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Polyglot Scientist and Translator Feted

Published: 30 September 2015

Montreal, 25 September 2015.

A polyglot McGill science graduate has been awarded this year’s Network of Translators in Education (NTE) Merit Scholarship.  This scholarship is given to upper-level translation students in Canadian schools of translation in recognition of their outstanding performance. Berdj Garabedian, this year’s recipient, completed the McGill Certificate in Translation (French/English option) in 2015 and received the McGill Associates Prize in Translation at the 2015 Spring Convocation as an acknowledgement of his increasing, multilayered expertise. Mr. Garabedian is currently pursuing his studies in translation in the Graduate Diploma in Translation Program at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies.

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.

Garabedian first honed his writing 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. Languages are then added to the mix. Mr. Garabedian is also a polyglot speaking English, French, Greek and Armenian. His language and scientific competencies 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 Studies unit. The NTE Merit Scholarship is a fitting way “to celebrate excellence… and the many ways to achieve excellence in today’s busy world”, he added.

This scholarship underscores the role McGill plays in positioning Canada as a source of polyglot translators in the international market. As Dr. Archibald noted, “According to FIT (International Federation of Translators), apprentice translators ‘must acquire new skills and new approaches to […] become valued partners in a fast-changing world’. This spirit is very much in keeping with the philosophy behind McGill’s translation programs. Canada needs new translators to maintain and improve its competitive position in the international marketplace. It is our view that a constructivist approach to translator education is the way of the future. Berdj Garabedian is the very embodiment of that philosophy.”

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For further information, please contact Elana Trager, Senior Marketing and Communications Advisor, McGill School of Continuing Studies, at 514-398-2668 or elana [dot] trager [at] mcgill [dot] ca 

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