On 24 February – 2 March SCIT trainer Oxana Yakimenko gave master-classes for the students of the T&I Department, the Catholic Univesity of Louvain (UCL), Belgium. She also gave a lecture about Russian cinema as part of the Erasmus + academic mobility scheme. Herzen University and UCL have been partners in the European Erasmus + Program for several years now, and the exchange of faculty and students has become regular practice. SCIT students with French in their language combination find it especially beneficial.
On 21 February SCIT opened its door to potential applicants. Director Irina Alexeeva welcomed the guests and explained the selection procedure at SCIT aptitude tests. She underlined that the selection process is rigorous, and successful applicants should prepare themselves for a year of hard work. “When we launched SCIT in 2008, said Irina Alexeeva, we were primarily concerned about raising the status of a translator or an interpreter in our country. Our second goal was to turn out top-notch specialists for international organizations able to maintain the high quality of work across the world”.
Deputy Director Angelique Antonova descibed the job prospects after graduation. She backed up her speech with illustrative statistics: out of 129 SCIT graduates 21 are UN staff interpreters and translators, 18 have worked for the MFA of Russia, around 30 are employed by the UN or its agencies on temporary contracts. A lot of graduates work successfully in business or free lance.
One of SCIT’s present day students shared his impressions: «Just a year ago I was sitting in your place and thought that getting into SCIT was impossible. But everything is in your hands. Just like us, you can succeed in the exams, if you are intent on learning and mastering the profession. I certainly advise you to try it. I won’t be easy, but you can do it, like we did. ».
SCIT trainers Tatiana Maruschenko, Yuri Shashkov and Sergey Afonin took the questions from the auadience.
On 7 and 8 February 2019 ELTE University in Budapest hosted a Training for Trainers seminar on the use of new technologies in interpreter training. The seminar brought together participants from over 10 countries and created a venue for discussing a wide range of issues, such as the use of the Moodle platform in the training process, ways of encouraging trainers to make a more active use of the tool, the use of various gadgets and on-line platforms in preparation for the job and while on it (e.g. how to use a tablet while interpreting consecutively), the challenges of remote interpreting – what is understood by the term and whether it is necessary to allocate time for it in the training process.
The participating universities generously shared their experiences, and SCIT trainers Sergey Leonov and Vladimir Kornev were unanimous in their estimation of the event as a valuable opportunity to discuss professional issues of interpreter training and interpreting market with the people coming from many different countries.
The seminar was organized within the EMCI project for updating interpreter trainers’ qualification for member universities.
On 11 February a reception to celebrate the Diplomat’s Day took place in the Marble Palace, St. Petersburg. The representatives of diplomatic services, general consulates and the Government of St. Petersburg were invited to the reception. The MFA Office in St. Petersburg is a long-standing partner of Herzen University. Vladimir Zapevalov, MFA Representative in St. Petersburg, and the MFA Office in St. Petersburg took an active part in launching and developing the St. Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translation. 20 SCIT graduates have been employed with the MFA of Russia over the past years.
The MFA Office in St. Petersburg recognized the achievements of Herzen University and its Rector Gennady Bordovsky (1986 – 2011) in promoting international cooperation. In 2009 Rector Bordovsky was awarded the Alexander Gorchakov Silver Medal “For the efforts in strengthening Russian sovereignty and unfailing service to the country” in recognition of his efforts in launching the St. Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translation. In 2018 Director Irina Alexeeva and Deputy Director Angelique Antonova were awarded the Contribution Medal from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to mark the 10th SCIT anniversary.
The ceremony in the Marble Palace was attended by Gennady Bordovsky, President of Herzen University, Yulia Komarova, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Director Irina Alexeeva and Deputy Director Angelique Antonova.
In late January the city of St. Petersburg remembers the horrible days of the siege and commemorates the 75 anniversary of its end. On 29 January SCIT hosted Yulia Kantor, a well-known historian of World War II, who gave a lecture on the evacuation from Leningrad. She and her colleague Irina Karpenko, Scientific Secretary of the Museum of Histroy of St. Petersburg presented a new book – Brotherhood. Devoted to the regions who accomodated the evacuees from Leningrad. With over 30 contributors from all regions of Russia and the former USSR, the voluminous chronicle of evacuation and comeback reveals the previousluy unpublished details of people’s destinies.
Early in 2019 SCIT graduate and trainer Elena Zheltova attended the traditional Training for Trainers seminar organized by DG SCIC of the European Commission in Brussels. The training was conducted by acting interpreters from the Spanish booth Carlos García Vico и Marta Igártua. Among the participants were interpreter trainers from various universities in Spain including La Laguna University, SCIT’s partner in EMCI, also trainers from Argentina, Cuba, Great Britain, Denmark and other countries. The seminar is a perfect opportunity for interpreter trainers to systematize their training skills and exchange good practices. Young trainers from SCIT grab the chance to upgrade their qualifications and are grateful to the European Commission for help.
It is for the second time that the Interpretation Forum Global Dialogue has taken place in Moscow. This year it was hosted by MGLU (Moscow State Linguistic University), with SCIT acting as a partner in shaping the event’s program. The forum opened with a series of events targeting the young audience – SCIT trainer Oxana Yakimenko gave a master-class in legal interpreting, director Irina Alexeeva – a master-class in speech making. The auditoriums were full of students and teachers. The main program featured a lot of important events, including the plenary talk on the future of the profession and the discussion of interpretation as a means of social inclusion. There was also a talk about the language of gestures, and an exchange of good practices where Angelique Antonova made a presentation about SCIT experience. Our graduates Grigory Khaustov, Sofia Chantseva, Elizaveta Myshenkova, Elena Zheltova and Anna Mikhailyuk shared their success stories in the plenary session. Irina Alexeeva presented the Portal of Educational Interpreting and Translation Resources in Russia, compiled by the research group from RAO (Russian Academy of Education) headed by herself. The Forum branched off with Eastern Dialogue, a new session devoted to Russia’s ethnic languages which drew special attention. It is hard to remember and mention all other events which took place in this excellent venue bringing together all those who are part of this profession!
Our sincere congratulations to the Forum organizers – Elena Stupnikova and her team.
Crushing logic, swift responses, vivid examples, sudden revelations and overpowering energy of the accomplished professional – all these are in the master-class of the legendary interpreter Andrey Falaleyev at SCIT. The traditional meeting with SCIT students took place on 22 January. So with the goals set and priorities determined, SCIT students are ready for more work!
SCIT maintains an active dialogue with its international stakeholders, FAO being one of
its key partners. We are happy to recommend an article by Jonathan Clements, Officer-
in-Charge of the Interpretation Group at FAO, about the requirements for providing an
interpretation service at field meetings (See Our Publications). The article offers an
Interpretation Equipment Check-list, which many organizers of field events involving
interpretation as well as interpreters themselves may find useful. The author invites all
those interested to make use of the Check-list and adapt it as they wish.
The UN Information Centre’s annual seminar was marked by two landmark occasions – 70th anniversary of the UN in Russia and declaring multilingualism a UN key principle. The members of the UN-MoU Universities network with the Russian language – MGIMO, Moscow State University, Minsk State Linguistic University, Nizhni Novgorod Linguistic University and Astrakhan State University – presented their reports on the activities they carried out to promote the UN values and strengthen the position of the Russian language and culture worldwide. Vladimir Kuznetsov, Director of the UN Information Centre in Moscow, Alexei Fedorov, Deputy Director of the Linguistic Support Department of the Russian MFA, Vladimir Parshikov, Head of the Russian Translation section at UNOG, Alexandr Vorobiov, Deputy Director of the Conference Management Section at UNOV, spoke about developing cooperation with the universities and appreciated the SCIT trainers’ and students’ work during UN internships. Kirill Barskiy, Permanent Representative of Russia at ESCAP, spoke about the ESCAP project for T&I trainers to develop their professional skills, where SCIT trainers are also included. Vladimir Faekov, a patriarch of interpreter training in Russia, introduced the idea to develop a legal basis regarding the interpreter’s right to confidentiality. SCIT was represented by Director Irina Alexeeva and Deputy Director Angelique Antonova. Their report focused on the international conference on multilingualism organized by SCIT in June 2018, SCIT joining the international consortia EMCI and CIUTI, and the portal of T&I training resources with Russia’s ethnic languages developed jointly by the Russian Academy of Education and SCIT, which manifests the UN humanitarian ideology.