Life in translation

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  • Published 20080603
  • ISBN: 9780733322815
  • Extent: 272 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

I DON’T USUALLY like cheery people – those full of gratitude for life’s little miracles and small blessings. I have crossed streets to avoid getting fried in the eternal sunshine of their minds. Not Anya though. Her optimism does not grate. Anya is the kind of person who loves things – life, kids of all ages and, remarkably for a girl from big, bad, bountiful Moscow, Australia. Not just the shiny and yummy parts of Australia, but the whole thing, including the small towns and regional centres. And it is from Bendigo that she comes to see me carrying a folder stuffed with documents.

There is not much work in Australia for a certified Russian-English translator. The supply has long since outstripped demand. I pick up a birth certificate here, a degree certificate there. Peanuts. Maybe an appeal, doomed to fail, to the Refugee Review Tribunal or some occasional adoption papers. Russians, even once the highly sought-after Romanian orphans, are definitely out of fashion these days.

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