Category Guest Posts

Mihai is a Romanian multilingual professional interpreter and translator living in Chicago.

He has project management client experience, federal, state, immigration and county court interpretation with the Federal Court of Interpreters downtown Chicago, Cook, Lake, DuPage or McHenry Courthouses, combined with healthcare medical interpretation translation work with Norshshore Medical Group, Rush University, Lutheran General Hospital, Alexian Brothers.

Mihai is also a Certified Cleared Linguist, federal court interpreter, skilled translator (English, European French, Italian, Romanian, Canadian French, Moldovan, Haitian Creole, African French, Polynesian, Tahiti and Mauritius French, Gypsi Romani and Hungarian).

You can find more information about Mihai’s prolific activity on his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mihai-bledea-interpretations/

Ever since I have immigrated and left Cluj-Napoca, my Alma Mater, in 2000, my thirst and professional interest for the community of translators and interpreters is still very active.

First, I met here in the US, at several ATA Conferences, Iosif Iuhasz, then last year, Robert Daraban joined the ATA Conference in Palm Springs, California, together with Iosif. Every time someone from Cluj is next to me, my whole body vibrates in a unique way, as it reminds not only of my place of birth, but also about my colleagues, professors, mentors and friends that are still in Cluj-Napoca, or have left us recently. So was the case of the late Professor Dr. Corneliu Horia Nicolescu, who took me from behind a desk at the reception of Napoca Hotel in Cluj, coached, meditated and mentored me with Sorin Barbul in French and the late DD Drasoveanu for Romanian Grammar, which is how I became part of the Applied Modern Languages Department back in 1992. After graduation, I also took a masters of Arts in British Cultural Studies with Professor Mihai Zdrenghea and current Faculty of Letters Vice-Dean Dorin Chira plus Professor Radu Adrian, and the circle of my education was complete in 1998.

Therefore, when Laura Sabău, another Faculty of Letters Alumnus posted this morning on LinkedIn about a social gathering on Zoom, I haven’t hesitated a bit. This is how I became more familiar with several Translate Cluj members, Elvira Daraban, Renata Georgescu, Gabriela Morosan, Thomas Tolnai, Maria Diaconu, Mirela Oprina, Ioana from Bacau, and to my surprise, Mariam Birma, all the way from Nigeria.

We met and chatted mainly about how we each handled professionally and personally pandemic or racial circumstances, and after Mariam left, ended in a 40 minutes Romanian chat, which brought us closer and made us understand each other both on a personal and professional level.

At the end of the day, we somehow agreed to disagree that the times we lived during 2020 were extremely unusual, once in a lifetime events, and Translate Cluj 2020 March 5-7 was perhaps one of the last events that took place before COVID 19 disrupted our lives altogether.


I was glad and not surprised to listen to the resilience in my colleagues’ voices, how each was trying to adapt and stay active, so that when times go back to the new normal, they were all ready to move forward, with even more enthusiasm, passion and perseverance.

Until then, I do sincerely look forward to xl8cluj next virtual event, a forum group of folks genuinely passionate about translation, localization, interpretation or simply assisting anywhere locally that the clients would require their professional services.

There was also frustration, peer competition, challenges and more, and each and every one of my colleagues seemed ready to tackle, moving forward with renewed confidence.

Until next time, this was a glimpse from my native city type of experience that only brings me joy, hope, excitement and a local flavor that nobody would understand, unless if you lived, studied and worked in Cluj-Napoca, capital of Transylvania, the most beautiful city in this world, a developed and very modern citadel!


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