January 25, 2017

Member Spotlight: Let’s Meet Vladimir Smolyanskiy

Vladimir PHOTO

Vladimir Smolyanskiy

Where I live:
Brooklyn, NY

What I do:
I have worked mostly as a telephone interpreter throughout my career. I interpret in the following directions: Russian<>English, Ukrainian<>English, and Portuguese (BR) <> English. My native language is Russian. I have studied Ukrainian by watching a lot of TV and taking classes at school. I really did not like Ukrainian very much, but when I came to the United States I happened to find a lot of work in that language. Currently I am also working as a Russian and Portuguese video interpreter for StratusVideo. I love this job very much because I can do it from the comfort of my own home and I can see the individuals I am helping in the videos.

I’m proud of:
My language skills and my ability to bridge the communication gap for people who need assistance.

My background:
I was born in Ukraine and have studied languages all my life. At age 6, I ventured into a library on the outskirts of town and got a textbook to learn English by myself. In 1992 I moved to the U.S. with my family, where I attended high school and college. I studied computer science in college because it was a hot career at the time. Later I realized that languages are what I love the most and I entered the world of interpreting. I have studied Portuguese by surrounding myself with Brazilian friends in the U.S. I have visited Brazil five times, both on my own and with friends. I spent about three weeks each time, visiting São Paulo, Rio, Ribeirão Preto, Santos, Guarujá, Salvador and Feira de Santana.

Why do I belong to the PLD?
Because I love this community of like-minded people.

Major challenge(s) in my career:
I am unable to travel as much as I would like due to my busy professional life. I would love to learn more languages. I think it is much easier to learn a language while living in a foreign country as opposed to learning it on your own. When you are faced with having to survive somewhere, you pick up the language a lot faster than sitting at home and learning it from books or a private teacher. I believe that anyone can learn a foreign language if they spend a year living in a country where it is spoken; otherwise, they may need 5 to 10 years of studies. However, it is always different from individual to individual.

The last book I read was entitled“Everything is illuminated.” It is about a young Jewish Ukrainian man who went to Ukraine to seek the woman who saved his father from death during the Holocaust. I really liked this book because it presents what I think is a fair and humorous critique of my former country of residence, Ukraine. It also shows how erroneously people from my country perceive the United States.

Current or most recent project:
I recently interpreted an audio file for a German gentleman who was married to a Russian lady. He secretly recorded her conversation on the phone by leaving a cell phone close to her and asked me to interpret the file into English. It was very interesting and unique work since I felt that I was part of an investigation.

TerezaBragaMembers are interviewed by Tereza Braga, former PLD Administrator and current member of the PLD Leadership Council. Tereza has dual citizenship and a freelance business based in Dallas. She specializes in corporate communications and is ATA-certified in both directions.

January 18, 2017

Selecting a New Administration for the 2017-2019 Term

Photo by Photopin

Photo by Photopin

Dear PLD Members,

The new year always brings many personal and professional resolutions, and 2017 also brings elections to our division.

PLD elections occur every two years and, earlier this year, the PLD Leadership requested volunteers to form the PLD Nominating Committee, which will handle the 2017 election process.

The following PLD members have volunteered to be the Nominating Committee:

Here’s how the nomination process works:

  • In spring 2017, the Nominating Committee evaluates members of the PLD Leadership Council, and the wider Division if need be, as candidates for Administrator and Assistant Administrator.
  • In summer 2017, the Nominating Committee submits the slate report with candidates’ names to ATA Headquarters. In summer 2017, Headquarters publishes the slate of candidates, sending a broadcast
    email to the division membership.

For more information on how elections take place, we strongly recommend that you read this in-depth article.

December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!


We will be back January 2017

to keep you updated on our activities

at the Portuguese Language Division

and share news from

Portuguese-speaking colleagues all over the world.