On 30 September, students from the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology of VSU celebrated International Translation Day. This is an international day recognising translators and interpreters, which was founded in 1991 by the International Federation of Translators (FIT).
The tradition of celebrating International Translation Day at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology was established 19 years ago by Vyacheslav Kashkin, Head of the Department of Theory of Translation and Intercultural Communication. On this day, as was usual, first year students from the English, French, German, and Italian departments gathered together in the auditorium to join the student translation community. The official part of the event included welcome speeches by the representatives of the Union of Translators of Russia, the administration of the university and the faculty, and the heads of departments.
VSU Rector Dmitry Endovitsky praised the high level of training of translation specialists at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology. He also noticed that they are highly demanded on the labour market both in Russia and abroad. Olga Boriskina, Dean of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, told the first year students about the development prospects of the faculty and translation programmes. She said that now translation students have an opportunity to get both deep theoretical knowledge in the framework of education programmes and a unique experience of communicating with and learning from practising translators and interpreters thanks to the cooperation between the faculty and major translation companies. Translation students are actively engaged in various contests and events organised by these companies and get a chance to complete internships.
The first year students were also congratulated by Pavel Palazhenko, interpreter, press secretary of the Gorbachev Foundation, diplomat, political analyst, and the author of books and publications in Russian and international media. Pavel Palazhenko, who has been working as an interpreter for 50 years, wished the first year students to remember about the key mission of interpreters and translators, i.e. to contribute to mutual understanding between nations and states and to be proud of their profession.
Elena Alexeyeva, Head of the Department of French Philology, Director of the Regional French Centre, and Chairperson of the Voronezh regional office of the Union of Translators of Russia, told the students about the opportunity to get translation experience in the framework of cooperation with international companies. Some students from the English and French departments had already worked as translators and interpreters and they shared their experience in a motivational video. Larisa Kuzmina, Head of the Department of Translation and Professional Communication, gave the students an overview of various students’ translation and research contests, games, and olympiads.
Some good news was announced during the festival: a number of students from the English department had become winners of international translation contests and case battles (a new form of contest in which students need to demonstrate the skills of critical thinking and a creative approach to a given problematic situation). First year students also had to deal with a “problematic situation” when they had to take part in a quest dedicated to the history of the International Translation Day.
Within the informal part, first year students showed their creativity and presented sketches and sang songs. Dmitry Kurilov, a graduate of the English department, who now works at the Department of Foreign Literature at the Faculty of Philology, also sang a song based on a sonnet by Shakespeare. The song consisted of the original sonnet and the translation by Dmitry Kurilov.
The traditional climax of the festival was the matriculation of the first year students into translation students. They gave the oath of the translator and promised to be faithful and loyal to their profession. The celebration of International Translation Day is a wonderful opportunity for our first year students to join the community of translators and interpreters and feel themselves a part of a big family.