they are ever so comfortable, better be for that price), few books, got the magazine subscription and paid few bills and sent some money to save. Regarding the AutoCad, I was in touch with someone, who is offering private lessons, but I have not really discovered it any further.

Overall February was not perhaps as productive as it could have been, but I have done lot of teaching, interpreting and running between my other two jobs, so hopefully that will give me better start in March when it comes to other things. Last two weeks have been definitely more pleasant to cycle around and you can smell the spring in the air. Mind you there are still those horrible unexpected showers and you never know about possible March frost appearing. But March has always been my month, so I am hoping things are going to get going and I will put that timetable to a good use. Back soon Kat xx

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Post 11: Resolutions Review! 111 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews her first month of 3 Days challenge:

Design career– Well I have been trying to get into new projects and more painting. In one of my previous posts you can read about my sources of inspiration, so I did few sketches of bearded men after doing the very important research and I ended up with a face of Charles Darwin on my wall. I reckon one more session and then he has to go. It has been freaky at the beginning, but now it feels he is part of the room. I do not want him to become too comfortable. I thought I will start on a new project by now, but my work schedule has changed, plus other activities and being ill at the beginning of the month made it harder. There have been few offers since then for small commissions, but they have not been fully requested, so I guess, see what happens.

The January project has not worked out, but I guess I know the reasons now, so see if I can make it work from April time. As they say ‘Learn from making mistakes’. Lastly I just would like to say I am so proud of myself for doing the tax return in December as I for the first time did not have to suffer with the stress of deadlines and it felt pretty good. A lesson learnt?!

Blog every three days– Although I am writing this post two days later, I think I have done pretty well, posting as I should be. My arty buddy Tim  is helping in keeping me aware of it every three days. It has been great having a bit of that time to breathe and actually focus on my writing making the post little more interesting and useful to others. I guess although predominantly I write for myself, I need the audience to keep me going.

Translating blog into Czech– Well this has been an issue for me. Around the Christmas time I have put out there into online world a request for a translator to translate my posts or correct them into Czech. But I soon realized that translating is almost as writing. There is a style and compare to interpreting, where you can clarify who says what and how they mean it, with translating unless you know the author very well,  it can become very difficult. I am still working on the draft of my first post as I want to make sure it will be perfect and it will set a certain style for the rest of them.

Social networking– I have run out of my £25 free voucher for Facebook advertising, but I have not had a chance to review the numbers yet, so I guess that will be topic for another post. I had some technical issues with my e-mail, so catching up with everything became lot more difficult. As it suddenly appeared few weeks ago, over the weekend it also suddenly disappeared, so hopefully I can get on with everything as usual.

Regarding my Czech blog I decided to start new Facebook Group for Czech and Slovakian bloggers including anyone , who is interested in languages, travels, culture etc. First I left it open, but it soon became apparent it needs a bit of admin work to keep the posts relevant. The group now has around 30 members, so if you know anyone, who likes to blog and is interested in Eastern European countries, send them to here.

Teaching and interpreting– There has been a great improvement! I had quite a few sessions with my young chef. During the last one we had during his afternoon break, I spoke to his boss, and he was really pleased with his improvement, so that made us obviously both very happy. He is clearly making a mark in the kitchen and it is not going unnoticed. I had another two people possibly interested in lessons, so again see what happens.

Last session we were learning about different meat cuts, last night I was going through list of all kinds of lettuce and selection of mushrooms. Although being here for many years since teaching privately it has also challenged me personally as I actually need to learn the exact translation or simply new words. Sometimes it proves difficult as I cannot find the right Czech word or nearest equivalent.

Another great news is I have been approached by a new language agency to do more interpreting work. So far the working relationship has been great, so hopefully there will be some ongoing work.

Learning how to drive– With my driving there has been some kind of  improvement. I feel like a bit frustrated as it is not as big one as I would like to, but at least there is something happening. So far I had five sessions and although it does not feel as stressful being in the car anymore and I even drove up to 40 mph, I am having a trouble with ‘up and down hill start and stop’, so that is, when my panic appears once again. Regarding the theory test I properly gone through the first chapter, which does not sound like a lot, but at least I have picked up the book. I need to do more progress on this in February, me thinks.

New people, new opportunities– Being more open to saying ‘yes’ and catching up with friends have been quite succesful I believe. I have made the effort of meeting up with few of my friends, attended nice little engagement evening catch up  and met up with few new people I have been introduced to over the recent months. One of my personal resolutions of being more patient is definitely working and although having little wobble at the end of the month, I have been impressed with myself.  One of those nice “yes” moments was when I agreed to go and see the new film Wolf of the Wall Street, however choose carefully who you go to see it with. It is certainly one of those ‘age 18 and over’ films.

Learning Autocad, Sketchup, creating a website, saving money– Nothing really new there, as it is not on my priority list right now, but I will see if I can do any research on possible future steps.

Overall not bad I think! It could be better, but with the cold and slow start to the year including trying to figure out how to get all my resolutions going at the same time and having to work, it has not been bad at all. I am hoping for spring soon, because I do not enjoy cycling in the rain and I have been comfort eating more often than I like to. See what February brings. Love Kat xx

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Post 9: “When Two Are Doing the Same Thing… Expect Different Results!” 113 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets translating:

Oh yes, I did. After missing the supposedly Monday deadline to follow my three-day blog rule, because of spending too much at work time this weekend and then having equally too much fun, I sat down this evening after another teaching lesson this time full of herbs and spices and kitchen utensils to conquer one of my resolutions.

I think I mentioned in one of the previous posts that I have someone offering help to collaborate on translating my posts into Czech language. I was trying to figure what to do. If I do it myself and perhaps ask someone to correct it for me. I am no longer familiar with my native language after many years abroad and I admittedly need a little bit of help. Or if I completely leave it up to someone else to translate and I correct them afterwards. Or the last option we do it by swapping around as we go along.

 

So this enthusiastic young man gets the e-mail with first post and the instructions how I image to be translated. Few days later he sends it back and here it comes. It is not what I was expecting! That is when the common Czech phrase “Kdyz dva delaji totez, neni to totez” came to my mind! Even just finding the translation of the exact meaning was difficult enough. It simply means: “When two people are doing the same thing, it is not the same thing!” I did a bit of search around and it comes with variations of for example Albert Einstein saying : Insanity: Doing the same thing… expecting different results. But then I settled for the title you see above.  So I hope it makes sense in what I am trying to say.

 

Now going back to the original idea of the post: I was reading my words, but they were not my words. They meant something different. They were written in different style. It was not me. I realized I will have to translate my own blog post to show him, how I feel I should sound, when I speak and write in Czech. Or at least I think I do. There were two things, which I have noticed. It was the lack of knowledge of certain expressions or him not understanding, translating it into something else.  Which obviously none of it being his fault. The second one was that he made me sound lot more elegant, lot more posh. My post suddenly sounded like something out pages of Guardian.

 

Obviously I am not criticizing him, he has done a great job, but I feel the post has not captured the real me. Or it has not come out through the spontaneity I write with. I took me few weeks to come to terms with it, so I finally sat down tonight and translated my first post with my own words and sent it back to him with notes. He has no idea who I am, he does not know me in real, never met me, so I wonder what he has to say, when he reads my doodles. I would not be surprised if he says: “She must be joking, she better does it herself!”

 

When I work as an interpreter, I do my absolute best to get it right. And I enjoy working with people in that situation. I can find out, what they mean as they speak. I think that is why I never really got into translating. You are not only trying to get it right, but also need to get into the head of the author trying to figure out what they meant to say exactly to the point during ‘playing’ with the language but without them being there. After living abroad for so long I cannot listen to anything dabbed in Czech and I scream in front the screen when the subtitles are not right or are missing as it spoils the beauty of the original. Years ago I watched a film with Woody Allen with subtitles and it has totally ruined the whole experience of the night and every time I think about it, it makes me really angry.

 

There is a really famous Czech translator of Shakespeare’s work called Martin Hilsky. I had an amazing opportunity to attend fantastic talk about his work on  Sonnets thanks to the fact he is a college friend with one my tutors. He is incredibly knowledgable and talented man, whose skills I am not even going to question, but I wonder what would Shakespeare say to his work? Would he say: “I am amazed how you got it right!”, “Not bad!” or “Totally not what I meant to say!”? Obviously they can never meet, as Shakespeare lived centuries ago, not even the people, who study his work now and are British. So no one will ever know and I guess as long as his legacy lasts, what is the problem, right?

 

What I am trying to simply say, it is strange to read your words in another language and come across the fact what it sounds like, should sound like or you want it to sound like without you doing the work. I am ending this post by taking my hat off to all translators for doing the very difficult work of pleasing many people, but not always making everyone happy. With respect, Kat x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post 2! So Many Good News Coming From Everywhere! 120 posts to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets organized:

It feels like forever since I posted the last time. I know it has only been three days ago, but it does feel little strange, too long ago if you ask me.  Within the first few days of my new challenge, it felt really wrong not posting, now I feel slightly less guilty. I have also nearly recovered again from the cold, which came back, but I am taking week off just to take it easy and make sure it won’t return back. And I am hoping to start properly through those very important lists and catch up with all those thing I meant to during Christmas break.

So what happened in the last three days?! Well we started the challenge, full of resolutions and dreams. I have a lovely bunch of people on board, so I hope you had a little look through everyone’s blog. I have been spending rest of the Friday linking and posting the first post pretty much, everywhere I could, replying to those, who would like to join in and replying to all comments. Quite honestly, when saw my written list of resolutions down, out told to the online world, it did freak me out. It is certainly NOT ambitious at all. Unfortunately all those things on the list connect with each other, so it is like a vicious circle. So I better get on with printing the list and making an action plan, and David Allen better comes to help on this. During the weekend, which was pretty much spent the whole entire time at work with few hours of sleep in between shifts, I have been on a mission how to solve the tasks. I sat going through each one, came up with action plans, scribbled over pieces of paper and then took a big notepad and dedicated 10 pages to each of those resolutions. Like this I can see what I have achieved whilst keeping important notes together. I will still follow the David Allen ‘pieces of paper’ system, but this will keep me focus within each project. I also gave them importance and lined them up accordingly in my notepad. What a result!wpid-IMG_20140106_203208.jpg

Recently on Facebook Page of UK Bloggers I had a thread about Facebook Pages to see if anyone had any experience with paid adverts. I started creating one and then left it off, as the comments were a bit discouraging and I also run out of time to continue. Few days later Facebook sent me promotional  £25 voucher to have a go and finish my advert, see if I like it and if it makes a difference when promoting. So I gave it a go. After few freaky moments of updating the payment bit, I eventually got to the end. We shall see if it makes any difference. But I thought I share this with you, in case you might be lucky too receiving a free voucher.

Apart from organizing my tasks, promoting my page, I have spent most yesterday afternoon after work  and today clearing my e-mails, updating the account, replying to people and reading blog posts of others. Three exciting things have been mainly on the agenda from all that correspondence. At first I received a reply from someone, who is interested in working with me on the Czech part of my blog, which is very exciting stuff! And secondly I have been e-mailing with people back and forth about my new upcoming project I have been going on about, but kept it secret, just in case it all goes wrong. I should have a presentation on Wednesday. Hopefully by the end of the week find out if its going ahead. So I reckon preparation time tomorrow making it extra exciting. And lastly I might be involved in  new exciting online project for Czech/Slovakian community, but it is all very much at the beginning, however it is nice to be contacted by someone, who believes you are the right person to make it work.

Talking about work I also have to share another fabulous news with you, which is that my student since changing his cv and braving the restaurants again, went through two interviews, one trial and got offered a job to start the very next day. And not just a kitchen porter work due to his language skills! Someone believed in him so much, he got offered the position of a chef!!! I am so proud of him! He told me he was little freaked by the three male staff in the kitchen constantly talking to him, but I am sure he will soon master that. Apparently the head chef is making sure he understands and has a lot of patience with him, which is fantastic news.

And to finish this post with it seems to be all good news, I will give you update on Mr Sawlid and Mr.Dj and their non- smoking resolution.  Mr Sawlid proudly telling me today he cut down on half of what was smoking making conscious decisions about replacing his habits with different solutions. Well done! Mr Dj was back on cigarettes, when I got to work on Friday night, going in and out about eight times. After having a chat with him about it, he assured me he will stop after his birthday weekend. I joked that the next day he will have to do 10 press ups or pay me £10 for each cigarette, if he goes out. I do not know if he thought I am being serious, but he certainly made an effort and only went out three times that night!!! So well done him too!

How are you guys getting on with your resolutions? Back soon. Love Kat xx

Day 78: So I have got a student…! 14 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Few days ago I have been sitting in a cafe for more than two hours translating a form for a couple. In that time I have earned more than doing the usual shift running around the kitchen. It got me thinking I should really spend more time soon giving this type of job little bit more and let the years of experience work for me without doing the extra sweating. In the afternoon I was browsing Facebook having a little a break and in one of the groups for “our people” stumbled over a post, where this guy was looking for an English teacher. So I messaged him and we arranged to meet up on Friday afternoon, where I have shown my cards and said: “This is who I am, take it or leave it!”. After a chat, he promised he will get in touch and he did! We had our first lesson today and it was very exciting! He is very ambitious young chef with already enough impressive cv for Czech standards. I am sure he will go far, just need to work on his English now. I left my Italian cookbook there, so he better be flicking through before his bedtime as we speak. I mean even when I got there, he was making a base for Czech dumplings… so he must be keen. I wait for visits at home and grandma to make them. I spent pretty much 90% of the time speaking in English (otherwise he would have said I need lessons in Czech, the first time I met him was bad enough), so I can imagine his head must be like a balloon (Lead Balloon). After I left few minutes later I met his brother in a supermarket whilst on a hunt for my dinner (see that lovely image below) and he was rather excited about getting his little brother finally speaking English. For sure, there is no running away from me, when it comes to talking. Well, if not scared too much and that call for second lesson comes in… Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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And speaking of of certain balloons…

Day 54: Life of an interpreter! 38 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is just the usual Saturday. I did a bit of cooking, house cleaning and little bit of chilling out thinking about days ahead. Last night, going out into the world out there to work, I nearly got frozen. Did I miss something during this week whilst in bed? Did UK suddenly change the position of where it is on the global map… ? Layers all the way, I still was not prepared for it. Nor the customers. It was so cold, barely no one was out and about either. We went home earlier, but I still could not sleep until the usual time as my brain was thinking about events of the night, but I am not going to bother you with that as I have enough to digest.

So what else I was up to today. Well, you will be pleased to know I sat and did more of tax filing, going through my interpreting sheets, checking all the right dates and information. I started doing this job in my second year of university. An advert posted on Facebook stating that local language agency is looking for someone to do the job. You do not need to have interpreting qualifications to start with in order to get into this job. There different levels and as long as you can tick some of those requirements and pass the initial interview, you are fine. I was slightly apprehensive about this whole thing, never mind even looking smart for the interview. Rasta girl in a suit from Primark with her first ever handbag, well that is who I was, but my boss was very impressed and I got the job.

I had five assignments in three days to start with and let me tell you, not something pleasant I was prepared to be part of. Many of you are very likely to have a friend from a foreign country and when you meet, you talk about your life, what happened, jobs, funny things. Well that is very far from the job of an interpreter. We also talk, in my language and English, but it may vary from simple things as filling out forms, clearing the mistuderstanding, being a part of medical examination to lot more complicated situations like family divorce issues, being nearly attacked during the session or talking about children and verbal and sexual abuse. I was literally thrown into this nasty world and I had to learn how to swim.

However not everything is bad. Five years on I still do this job for two language agencies and freelance and it pretty much always amazes me that there are people, who live in this country for many years and still do not speak the language. Or some of them are here short term, so there is the obvious need. I still cannot believe I get to sit on a chair and get paid for talking. Not much, as it is only hourly paid job and you are more likely to work somewhere between 1-3 hours depending on how often they need you. Which may vary  from twice a month to once in six months, plus different agencies have different rules about travel allowances and expenses.

But I do help people, so they can move on with their lives and their problems. The look on their faces is priceless and “thanks” they have for me and the staff I am dealing with mean personally a lot to me. It often leaves me wondering how lucky I am. And it is only because I overcame the fear of talking to strangers, learned the language and during my first year in Bristol barely spoke to any of the native Czechs or Slovakians. I blended in within the society and here is my reward years later. With the numbers of people ever here, working in factories and catering, hanging out within the community asking pretty simple questions within the Facebook group rather figuring them out themselves, no wonder how many people find themselves still with no vocabulary and knowledge, however managing to survive here for quite some time, but in a need of an interpreter, when it comes to something more complicated.

So here we are, not always walk in the park, but very rewarding job, I am very happy to do. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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