Translating research on Antarctic ecosystems

Protecting marine life in Antarctica depends on translating vital research into the languages of countries that have interests in the region.

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Antarctica. Image: iStock

Protecting marine life in the Antarctic depends not only on monitoring and research, but also translating that research into the languages of countries with interests in the region.

UNSW Interpreting and Translation Masters student Chirata Thomsen recently returned from a two-week internship in Hobart where her role involved translating Antarctic research from English into Spanish.

Chirata was based at the Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), an international organisation working with more than 35 countries to research, monitor and protect marine life.

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Chirata Deneve Thomsen

“My role at CCAMLR was to translate a specialised document related to fishing and trading processes based on recent research and findings. The document was translated from English into Spanish using computer assisted translation (CAT) tools,” Chirata says.

With significant experience teaching French and Spanish in schools and universities in both Europe and Australia, Chirata says she was keen to further her studies in the field of translating, and was particularly interested in opportunities for professional exposure to real assignments.

“The internship provided the opportunity to work with experienced translators and innovative CAT tools in an international organisation with stakeholders from around the globe,” she says.

Program convenor, Associate Professor Ludmila Stern, says UNSW’s Interpreting and Translation Masters' program offers students the opportunity to experience a wide range of applications from business and diplomacy to legal settings and conferences.

“Our Masters' program is built around an innovative student centred approach. Our tailored degrees allow students to specialise in an area relevant to their professional goals,” Stern says.

“Students interpret in real-life scenarios, for example between doctors and patients, in court or at international conferences. They translate authentic documents for real clients. In this globalised world the need for translation and interpretation services is growing rapidly.”