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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Russian Translation Service

The translators and revisers of the Russian Translation Service work on a wide range of United Nations documents on subjects that require experience and proficiency in such areas of expertise as political, economic, financial, budgetary, administrative and other matters, providing accurate and terminologically precise translations and revisions of original texts. They are dedicated professionals working from two or more official languages into Russian and trying to make the Russian version of a United Nations document a standard to be followed by colleagues and organizations affiliated with the United Nations.

The staff of the Russian Translation Service come from Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. In addition to the official languages, they can translate from Belorussian, German, Italian, and Ukrainian.

The Service seeks consistency in single documents, complex series of documents and multi-part special editions. After documents are translated, they are formatted by the staff of the Russian Text Processing Unit, using graphics, complex layouts, diagrams and so forth.

The staff of the Russian Translation Services keep up to date on translation terminology in all the rapidly changing fields that it covers. Their commitment is to provide clients with the best possible linguistic service and support, conveying the intentions of authors and preserving their original style. They always strive to maintain a close interaction between translators, colleagues in the Secretariat, members of official delegations and their counterparts at the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi, and in other international organizations.

The Service uses modern information technology tools and vast terminology databases, and issues bilingual subject glossaries, reflecting the specificity inherent in the current United Nations system. Like their colleagues in other translation services, they always engage in exhaustive research, trying not to be caught in the web of political developments, new approaches and concepts and eventually new terms and notions.

By so doing, they are preserving a common heritage built up by successive generations of translators and making an important contribution to the deliberations of United Nations intergovernmental bodies.

Those who are interested in the Russian language and its history and evolution will know that to trace the historical development of the Russian language with 100 per cent accuracy is not that easy.

Until the 17th century, the language spoken by the people who inhabited the territory of the present- day Russian Federation was not Russian but Church Slavonic. After its introduction sometime during the 10th century, the Cyrillic alphabet was simplified and reformed under the Russian Emperor Peter the Great. In its subsequent development the language absorbed many foreign words. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, partly under the powerful influence of the great Russian poet Alexander S. Pushkin, Russian overcame the dominance of Church Slavonic and developed into a literary language which, with all its acquired modifications, is currently spoken not only in the Russian Federation but also in many other countries.


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