29 October – 1 November 2018: About Russia, In English Seminar

8 November 2018|

In three sessions, between Monday, 29th October, and Thursday, 1st November 2018, four of the winners of the Young Nabokovs Award – Aliya Abdrafikova, Alex Chesnokova, Irina Kudryavtseva, Nikita Stychinsky, – underwent a transformative 3-part seminar on how to write and talk about Russia, in English.

The aim of the seminar was to coach talented young Russians into writing materials in English, which could be of interest to people around the world who want to find out more about the real Russia.

The final result of the seminar was to produce a 90 second video, in English, with English subtitles, for publication on YouTube.

Hosted by Angelique Antonova, Deputy Director of the St Petersburg School of Translation and Interpreting, and taught by Professor Viktor Kabakchi, and Will Hackett-Jones, a trainer at the St Petersburg School of Translation and Interpreting and CEO of Eclectic Translations, the seminar was a veritable master class in using Russian-culture oriented English.

The students learned about the process of taking an idea for a video to the synopsis stage, then on to script and storyboard stages; about the importance of message over medium; about speaking to camera, sound quality, lighting, video editing, voiceover, and finally subtitling. This was an immense amount of information to grasp over three short sessions, but they proved they were worthy of winning their Molodye Nabokovy (Aspiring Nabokovs) awards, but picking up the materials taught quickly, learning new skills, and doubtless working hard on their videos late into the night.

The results were beyond any of the instructors’ expectations, and we all hope that these videos are just the beginning of a positive flow of truthful information about Russia from a young generation of talented new writers, telling the rest of the world what it’s really like to live and learn in modern Russia.

Aliya Abdrafikova

Irina Kudryavtseva

Nikita Stychinsky


SCIT admitted to CIUTI

23 October 2018|

This week SCIT received a membership certificate from CIUTI – Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes. The annual CIUTI meeting took place in May 2018 in Edinburgh, and SCIT’s admission was approved of by the CIUTI General Assembly. The membership in CIUTI is the sign of quality in T&I training and a guarantee that SCIT’s T&I graduates are able to competently deliver professional service. Yet it is not only the sign of quality, but a promise to maintain the high level of T&I training and an opportunity for ample networking with partner universities.


3-5 October: master-classes of Brian Gentle, DG SCIC interpreter

5 October 2018|

On 3-5 October SCIT hosted Brian Gentle, DG SCIC interpreter, with a series of master-classes on note-taking.  The classes were aimed to introduce the principles of note-taking as well as provide initial training in taking notes. A short lecture was followed by intensive practice: preparing and giving speeches, consecutive interpreting, analysis of the notes taken, and so on for three days! The students with German had a bonus: an additional class  in conscutive interpreting from German into Russian. As always, Brian won the audience with his professionalism and friendliness. The students are sure to have received a positive impetus to continue mastering the chosen profession. Thank you, Brian!

Mock Conferences Commenced

5 October 2018|

The week from 1 to 5 October was busy: the students had their first mock conference, the first virtual conference with the European Commission, there was a series of master-classes on note-taking from Brian Gentle, DG SCIC interpreter, and finally there was a celebration of the International Interpreter’s Day!

The mock-conference was the first serious test of the students’ achievements in the first month of studies: they prepared short speeches on a broad range of issues themselves and interpreted those of their fellows. Understandably, there were difficulties: the speeches were over difficult, the memory did not always work, or sometimes anxiety interfered with logic and coherence. Yet constructive feedback from the trainers will certainly help students to concentrate on their individual weaknesses and improve performance.

It was specifically this topic – setting individual training goals and tailoring the study process to address individual needs – that was the highlight of the first virtual conference with the European Commission conducted by Carlos Garcia Vico, DG SCIC interpretor. The conference tackled the organization of selt-training. The students discussed the concept of self-training in general, the kinds of activities the term comprises and the necessity to set individual training goals and monitor results while training independently or with a study buddy.  Again they practiced interpreting their partner’s speeches in consecutive, trying to formulate a specific study aim for each activity and give feedback on achieving it. Without doubt the virtual conference was useful, and the students will be more mindful about organizing their self-training. We are thankful to the European Commission for this important contribution to the SCIT study process.

Congratulations to Evgenia Yakovchik, winner of Cosines Pi in the nomination “Potential”

27 September 2018|

On 27 September 2018 Moscow State University became a venue for the final of the International Contest of Simultaneous Interpreters Cosines Pi.  Among the runners up were Evgenia Yakovchik, SCIT graduate of 2018, Ekaterina Bereznikova and Maria Afanasieva, both from St. Petersburg. The final competition included simultaneous interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s interview from English into Russian and a fragment of a talk show from Russian into English.  The Jury panel headed by D. Yermolovich included around 20 people, among them professional interpreters, interpretation trainers and representatives of large translation companies. SCIT trainer Ekaterina Shutova was also on the panel. The performance assessment was rather rigorous, but just. We are happy to announce that the jury gave the victory to the SCIT graduate. Well-done, Zhenia!

SCIT takes part in EMCI General Assembly in Ljubljana, Slovenia

14 September 2018|

In September 2017 SCIT joined EMCI, an elite consortium of fifteen European master’s programmes in conference interpreting with acknowledged quality of training. On 5 and 6 September 2018 University of Ljubljana hosted the annual EMCI General Assambley meeting. As usual, special attention was paid to the quality of interpreter training and developing resourses for teachers  and students of interpretation to assist in their independent work. Jana Zidar Forte, a graduate of Ljubljana EMCI programme and a young interpreting trainer and researcher, presented her PhD thesis (already defended) on Traits of prepared oral discourse and their implication for simultaneous interpreting. Another point of interest  was the preparation of the Slovenian interpretation service for the Slovene presidency in the Counsil of the European Union next year. A presentation was made by Mrs Marjana Rupnik, Head of the Slovene Unit at the European Commission. SCIT was represented by Angelique Antonova, SCIT Deputy Director.   The following General Assembly meetings will take place in spring 2019 in Brussels and in September 2019 in Madrid. SCIT will have the honour to host the EMCI General Asembly meeting in September 2020.

New Jobs for SCIT Graduates

5 September 2018|

We are happy to say that SCIT graduates are continuing to be receive offers from the international organizations. In August 2018 Polina Volkova started her one-year contract with the WIPO in Geneva, which is an excellent career start for this alumna 2017! Congratulations!

Also this summer, following several years of contract work for the UN and having successfully passed the UN competitive exams, Vadim Yermolenko (2014) and Kristina Lugovina (2013) received offers of appointment with the UN. Vadim joined the staff in the UN Office in Nairobi while Kristina took the vacancy at the RIS UNHQ in New York. We are very happy for them!

New academic year at SCIT

1 September 2018|

On 3 September, ten new SCIT students started their year of studies in St. Petersburg. The official opening ceremony was attended by Vladimir Laptev, First Vice-Rector of Herzen University, SCIT administration, trainers and graduates. All present warmly welcomed the newcomers and wished them every success in mastering their chosen profession. Olga Silakova (alumna 2015) told them about her contract with WIPO, and Charlotte Wren  (alumna 2017) spoke about the opportunity of pursuing a double degree program with FTI UNIGE. The official part was followed by the traditional tea and cakes and informal socializing.

UN Internships Are Over!

1 September 2018|

On 31 August, SCIT’s graduates of 2018 finished their internships in the UN language services. Our graduates worked in the UN offices and services on three continents: in Europe, America and Africa! Supervised by senior staff members, most of whom they knew from their master-classes at SCIT, the students plunged into the working atmosphere at the UN, working on current UN documentation. We hope the internship experience lived up to their expectations and will be a powerful stimulus for their professional careers. (Full steam ahead now, dear graduates!/) Bon voyage!

Irina Alexeeva’s Interview to the Russki Mir Fund

26 June 2018|

Irina Alexeeva, SCIT Director, gave an interview about the role of interpreters in popularizing the Russian language and culture to the Russki Mir fund.