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A family tradition culminates in the McGill Associates Prize in Translation

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Family histories have a real influence on career choices. This is particularly true of Berdj Garabedian, who is the 2015 recipient of the McGill Associates Prize in Translation (French-English). Mr. Garabedian received this distinction at the spring graduation ceremony when he was awarded his Certificate in Translation.

A student of human genetics with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in science, Mr. Garabedian has published several scientific articles in referred journals based on research completed during the preparation of his thesis on the genetics of neural tube defects.  Like all good translators, he is also a superb writer as demonstrated by his ability to translate research into readable publications.

Translators are also good editors. Garabedian first honed these skills while working as a research assistant between 1990 and 1997 in McGill’s Departments of Human Genetics and Linguistics, thus marrying his interests in science, writing, editing and language.

But it is the language connection that harkens back to his family’s history. Indeed, Garabedian’s grandfather spoke seven languages and was both a translator and an interpreter during the Second World War.  The grandson is also a polyglot speaking English, French, Greek and Armenian. This all came together in the late 90s when he actually cut his teeth in the field at Ad Verbum Traductions, where he started translating and editing scientific texts from French to English.

“His understanding of the genetics of language, his passion for languages and his determination to build upon his acquired knowledge and skills will serve him well in Canada’s expanding language industry,” said James Archibald, Director of McGill’s Translation and Written Communication unit. Having received his Certificate in Translation, Mr. Garabedian is now pursuing further studies in McGill’s Graduate Diploma in Translation program.