We were lucky enough to assist Nondus Katsalidis, the renowned architect who designed the Eureka Tower, in his business trips to Shanghai between 2013 and 2014 for a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturing partner.
We translated the initial pre-trip draft agreement in the form of a bilingual document clause by clause. During the next two trips, we assisted with meetings, dinners, river cruises, visits to various sites in Shanghai. We interpreted simultaneously to increase the efficiency of these meetings. At times when technical architectural or manufacturing discussions streamed in, we quickly switched to consecutive interpreting to make sure we had sufficient time to process information or ask questions before we render them into the other language. Each version of the bilingual joint venture agreement was updated as soon as the English or Chinese was amended, with tracked change turned on. In fact, Nondas’s business partner at the time Mark was so happy with our work, that he upgraded our interpreter’s return flight to business class. We have since assisted with a few more return visits by the Chinese business partner.
We were so proud to be able to assist and witness this growth in trust and friendship between the two sides at the personal and business level. Along the way, we have learnt a lot about the contemporary trends in furniture design, arts, culture and cuisine in Shanghai, as well as some of the best personal attributes that have enable people like Nondus and his Chinese business partner to become successful leaders in their field. When we meet up with their cultural consultant Vivien who was part of the team that went to Shanghai, we often joke about our willingness to do it again for free just for the experience!