This winter an important scientific event, an international research and practice conference “Linguistic Picture of the World Reflected in Multilingualism and Multiculturalism: Translation, Linguistic, and Didactic Aspects”. This major linguistic forum attracted 450 participants from 42 regions of the Russian Federation and 13 foreign countries (France, Spain, Belarus, USA, Italy, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Lithuania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Netherlands).
There are several reasons for such great interest in the conference. First of all, the suggested range of problems was wide and the topic deep, interesting, and relevant as the participants studied the development paths and the role of linguistics, translation studies, cultural linguistics, and linguodidactics in the new social environment. Many modern world problems are the result of new realities, and they need to be deeply analysed and reconsidered by scientists. Among them are the problems of intercultural communication that are emerging in the environment of multilingualism and multiculturalism. Second, the interest in the conference can be explained by the strong scientific reputation, academic achievements, and experience of the lecturers of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology in the field of linguistic studies who are well-known in the professional community as the Voronezh linguistic school. Third, the great interest to the conference is due to the high level of its participants, representatives of the leading Russian and foreign universities. The conference was supported by the French Embassy in the Russian Federation, the Union of Translators of Russia, and the regional department of the Association of European Studies.
Each day of the conference, held in the White Hall of VSU, was moderated by Elena Alexeyeva, Head of the Department of French Philology and chairman of the organising committee of the conference, and Olga Boriskina, Dean of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology.
VSU Rector Dmitry Endovitsky, the Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy and Head of the French Institute in Russia Fabrice Rousseau, the President of the Union of Translators of Russia Olga Ivanova, and the Chairman of the regional department of the Association of European Studies Alla Akulshina welcomed the audience.
The conference was held in the modern format of a modular platform that allowed conducting various activities, including plenary presentations of the leading researchers, 11 panel meetings dedicated to different theoretical and applied aspects of the conference’s topic, public lectures, round table discussions, training sessions, workshops, youth conference, presentation of monographs by the faculty’s researchers related to the topic, further training academic programme for the academic staff, and publication of the proceedings of the conference. This form provided an opportunity to learn about the achievements of the leading Russian and foreign specialists, exchange opinions, and identify the growth points and development paths for linguistics as the reflection of the world picture.
Plenary presentations were given by Professor Nikolai Garbovsky, member of the Russian Academy of Education, Director of the Higher School of Translation of Moscow State University, Olga Ivanova, PhD in cultural studies (Russian New University), Tatiana Bodrova, leading European simultaneous interpreter (ESIT School for Interpreters and Translators, Paris, France), Professor Tatiana Zagriazkina (Moscow, Moscow State University), Professor Elena Alexeyeva and Professor Olga Boriskina (Voronezh, VSU), Professor Iosif Sternin (Voronezh, VSU), Associate Professor Igor Matyushin (Moscow, Moscow State Linguistic University), Professor Michelle Debrenn (Siberian Federal University), Pavel Palazhenko (Moscow, the Gorbachev Foundation), and Professor Vera Pishalnikova (Moscow State Linguistic University).
Representatives and directors of translation companies, partners of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology (Konstantin Ioseliani, president and executive director of Janus Worldwide, and Izrail Shalyt, director of OOO Intent), discussed the close interaction between theory and practicewhen translating. Well-known oral and written translation specialists, experts in modern information technologies of teaching synchronous interpreting and sight interpreting, heads of international cooperation projects, and authors of textbook conducted their workshops.
A training session by Tatiana Bodrova, a famous European simultaneous interpreter (French and English), professor and ex-director of the ESIT School for Interpreters and Translators in Paris, attracted most attention in the eventful programme of the conference. VSU’s has been successfully cooperating with the ESIT School for Interpreters and Translators in Paris, the most prestigious translation school in Europe, since 1996. During this time, a lot of interesting projects have been implemented, including joint publications, the study and adaptation of the ESIT’s unique method of teaching translation, internships for lecturers and students, translation of monographs written by researchers of the French translation school by professors from the Department of French Philology Elena Alexeyeva and Natalia Fenenko. VSU’s cooperation with ESIT is supported by the French Embassy. Tatiana Bodrova participated in the conference for four days: she gave a plenary presentation, managed the research session, conducted a two-day seminar dedicated to the teaching methodology and assessment criteria for oral translation from French and English into Russian, and also managed the round table discussion. In 2018, she took part in the conference “The Picture of the World Reflected in Translation” held at VSU in the same form, and her seminar was also very popular and highly appreciated by the participants.
At the end of the conference, the participants summed up the results and noted the integrative nature of the conference which concerned linguistic, translation, and didactic aspects of the world picture in the environment of multilingualism and multiculturalism. Such a multi-aspect study of a highly complicated phenomenon of the linguistic picture of the world is productive and promising for future forums.
The participants highly praised the level of the conference and expressed gratitude for Voronezh State University and the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology.
“I believe I can express the opinion of all the participants of the conference if I say that it was held efficiently and professionally. Not everyone is capable of holding events to such a high standard. I would like to thank all the organisers, the organisational committee, technical support specialists, and the French Institute in Russia. I hope to see you again soon and continue our cooperation with VSU,” said Tatiana Bodrova.
“I have known my wonderful colleagues from the Department of French Philology for a long time as we have been cooperating for almost twenty-five years. The traditions of this conference date back to those times. We are always ready to support Voronezh State University which is the gold standard for international cooperation and professionalism,” noted Igor Skuratov (Moscow Region State University).