The United Nations is one of the most eminent institutions in the world, perhaps the best place for interpreters’ potential buildup. Understanding that you have a chance to become a part of the United Nations and witness world’s fate being decided (or even to participate in it by interpreting!) can become a serious encouragement to develop themselves and progress in their studies steadily. Nikolai Telnov, the Russian booth leading interpreter at the UN Office in Vienna, came to motivate the masters of the Caspian Higher School of Interpreting and Translation.
Nikolai is a true professional, who has been engaged in conference interpreting for over 30 years. As the interpreter says – his main task is to share the experience with the students, and indeed, the experience is tremendous. The master students of the first and second years lived the atmosphere of the United Nations for a week by interpreting heads of states’ speeches to the General Assembly. Politicians address the most vital themes: civil wars, elections, terrorism, global warming, etc.
There are many difficulties to cope with, mainly the speech tempo, choice of words and a speaker’s accent, though the subjects are familiar to everybody. Nikolai helps master students by thoroughly reviewing their renditions and looking for and finding the most elegant variants of interpretation, shares interesting things that occur in interpreting routine (sometimes ridiculous and hilarious), and gives practical advice on skills improvement. Nikolai confirmed the fundamental truth of success:
only exemplary efforts and drills lead to professionalism. It is necessary to practice every day to become a United Nations interpreter: listen to records, read, improve language skills, and, of course, interpret, interpret, and once again, interpret!
That’s the trick. It is an invaluable experience for the Caspian Higher School of Interpreting and Translation students to take part in classes with Nikolai Telnov and a unique chance to gain an in-depth knowledge about the “internals” of such a serious organization, as well as to evaluate their own potential, define what needs improvement, and even take a life changing decision:
whether you are ready to compete for a position at the United Nations interpreting staff?
The Caspian Higher School of Interpreting and Translation, Astrakhan State University television media center.