The interpreter spoke about the similarities and differences between Russians and Germans

© Fotolia / Stefan GräfСловарь. Archival photoThe interpreter spoke about the similarities and differences between Russians and Germans© Fotolia / Stefan Gräf

Between the Russian and German peoples are not so many differences, although the mentality is different, but it is not of great importance for the understanding, said in an interview with RIA Novosti a professional interpreter Bärbel sax.

Every year on September 30 is celebrated in many countries a professional holiday of interpreters and translators — international translation day (International Translation Day). Bärbel sax for more than 30 years of experience in translations from Russian and English languages. She graduated in 1983 from Moscow state linguistic University (former Moscow state pedagogical Institute of foreign languages named after Maurice Thorez), currently serves as the Executive Director of a translation Agency [email protected] in Berlin, cooperates with leading organizations, developing relations with Russia — German-Russian forum Petersburg dialogue, Potsdam meeting, the Eastern Committee of German economy.

«It seems to me that without political dialogue, civil society difficult to work with. I participated in the closure of the Russian-German «cross of the year» regional-municipal partnerships (September 14 in Berlin — ed.) there was much talk about the need to provide the opportunity for travel, meeting people. Visa issues — it is a political problem, but it seems that in Berlin now there is not much interest in solving it. Meanwhile, it is enough to know the history of our two countries in order to understand that without each other we cannot do. We have similar mentalities, although, of course, there are differences: Germans love easily plan events, and Russian, as the saying goes, «long harness, but ride fast». But I think, for understanding between peoples and for the translator it does not play a significant role,» — says Ms. Sachs.

Dreamed of becoming a veterinarian

The interest in the Russian language came to Saks in childhood — her father, an officer of the people’s army of the GDR, was sent with his family to study in the USSR in the Military-air engineering Academy named after Zhukovsky.

«So our family first came to Moscow, we went with my sister to an ordinary Soviet school. These were very happy years. We then returned to the GDR, and after high school I was offered to go to study abroad, that is one of the countries of the socialist camp. I said I wanted to study in the USSR. Although as a translator I be not wanted – like many girls, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian,» laughs the hostess.

Years of study

However, the first year in the faculty of foreign languages for the young German girls are really complicated — she missed her family and friends. However, soon Bärbel sax has a new exciting hobby.

«At first it was very difficult. We arrived in 1978, we have provided the hostel is an ancient building in the Lubyanka area, there are even outlets for 220 Volts was not only on 127. But later everything came to normal. We had five students from the GDR, we were friends. It turned out that the Soviet Union is a very big and beautiful country, which is incredibly interesting to travel. Although officially we were not allowed to leave Moscow, we quickly made friends with other students and traveled almost the entire Soviet Union. I was in Vilnius, Riga, Tashkent, Almaty. And we had great teachers, excellent conditions for training,» she said.
Return to the GDR

Upon returning to the GDR Bärbel sax, like other young professionals in a socialist state, had three years to work on the distribution. But to her great disappointment, she was given a place where her knowledge of the Russian language was not in demand.

«I was assigned to the Department of technical English «Intertext» (foreign language service in the GDR under the office of the SED – ed.). I decided that it was absurd to live ten years in the Soviet Union, then to do a written technical English. I wanted to do a translation from the Russian language. I managed to find a place in the translation Department of the air force of the people’s army of the GDR», — said Ms. sax.

Fortunately, this «arbitrariness» was not for her no consequences. The new job she worked as a translator of instructions for military equipment, as well as oral translations in all sorts of exchanges, friendly football matches and so on.

After the merger

After the unification of Germany the translation Department, where he worked as sax, was immediately disbanded. According to the translator, she and her colleagues continued for another six months to go to work, «he read the Newspapers, talked.»

«Then I successfully defended my diploma and began working in the centre for verification of the Bundeswehr. It was a good school. We did the Vienna document (Vienna document 2011 on confidence-building measures and security (VD-2011) adopted on 30 November 2011 at the plenary meeting of the OSCE Forum on cooperation in the field of security — ed.), disarmament and the formation of confidence-building measures, open skies. Then I passed the German defense Ministry, worked with the Russian delegation. I felt in those years, a considerable positive interest on both sides for contact. All were highly motivated to move forward in questions of disarmament, confidence-building,» she says.

Responding to a question RIA Novosti, why is this great potential of trust has not been fully realized, Ms. sax said, stressing that it was her personal view that «the West wanted too much from Russia and was demanding too rapid change.»

«Many promises that were not fulfilled, for example, on the non-proliferation of NATO. Perhaps we were too confident in their democratic way on the success of the velvet revolutions in Europe, the possibility of exporting democracy. But the interests of a large country as Russia, should be taken into account. Russia is our neighbour, a natural part of Europe, there is no point trying to ignore it. We need Russian gas and oil. There are many things that shape our common destiny,» says sax.