Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia occupies a special place in the system of higher educational institutions of the Russian Federation as the most multinational university. Students from more than 160 countries of the world study at RUDN University. The multidisciplinary university has more than 330 training programs in the Humanities, Medicine, Economics and Natural Sciences. The article is devoted to the description of the activities of the Department of Foreign Languages of the Faculty of Philology in Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, which are focused on the training of simultaneous interpreters who, in addition to professional linguistic culturological competencies, are also involved in scientific activities. The competencies under consideration are formed both in the classes included in the list of disciplines of the Foreign languages department, and as a part of new activities carried out within the Institute of Modern Languages, Intercultural Communication and Migration (IMLICaM) at the Faculty of Philology. These include the UNESCO-supported Chair of Sociolinguistics and Global Migration Processes, the creation of the Franco-Russian Intellectual Friendship Club and activities that promote favorable integration into the culture of the language being studied, aimed at popularizing cultural heritage, encouraging creativity and diversity of cultural expressions, promoting the strengthening of intercultural dialogue.
Keywords: Culturological competence, language practice, RUDN University, simultaneous interpreter, scientific research activity of a student
Simultaneous translation is the most complex type of translation activity and is one of the means of intercultural communication (Mikhaylova & Fomin, 2017, p. 18). Students receiving education at the Faculty of Philology of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, under the programme “Methods of teaching languages. Translation studies. Simultaneous translation” form, first of all, the ability to communicate in interpersonal and intercultural interaction in a foreign language based on training interconnected and interdependent types of reproductive and productive foreign language speech activity, such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation. The areas in which this ability is realized – everyday, socio-cultural, educational and professional, official business and scientific – require the development of the ability to carry out social interaction and realize their role in the team. Students also need a lot of effort to achieve favorable integration into the culture of the language being studied. In this direction, the University proposes new activities aimed at the formation of scientific competence, cultural competence and the consolidation of translation competencies in practice.
At the present stage, each university is looking for the possibility of highlighting the distinctive features that form its image. This is a part of the strategy for integrating Russian universities into the global higher education system and is reflected in world academic rankings (Ebzeeva & Gishkaeva, 2022). For Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, which is the largest multinational university in Russia, a distinctive feature is the opportunity to receive basic education in more than 330 training programmes in the field of Humanitarian, Medical, Economic and Natural Sciences, as well as training under the “Translator in professional communication” program in 8 major languages of the world (English, Arabic, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). Up to 80 percent of university students receive translation diplomas along with a diploma in their chosen field of studies. Students from more than 160 countries of the world study at RUDN University, which creates a unique opportunity for constant language practice, including in professional communication.
The Case-study conducted in the proposed paper allows us to describe new approaches to the formation and development of the basic competencies of an interpreter, as well as efforts to create unique skills for simultaneous interpreters.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine new directions of the university activities in the formation and improving of scientific competence, cultural competence and the consolidation of these competencies in practice.
In order to carry out the presented research we used the following research methods: descriptive (which includes observation, generalization, interpretation and classification) and statistical.
This section describes activities that promote favorable integration into the culture of the language being studied, aimed at popularizing cultural heritage, encouraging creativity and diversity of cultural expressions, promoting the strengthening of intercultural dialogue in order to form translation competencies.
Activities aimed at the formation of scientific competence
The programme “Methods of teaching languages. Translation studies. Simultaneous Translation” is designed to train highly qualified specialists who will be able to work in the field of teaching foreign languages at all levels, engage in pedagogical or scientific activities, act as interpreters or translators. The formation of scientific competence is implemented in such forms as writing scientific papers in a foreign language, presenting their results at student scientific and scientific-practical conferences, and translation practices with a scientific text.
Students conduct research under the guidance of professors and associate professors of the departments of foreign languages, the department of general and Russian linguistics, the Russian language and its teaching methods and the Institute of Modern Languages, Intercultural Communication and Migration and participate in grant activities (Ebzeeva, 2022). The main areas of activity are comparative studies in the field of phonology, vocabulary, grammar and stylistics of foreign and native languages (Bezkorovaynaya et al., 2021; Chesnokova & Radovic, 2020; Malyuga & Ermishina, 2020), studies of the paremic fund of the studied languages (Nelyubova et al., 2020); discursive research – e.g., political (Ebzeeva & Dugalich 2018; Dugalich, 2018), educational and scientific (Dugalich et al., 2020; Malyuga & McCarthy, 2020). Discourse is considered both in general theoretical and practical aspects, the study of literary text in foreign languages, both authorial (Dubinina, 2011) and folklore (Moskvitсheva et al., 2022); works on translation theory (Chesnokova & Talavera-Ibarra, 2015); psycholinguistic studies that reproduce fragments of the linguistic picture of the world of representatives of different linguistic cultures (Dmitriyeva & Chulkina, 2022) and works on the methodology of teaching languages (Strelchuk, 2021) are very popular among young researcher.
The competence of scientific supervisors is confirmed by their publications, the statistical data of which can be presented in Table 1.
Publications indexed in international databases make the scientific activity of the university visible, increase its prestige, and attract the world’s leading scientists to cooperation.
Student conferences are devoted to a wide range of issues which are presented in Table 2.
In the conferences, students have the opportunity to present a report on the topic of their scientific research and publish its results in a collection of conference materials in a foreign or native language.
Activities aimed at the formation of cultural competence
With a view to creating a favorable environment for the development of the ability to carry out social interaction and integration into the culture of the language being studied, RUDN University, together with scientific and educational partner organizations, created the UNESCO Chair ‘Chair of Sociolinguistics and Global Migration Processes’. The main goals of its creation were:
- implementation of educational programs together with partner universities;
- holding events of international level;
- implementation of international research activities of the Chair and its popularization;
- implementation of academic mobility;
- updating educational programs at RUDN University (including the development of distance learning);
- development of a system for training foreign students, creation of additional education programs (including summer schools) in distance format, promotion of additional education programs in key regional markets.
The Chair based in the Institute of Modern Languages, Intercultural Communication and Migration offers to pay significant attention to the issues of indigenous peoples and minority languages in a modern context (Viaut & Moskvicheva, 2012). One of the main directions of the Chair’s work is the study of the state of minority languages, including migration languages, in the aspect of interdisciplinary research.
The subjects of the Chair also correspond to the activities in the field of Social and Human Sciences: “Fostering intercultural dialogue and engaging young women and men for peaceful and participatory societies” and expected results:
The focus of the Chair is on creating opportunities for young people from African and other developing countries to actively participate in the cultural and scientific life of the university.
RUDN University partners became:
- Center for Franco-Russian Studies (CEFR) (Russia)
- Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine (Aquitaine House of Social Sciences) (MSHA) (France)
- French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) (France)
- Worldwide International Academic Advisory Committee IAAC – QS
- The University of Mons (Belgium)
- Bordeaux Montaigne University (France)
- Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan)
- The University of Siena (Italy)
Another new area of activity aimed at the formation of cultural competence and the consolidation of language skills in practice was the fact that the Institute of Modern Languages, Intercultural Communication and Migration became the platform for the work of Intellectual Club of Franco-Russian Friendship, a project uniting students, young scientists and teachers from French-speaking countries of Africa, Russia, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. The club is a place for reflection on topics of cultural diversity, equal opportunities for all, intellectual cooperation, and development of partnerships. This project provides the opportunity for informal communication and information exchange. It helps to build students’ critical thinking skills, values and attitudes necessary for life in the modern world, which, in turn, makes them participants in the process of sustainable development and interaction with others – responsible citizens with a global worldview.
Activities aimed at strengthening competencies
While studying under the programme “Methods of teaching languages. Translation studies. Simultaneous translation” students not only learn foreign languages, but also learn a lot of interesting information about the evolution of languages and dialects, gain deep knowledge in the field of speech phenomena, about the relationship and differences of world languages. Due to the fact that Russian and international students study together, they have a unique opportunity to gain invaluable experience of communicating with native speakers, in practice to understand and master the main similarities and differences in languages, dialects, pronunciation, approaches to learning and teaching.
Since May 2009, more than 2 500 students have worked as interpreters at 200 events organized by the Directorate of Sports and Entertainment Events of Moscow, the Russian Union of Martial Arts (RUMA), the League of Health of the Nation Charitable Foundation, federations of various sports and other organizations. Among them: Eurovision 2009, World Championships in Athletics 2013, World Rugby Championships 2013, Ice Hockey World Championships 2016, Confederations Cup 2017, FIFA 2018, SKYSERVICE 2016 – 2019 – International Forum for the Development of Service on Board Aircraft, International Competitions ISU Grand Prix in figure skating 2015–2019, ‘Rostelecom Cup’, annual championships and cups in slalom, wrestling, athletics, pentathlon, fencing, WorldSkills Championship 2019 (Kazan), where 25 students and graduates of the programme “Methods of teaching languages. Translation studies. Simultaneous translation” accompanied Russian and international teams participating in competitions in various professional competencies.
Thanks to existing internship agreements, students are invited to work as interpreters at major international sports competitions, cultural, economic and political forums. Students also gain teaching experience. The Faculty of Philology also has about 30 agreements with international universities, which allows students to go on an educational internship for one or two semesters in universities in England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, China, Japan, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries of the world.
The “Translator in professional communication” program implemented at all faculties of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, and especially the specialization of simultaneous interpreter, motivates the university to find new ways to form scientific competence, cultural competence and to consolidate them in practice. The creation of a UNESCO Chair, work in the Francophone Club, assistance in realizing the scientific ambitions of students, providing socially significant platforms for translation practice are the steps taken by the university recently to achieve these goals. The stable high ranking of RUDN University in the world and in Russia among experts, applicants and employers indicates the right direction of development.
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About this article
12 October 2022
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Teaching methods, language for specific purposes, business English, translation studies, applied linguistics, intercultural business communication
Cite this article as:
Ebzeeva, Y. N., & Dugalich, N. M. (2022). Modern View on the Competences of a Simultaneous Interpreter. In V. I. Karasik, & E. V. Ponomarenko (Eds.), Topical Issues of Linguistics and Teaching Methods in Business and Professional Communication - TILTM 2022, vol 4. European Proceedings of Educational Sciences (pp. 385-391). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epes.22104.44