The Union of Translators of Russia (UTR), with the support of the Russian New University (RosNOU), in conditions of self-isolation, organizes and conducts free continuing education courses for translation teachers and teaching translators throughout the country.
Why do advanced training courses take place right now? What difficulties do the organizers and teachers encounter? How popular are such courses? These questions were asked to the President of the UTR, the supervisor of the Institute for Humanitarian Technologies at RosNOU, Olga Ivanova.
Olga, how did you come up with the idea of conducting distance learning courses? Or maybe were these courses planned, and only the format has changed due to the plague situation?
The Union of Translators of Russia has been developing the idea of organizing specialized distance learning courses for translation teachers throughout Russia for a long time. In the preliminary version, the course program was prepared by a member of the board of the UTR, candidate of philological sciences, a practicing audiovisual translator, acting dean of the faculty of foreign languages of Omsk State University named after F. M. Dostoevsky Evgenia Malenova. Evgenia herself actively uses the Internet and information technology in organizing work with students. I have long recommended my students to turn to her educational resource, addressed to students of the theory and practice of translation. It is called the “Country of Transland” (malenova.ru).
UTR does not have its own educational license yet, so the conducting of courses was postponed all the time. Now, in conditions of self-isolation, such courses would be more useful than ever, and not only for translation teachers but also for existing translators, many of whom lost their jobs or lost some orders. Universities will only be happy if practitioners who have completed a course of methodological training are included in the process of preparing future translators. In the past, it was difficult for practicing translators to persuade them to join the full-fledged educational process, and now there is the very case about which people say «Every cloud has its silver lining».
What role does RosNOU play in organizing courses?
As I already said, UTR does not have its own license to conduct educational activities, and in continuing education it is important not only to gain knowledge, but also to receive a document of the established form as a result of training. The cooperation between RosNOU and UTR arose back in 2004 when the first cooperation agreement was signed. In the same year, the first book in the history of the UTR was published with the heading “Recommended by the Union of Translators of Russia”. It was a dictionary of abbreviations of the French press, compiled by a lecturer at RosNOU. I cannot but recall that the collection of wonderful poems by the founder and first president of the UTR, L. Gurevich, “Autumn in Sokolniki”, was published in the publishing house of RosNOU. All these years, the rector of RosNOU V. Zernov and the entire leadership of the university provided all possible assistance and support to the UTR. And in this academic year, the Russian New University helped with paperwork following the results of the All-Russian methodological meeting of the UTR and took on all the organizational costs associated with the preparation and execution of the necessary final documents for students who will complete the training.
What seems to the teachers of the courses the most difficult in the current situation?
The most difficult thing was to find time for classes, now there is a very busy schedule of distance work with students at RosNOU.
How popular is this new distance course?
We did not expect such an influx of participants! In the first hours, more than 100 people registered. Now more than 250 students are studying at the courses. And we already received applications from new members. Unfortunately, free training in these courses was a one-time offer, set as a joint bonus by the authors and course leaders (members of the UTR) and the Russian New University. Soon, upon completion of these courses, when all the recommendations of the participants and organizers will be discussed, we will certainly get a head start on these courses again – for a fee, but with significant discounts for members of the Union of Translators of Russia.
The UTR plans to initialize continuing education courses for professional translators in various fields of their activity, retraining courses for translation teachers, and training for industry translators for subsequent attestation and certification. So, in particular, together with the Law Institute of RosNOU and the Moscow Region Bar Association, we plan to organize a short course for translators and lawyers (investigators, interrogators). We will teach lawyers how to organize work with the participation of translators, and translators will get to know the intricacies of a sworn (judicial) translation.