Yes, it’s still March, but April will be here before we know it, right? And that means TED2018 is fast approaching! The Age of Amazement is this year’s theme, and we’ve invited some amazing TED Translators from around the world to represent us at the five-day event in Vancouver, BC. Read on below to learn more about these remarkable folks.
Tomoyuki Suzuki (Japan)
Geophysicist + engineer
Tomoyuki was born in Nagoya, Japan, but currently resides in Yokohama. He holds a master’s degree in mining engineering, and he’s worked as both a petroleum engineer and geophysicist for a Japanese oil- and gas-exploration company. Tomoyuki’s career has afforded him the opportunity to travel the world extensively and live for a combined 10 years in Malaysia, Australia and the U.K. His free time finds him reading books on the natural sciences, particularly cosmology, particle physics, mathematics and genetics. Tomoyuki says his passion for these sciences is why he especially enjoys translating and reviewing TED-Ed lessons (which abound with natural-sciences content), and why he launched a website to introduce these talks to Japanese viewers.
Yanyan Hong (China)
Originally from China, Yanyan now studies digital media at theUniversity of Queensland, Australia. In addition to translating TED Talks, she also translates films and is a Bollywood aficionado. In fact, one of Yanyan’s guiding mottos comes from the words of Bollywood icon (and TED speaker) Shah Rukh Khan: “To have faith is to have wings.” To this she adds: “Keep smiling!”
Alena Chernykh (Russia)
Teacher + attorney
Alena hails from Belgorod, Russia, a city located just north of Ukraine. She holds multiple degrees—in English, German and law—and works as both a legal adviser and an English tutor. Because she constantly seeks out new learning experiences, Alena is studying and adding Spanish and Italian to her language wheelhouse. The inspiration and empowerment she derives from TED Talks, as well as the desire to share with others the ideas that move her, are what have motivated Alena’s translation efforts since she discovered TED Talks. Which makes perfect sense given that her guiding maxim, in life and work, is: Education doesn’t change the world; education changes the people who will change the world. When not busy putting this motto into practice, Alena is usually reading, traveling, dancing or drawing.
Sarah Tambur (Brazil)
Translator + English teacher
With a degree in translation studies from São Paulo State University (UNESP), and as an accredited specialist in advanced English-language studies from the same school, Sarah has worked as both a professional translator and English teacher for over 10 years now. It was only natural, then, that after she discovered TED Translators in 2016, she joined the community in order to combine her deep affinities for translation and TED Talks. In Sarah’s own words: “(As a TED Translator,) I love how much I can improve professionally and learn about so many different things at the same time.” Outside of translating and teaching, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, hanging out with their dog, reading, cooking, watching TV series, and the company of her friends and family.
Natalia Ost (Russia)
Currently a lecturer at MGIMO University, Natalia, who’s based in Moscow, has previously worked as an editor and a freelance translator. Besides lecturing, she devotes her time to reading, learning new languages and researching memory and personal identity through a philosophical lense. Ask Natalia what she believes we should all seek most in life, and she’ll tell you: Understanding.
Adrienne Lin (Taiwan)
Adrienne holds a master’s degree in interpreting and translating, and an undergraduate degree in English. After having her fill of cubicle jobs, she made the leap to full-time freelance translating. Adrienne’s translation work includes big-screen films, TV shows on video-streaming platforms and Charles Dickens’s unabridged David Copperfield. In her own words, “Apart from being a happy workaholic,” she’s “passionate about traveling, learning new languages and practicing yoga—both on and off the mat.”
Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut (Thailand)
Patent specialist + scientist
Kelwalin was born in Bangkok to a multicultural family, and grew up in Thailand’s capital city. She spent seven years in Scotland, where she researched malaria vaccines and earned her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Edinburgh. Now back in Thailand, Kelwalin works as a patent specialist for an intellectual-properties law firm, and also teaches science to schoolchildren part-time. Her professional and volunteer efforts, she says, are motivated by her belief that science and cultural diversity ignite people’s curiosity, which is a catalyst for innovative ideas that change the world. When Kelwalin isn’t immersed in patents and education, she’s usually learning a new language or honing her calligraphy skills.
Jae Yoon Kang (South Korea)
A Seoul native, Jae Yoon holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering, and he’s currently a research fellow at the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT). After he discovered TED Talks and the huge number of translators dedicated to spreading innovative ideas around the world, Jae Yoon joined TED Translators so he, too, could help such knowledge reach new audiences regardless of language, cultural, geographical and other barriers. He’s a strong believer in TED’s power to steer our world in positive directions—and in the existence of other lifeforms (read: aliens) in the universe.
Maricene Crus (Brazil)
Film translator + English teacher
Maricene began cultivating a passion for languages at an early age, and since then, English especially has been a significant part of her life. In addition, she’s fluent in Italian and currently studying French. Maricene holds a journalism degree, but she’s devoted much of her last 18-plus years to translating for various Brazilian film festivals, including the International Film Festival of São Paulo and the Jewish Film Festival, among others. On top of all this, she’s worked as a private English teacher for two decades. Maricene joined TED Translators after a move took her away from her longtime volunteer efforts with São Paulo-based organization GRAACC, which provides support for a cancer-care hospital for children and teens. She says translating TED Talks gave her an ideal alternative to the volunteering she had to leave behind: Now she can both volunteer and continue to refine her translation chops. Singing, photography, watching movies, reading and enjoying nature are what occupy Maricene’s free time.
Misato Noto (Japan)
Born and raised in Japan, Misato holds a bachelor’s in English from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and she now lives and works as a freelance translator in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Immersing herself in the country’s rich and rhythmic Trinbagonian English and taking care of her lovely cat, Tama, are what Misato enjoys most outside of translating. She regards TED Talks as powerful tools that enable people the world over to encounter a seemingly infinite amount of diverse and inspiring perspectives.
Analia Padin (Argentina)
Business analyst + civil engineer
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Analia studied civil engineering at university. Alongside her love of mathematics, science and all things technical, she’s maintained a lifelong fascination with languages and a special interest in translation. Analia moved to London in 2004 to pursue a management consultancy career, which allowed her to visit many European countries. She currently works as a business analyst in digital transformation projects, where she uses her engineering mindset to find creative solutions to business problems; in particular, Analia enjoys analyzing data and bridging the gaps between tech teams and end users (“which,” she points out, “is also an act of translation!”). An avid learner with a wide range of interests, she feels at home with TED Translators—for which she translates from English, French, Italian and Portuguese into Spanish—and only wishes she’d joined the team years ago. In her spare time, Analia plays the piano, reads (and writes a little) poetry and takes in as much as she can of London’s art and culture.
César Incio (Peru)
César calls Chiclayo, Peru—a city located in the country’s northwest, quite close to the Pacific coast—his home, and it’s there he works as a freelance translator and interpreter for several international organizations, including the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which, in its own words, “Give(s) the gift of hearing to those in need, empowering them to achieve their potential.” In addition, César is an English- and Spanish-language monitoring and evaluation specialist for an online South Korean translation platform. On his work with TED Translators, he says: “TED Talks have many times shown me just how powerful ideas can become, especially as they spread; so I joined TED Translators in order to help expose the global Spanish-speaking community to these potent ideas.” Besides languages, César’s other interests include (as his portfolio of subtitled talks indicates) cognitive sciences, technology and art. His personal motto? Follow thy inner passion; she knows the right way.
Leila Ataei (Iran)
Economic + commercial policy officer, Embassy of Netherlands, Tehran
Leila comes to TED Translators from Tehran, Iran’s capital and most populous city—and what she calls the country’s “dynamic beating heart, the place where one can get a handle on modern Iran and its likely future”. Though Leila studied English translation at university, she spent a fair share of her career in business, and she now works as an economic and commercial policy officer for the Embassy of Netherlands in Tehran. She says that TED Talks have fascinated her from the first time she watched one, especially because they brilliantly spotlight and impart on a global scale so many indispensable stories in the realms of science and education. A fervent believer in empowerment through education, particularly for youth and women, Leila joined TED Translators to spread TED Talks’ world-changing ideas to Farsi-speaking communities everywhere. She also loves meeting new people, reading and exploring new locales.
Sritala Dhanasarnsombut (Thailand)
Describing herself as a “Bangkokian with a bit of an American accent when I speak English”, Sritala credits her work with TED Translators for leading her to a career in digital marketing. She also teaches Thai and English part-time. When she’s not busy with either of these endeavors, Sritala enjoys learning new languages, reading, and visiting museums.
Zeineb Trabelsi (Tunisia + Switzerland)
Zeineb was born in Bizerta, Tunisia, the African continent’s northernmost city. She grew up in a multicultural family that has members in both her country of birth and Switzerland. Both sides of her family, she says, inform her identity. Zeineb’s intense interest in languages and different cultures began at an early age, so it’s no surprise that she holds a master’s degree in translation from the University of Geneva. She’s worked for various international organizations, including the United Nations and Médecins Sans Frontières, and she’s volunteered in some capacity for most of her life. One of Zeineb’s primary aims as a translator is to help break boundaries between different cultures. She spends her time away from languages and words hanging out and traveling with her two children.
Editor’s note: The two TED Translators below were invited to TED2018, but—we’re sorry to have to report—they will not be able to attend because their travel visas were denied by the Canadian government.
Ahmad Altamimi (Jordan)
Ahmad was born and at present resides with his wife and daughter in Jordan. With a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature already under his belt, Ahmad teaches English and is pursuing his master’s in diplomatic studies and international relations—his biggest passions, he says—at the University of Jordan in Amman. He plans to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in the same field. It makes sense, then, that Ahmad’s personal motto is: If you don’t do politics, politics will do you. As for his work with TED Translators, Ahmad considers it an obligation of his bilingualism to translate the new and important ideas highlighted in TED Talks so that folks of any language, cultural, educational and/or geographical background can access them freely in this age of ever-increasing globalization.
Hani Eldalees (Qatar + Palestine)
Software engineer + translator
Hani was born in Doha, Qatar. He earned his bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Canada’s Thompson Rivers University, and he received his master’s in audiovisual translation from Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University, where he studied and worked in the school’s Translation and Interpreting Institute. With TED Translators, Hani’s goal has been to enrich online Arabic content, and he’s certainly been doing just that: In fact, Hani is one of TED’s most prolific Arabic translators.