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    An Interpreter
    Cập nhật 20/09/2018 14:50 Xem với cỡ chữ

    In 1995, I was sent to work at the Representative Office of the People's Aid Coordinating Committee Office in Ho Chi Minh City for three months to substitute my colleague attending a Diplomatic course in Hanoi. And it became many “first” to me: the first time I travelled by air plane, the first time I was away from home for so long time, and the very first time I had to take care of my own. Specially, the most memorable experience is the first time I worked as an interpreter for a US NGO in Quang Ngai province, named The Missionary Association (MA). At that time, Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Routh- are representatives of  MA , MA was implementing 02 cow bank projects in Mo Duc and Nghia Hanh districts of Quang Ngai province in the Middle of Vietnam. Travelling by car from HCMC, we passed by a cow hatchery farm of Agricultural Science Institute in Khanh Hoa to buy cow breed for the poor families in Quang Ngai. We spent the first night at Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen and went to Quang Ngai the following day. I admired every scenes I saw.. from the sky to the sea,  everything in a strange Southern land appeared in a young woman’s eyes are so beautiful and fascinating.

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              When we reached the cow hatchery farm in Khanh Hoa province, my duty as an interpreter for this American couple with a Vietnamese agriculture expert from the North had been fulfilled easily as he spoke Northern accent like me. But it had not been so easy for long, when we came further into Quang Ngai, talking with some residents there, and..what a shame, I couldn’t understand a single word...they didn’t speak my language, may be Quang Ngai accent is so different from mine - the popular Vietnamese language. I was very confused as we were about to have  meeting with provincial authority..what can I I can interpret without understanding their speech!!! Thinking and decided to tell Mr. and Mrs. Routh about the problem and apologized for not being able  to keep on doing my duty. Mr. Routh was not angry with me, and said I had done very well my job the previous day, but also replied that he could do the translation for his wife because..he understand Vietnamese, he could understand the Quang Ngai accent, as well.



    I am the Vietnamese but I can’t understand the Vietnamese dialect like him. I am his interpreter but now he did my job. From that moment, promised to myself that I had to work harder, keen on listening and understanding the dialect so that I could do my translating service to them. After a big effort, on the final day in Quang Ngai, I could understand 80-90% of what the Quang Ngai’s residents conversation, and better assist Mr. and Mrs. Routh with the project.

    And today, watching the new American Ambassador in Vietnam, Mr. Dan Kritenbrink speaking in Vietnamese on emphasizing the importance and appreciation to people-to-people relations, I understand that American working manner is really different and professional. As a result, who work in people-to-people relations sector like us, it is truly necessary to study the foreign language, but it is more important to understand our culture, tradition, and our native languages.

    Tran Thi Thu Thuy.

    Address: No. 129, Ha Huy Giap Street, Quyet Thang Ward, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam
    Tel: 84-61-3843909
    Fax: 84-61-3846066
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