Q&A Open Translation Project

Catching up with translator and TEDx organizer Ivana Korom


TEDxSummit, 16 April – 20 April, 2012. Doha, Qatar. Photo: Kris Krüg

At TEDxSummit we caught up with Ivana Korom to talk about translating and planning a TEDx event in Serbia. Ivana is a freelance trainer and educator from Novi Sad.

When and why did you start translating for TED?

I’ve been translating for two years. I couldn’t find a job after university and was doing some NGO workshops when a friend told me about TED.com and said I should watch the talks. After two or three talks I saw the option to translate. I was especially interested in talks about psychology and by psychologists because the material was so new. I studied psychology in university, and our textbooks were from the ‘70s and ‘80s. I thought some Serbian psychology students might stumble onto these talks and I could help them access the information by translating.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

TEDx! We held the first TEDxNoviSad in December, the fourth TEDx event in Serbia. Since then we’ve held two salon events and a TEDxChange event. We’re planning a salon event every month to keep the community interested and engaged, and to spread the word.

Is there anything distinctly difficult about organizing events like TEDx in Serbia in this time of transition?

As always finding sponsors is as demanding as a full-time job. Even lots of relevant organizations don’t know about TED. At the same time we also have to be sensitive about things coming from the West. Because of the NATO bombings 13 years ago, some people don’t want to have anything to do with Europe or America. “Russia is our best friend!” We make an effort to put on an event which feels local, one which is about the community and which people can relate to. It’s not a question of nationalism. We’re not coming with rebel forces. It’s a platform, who cares who made it? It’s a good place for connection.