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Билет 1

Фрагмент интервью с устным переводчиком Алеком Тумаяном.

Корреспондент: Свободное владение несколькими языками обычно закладывается в семье. Именно так произошло и с Алеком Тумаяном. Его мать была бельгийкой, очень хорошо говорившей по-английски, а отец – армянином, семья которого покинула Россию после революции 1917 года.
     Он получил образование в сороковые годы в Париже, а позже работал там в качестве устного переводчика в «плане Маршалла», программе восстановления Европы из руин второй мировой войны. В этом интервью г-н Тумаян поделился со мной рассказами о тридцатилетнем опыте работы в Госдепартаменте США, куда он был принят в 1961 году.
     Я позвонил г-ну Тумаяну в Вашингтон, и  он начал разговор с описания некоторых ловушек, в которые может «попасться» неосторожный переводчик.

А.: What was probably the most important thing I did in my entire career at the State Department were the negotiations for the release of American hostages in Iran. In the early stages of working with the Algerians we discussed a number of financial schemes with them wherein the financial assets would be deposited at in an escrow account. When Algerians heard the word escrow they began to look at each other in a rather displeased mood, and I understood immediately what was happening because they were hearing not the English word escrow, but the French word escrue, which means a crook, or a swindler.
     This was the early stage of communicating with them, and they were a little bit apprehensive, I guess, not really being used to dealing with Americans. So, anything that seemed to be out of the norm would disturb them.

Корреспондент: Вы работали с президентом Джонсоном во время его переговоров с представителями Лаоса. Удавалось ли ему находить общий язык с азиатскими коллегами?

А.: President Johnson, to my view, was a very tragic figure. He was a man who felt tremendous burden that had been placed upon him, and that came through in many of his meetings. Prince Souvanna Fuma of Laos was a very dignified, very proper gentleman of the old school who spoke impeccable French. And meetings between them, and there were many meetings, were always cordial and businesslike.
     One problem I always ran into with President Johnson was that he liked to quote from the Bible. I did not always have the French Bible with me when I went to these meetings, and I was hard-put a couple of times because the translation of the Biblical quotation does not come across in French.
     One day President Johnson was bidding farewell to an African president and by way of parting greeting he said “WE SHALL TOIL IN THE VINEYARDS OF THE LORD”. And I remembered the French expression was Le vigne du Seigneur. Unfortunately, to be “in the vineyards of the Lord” means “to be drunk”. So, when I conveyed to the African President President Johnson’s greeting he looked at me quizzically and said: “You don’t mean that literally, do you?” And this was embarrassing.

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