On 26 February SCIT held the first virtual conference with the DG SCIC interpreters in this year. This conference is a part of the ongoing pedagogical assistance rendered to the School by the European Commission. Such events are an integral part of the training process at SCIT as they familiarize the students with the professional quality standards in the internaional organizaions. The training speecches areprepared by the European partners – practising interpreters, and they also give assessment to the students’ performance. Receiving feedback is of paramount importance for the students as they get valuable advice from the professional IO interpreters and accordingly adjust their learning strategies and improve the technique. The speech topics varied from road safety to stock markets. The School is grateful to the European colleagues – Michael Sommers and Alexander Drechsel – for taking part in the conference and the help they give in bringing up the new generation of interpreters. Angelique Antonova moderated the conference on the SCIT side.
(Русский) Санкт-Петербургская высшая школа перевода приглашает всех заинтересованных лиц на День открытых дверей. 17 февраля 2021 г.
On 3 and 4 December 2020 DG SCIC held a special on-line event SCIC meets Universities online. This year’s theme for discussions was interpreting in the times of a pandemic. Thought-provoking presentations and interesting discussions focused on such topical issues as interpreting practices, interpreteer training and interpreter selection in the times of a pandemic. Carlos Alegria, Director General DG SCIC (acting) opened the event with a welcomiing address, and Javier Hernández Saseta, DG SCIC, Head of Unit Multilingualism and Knowledge
development, stressed the importance of the topic for the professional community in his word of welcome. SCIT was represented by Deputy Director Angelique Antonova.
The first week of October traditionally marks a new stage in the SCIT training process – introduction of note-taking. We usually try to bring into this as many professional interpreters as possible so they could share the tricks of the trade. We believe that the more different approaches a student gets to know, the quicker he or she will be able to develop the personal system of one’s own with maximum efficiency.
This year a series of such master-classes was conducted by Ian Newton, trainer from FTI UNIGE and retired senior interpreter at ILO. The event became possible due to the Cooperation Agreement between St. Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translaiton, Herzen University, and the Faculty of Translaion and Interpreting, Geneva University. There were two days of intensive classes covering theoretical preliminaries and practical training. Ian Newton prepared several speeches on current issues, and the students got down to work. Ian’s excellent English, his usual friendliness and good sense of humour came as the additional bonus to the classes. We are very thankful for this cooperation!
International Translation Day celebrated on 30 September was marked at SCIT by a series of interesting events. On the day SCIT held the first in this academic year virtual conference with EC SCIC. The conference was devoted to self-training and lasted 3 hours. The expert from the EC SCIC side was Carlos Garcia, who has vast experience in interpreting and acted as a trainer in a similar conference last year, too. He explained how to plan the self-training session, work with a study buddy, how to set targets for the self-training and check on the progress. The students found the lesson very useful and were genuinely grateful to Carlos for the tips.
On 1 October SCIT graduates 2020 were awarded their diplomas. Antiepidemic measures had their impact on the usual diploma award procedure, and this year the awarding ceremony and the traditional boat trip took place later than usual. However, the diploma award ceremony was attended by Andrey Maksimov, Head of the Committee for Science and Higher Education, Government of St. Petersburg, and Yulia Komarova, Vice -Rector for International Cooperation, Herzen University, who both warmly welcomed the graduates. Together with diplomas the graduates received SCIT certificates and books as gifts.
Another meeting of the open seminar Terra Translatologica also took place on 1 October. This time the participants discussed the work of translation agencies in the times of crisis. The main speakers were Yulia Shestovskikh, a staff translator at the Vosstania, 6 Translation Agency and a SCIT trainer, and Fiodor Kondratovich, director of the LingvaKontakt Translation Bureau. Elena Tarasova also joined the discussion.
The present-year SCIT students, however, were busy participating in their first mock conference. This is an important milestone for them as they and the trainers draw conclusions on their first month at SCIT – what they learned, how well they can prepare and deliver speeches, how effectively they work with their partners. Of course, they were excited. But everything worked well for them, each one of them got his or her share of praise and critique. From now on mock conferences will be a weekly event. Let us wish them success!
On 11 September Angelique Antonova, SCIT Deputy Director, took part in the work of EMCI General Assambley which convened virtually. Representatives of member-universities discussed many and various issues: the ways chosen by each university to adapt the educational process to the distant format, the range of resources employed on the way, the steps to be taken to meet the challenges the future may hold in store. The colleagues were unanimous that the pandemic changed the profile of the T&I profession, and practicing translators and interpreters had to test the new software in the emergency mode, and many solutions are only to be discovered and tried. Such tectonic shifts couldn’t but affect the training process at T&I schools. In the past academic year SCIT made active use of the KUDO and GoReact software, and thanks to that the training process in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting did not stop for a day. In the current year SCIT managed to select enough students to run the program as well as to engage in the training those who objectively cannot attend the classes in person as yet. SCIT is optimistic about the future and hopes to uphold its reputation regardless of the challenges of the day.
On 1 September SCIT started a new academic year. The School opened its doors to those who successfully passed through the sieve of distant entrance examinations, and for the first time they walked the SCIT corridors, appreciated the new equipment, met the teachers and graduates. The opening ceremony was without pomp, there were no important guests or long speeches, but it was not less warm for that! The traditional tea party gave the newcomers the chance to get to know each other better, ask their trainers or graduates some questions. For the first time the new students have felt they are becoming a part of a big professional community, and only hard work can earn them a worthy place there. Ahead of them is a fascinating though difficult year, let us wish them inspiration and perseverance!
SCIT traditionally finishes the academic year with an extracurriculum mock-conference organized especially for the Linguistic Support Department of the Russian MFA. This year the conference was held on-line. We decided to show the graduates at work with the languages that are most in demand in the MFA (they are English, German, French and Spanish). The confrence was devoted to migration in today’s world. The speeches touched upon various aspects of the problem: the laws prohibiting to help illegal migrants in Switzerland, the influence of migratory processes on Russia’s economy, migration to the European Union, and even the Swiss enclave in Brazil. The speeches lasted 6 to 8 minutes, and were interpreted consecutively in different language pairs; then there was a Q&A session, also interpreted consecutively. As a rule, questions and answers are the most difficult part of the conference. The MFA colleagues tried to find a weak spot, and brought in the names of mushrooms and spices, difficult idioms, long quotations from the UN Secretary General, and even poetry. The graduates wouldn’t yeild, and showed good skills and potential for growth.
We are thankful to the colleagues from the Rssiam MFA who took part in the conference, asked questions and evaluated the graduates: Andrey Kleimenov, head of the section at the Linguistic Support Department, Victor Abramov, and Daria Mandrova, SCIT graduate and currently a staff interpreter at the Russian MFA. We are certainly very grateful to all SCIT trainers who put time and effort in preparing and holding the conference.
19 June was a remarkable day for SCIT. We have completed the 2019/2020 final examinations! Translation and interpretation, students’ stress and strain about the exams and examiners’ exhaustion by the hours-long Zoom conferences, perseverence of the observers from international organizations – Mr. Kirill Kasyanov, Chief of the Russian booth at UNON and Mr. Liam Long and Mr. Michael Sommers, interpreters of the Directorate General for Interpreting, European Commission, – all these are over and done with! We have left the anxieties of the past days behind, and now are congratulating nine newly-minted interpreters who are entering the field of professional linguistic services. Our grads have overcome. Well-done! Let us wish them luck!