Masters in Cultural Studies, Moscow State Linguistic University, Moscow, Russia

Masters in Translation, Moscow State Linguistic University, Moscow, Russia

Diploma in Translation and Interpreting, Moscow State University for International Relations, Moscow, Russia


English, French, Russian, Spanish

Translation is about more than just being bilingual. Translators must be able to render someone else’s ideas in a way that conveys their original meaning just as effectively in the second language. Finding the perfect words so that a reader understands the original authors’ intentions and feelings is a fascinating, and delicate, process.

As a Translator at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, my work falls under the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM). I am one of approximately fifty staff at the Russian Translation Service who convert all official United Nations documents such as Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, Secretary-General’s reports, notes and letters , into Russian from three of the Organization’s five other official languages; English, French and Spanish. Our documents have to be comprehensible to anyone who reads them, and because they also serve as an historical record, our work records the legacy of the entire Organization.

All United Nations translators translate into their mother tongue (or principal language of education) and must be capable of doing so from two other official languages. I create Russian translations of English and French documents. I studied English and French at university and after graduating in 2004, I joined the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a translator and interpreter. One of my projects there was rendering the rules and guidelines for the United Nations Competitive Language Exam into Russian. Many people on this project were young professionals, and we were encouraged to take the exam ourselves. I saw this as a tremendous opportunity, and after the exam and interview rounds –which took over a year to complete entirely– I joined the Russian Translation Service in New York in 2007.

Due to the diversity of the United Nations’ activities, translators have to deal with a multiplicity of subjects every day, from human rights, to peace and security to the environment. We are often challenged to handle topics that have nothing to do with our university training or life experience, so we do a lot of research to understand each issue and its context. Often, we turn to our senior colleagues for help on the best way to phrase something. Translators at the United Nations are highly qualified experts and as a young professional, the opportunity to work with them has been a wonderful learning experience. Under their guidance, I am keen to continue my work as a linguist, and one day possibly move into simultaneous interpretation, which is rendering speakers’ words aloud during United Nations conferences and negotiations.

Right now, I’m learning German. I firmly believe that a person becomes richer with every language they acquire, not only because new words and grammatical constructions help people communicate and understand one another better, but because languages allow you to immerse yourself in other cultures and perspectives.

Translators and interpreters help the United Nations achieve its goal of mutual understanding between the peoples of the world, literally! I have always wanted to contribute somehow to global peace and security, and working as a translator allows me, not only to indulge my love on language, but also contribute to a higher cause.

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