Anna (Verbatim Reviser)

What attracted you to become a language professional at the United Nations?

When I was studying at Saint Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translation, I got inspired by United Nations translators and interpreters, who led special training workshops and shared with us their experience of working for such a noble organization as the United Nations, in the framework of the MoU network cooperation. My goal was to learn from the best, grow as a professional and develop my skills, and the United Nations is the unparalleled place for that and a genuine pinnacle for language professionals, both translators and revisers. I feel very lucky to be part of the Organization that serves the world and to be able to make a humble contribution to its cause through the Verbatim Reporting Service.

How do you find working for the United Nations different from your previous jobs?

Although working as a translator, reviser or interpreter is always very demanding, at the United Nations our work carries additional responsibility and impact, since it serves the leading global forum in which countries discuss major international issues. The texts translated or revised will be read by diplomats and experts in various fields, and we need to ensure the best quality possible. The United Nations is also a unique place at which to work because you are exposed to different cultures and mindsets and have the priceless opportunity to work with colleagues from all over the world. The rich collegial and multicultural experience here is unrivalled.

What do you consider to be the key traits of a good verbatim reviser?

Working as a verbatim reviser for the United Nations is a constant challenge. In order to live up to the high standards, we have to continuously build our skills and deepen our knowledge of the various topics of relevance to the United Nations. Basically, we never stop learning, there is always something new, which is one of the best things about our work. Working for the Verbatim Reporting Service also requires a great deal of discipline and dedication. Providing official records of the meetings goes hand in hand with the ability to work creatively under strict deadlines and to ensure accuracy and consistency. We should be well-informed of the news as well as have an understanding of international affairs and excellent research skills.

What part of your job do you consider the most interesting? Why?

At the Verbatim Reporting Service, since we are entrusted with translating official speeches delivered during the meetings of the Security Council and the General Assembly, as well as meetings of several other important bodies, we always deal with the most relevant topics and burning issues. One can even say that we witness history in the making because we produce records of the meetings at which important resolutions are adopted and vital decisions are made. We also make a meaningful contribution by preserving the institutional memory of the United Nations. Thanks to the records that we produce, anyone can read what was said on each particular topic at any given meeting covered by our Service since 1946 when it was established. In our constantly changing world, often marked by geopolitical turbulence, language brings people together; and by providing accurate and unbiased translations of the meeting records of the main bodies of the United Nations, we serve the people who try to make the world a better place, which is very rewarding.

What challenges do you face in your daily work and how do you handle them?

At the Verbatim Reporting Service, we work under rather tight deadlines, especially when it comes to records of the Security Council meetings that should be issued the next morning. Thus, we have to navigate the rough waters of speeches within a limited amount of time while providing a high-quality product. Another important and challenging part of our work is to convey not only what was said but also the way that it was said, finding the most suitable words and rendering speakers' intentions and emotions. The translated speech should read smoothly and sound in your mother tongue as if it were initially written in it. Moreover, at the United Nations we have to deal with specific terminology and a wide range of topics from non-proliferation and disarmament to human rights, climate change, sustainable development and peace and security. Sometimes on a single day you may have to work with speeches from up to four meetings, each dedicated to a different topic, and you have to switch focus quickly. However, whenever challenges arise, it is always a good opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who are highly qualified experts and are always ready to give advice and discuss the pitfalls and tricky terms or phrases.

What is the most memorable story about your work?

One of the most memorable moments related to my work was in September 2015 when I was lucky enough to be here during the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations and not only to witness first-hand such a momentous event, but also be entrusted with translating the speeches of world leaders who gathered in New York to address the international community and touch upon issues of global importance.

Do you have any advice for budding language professionals? Any tips on how to prepare for the competitive examinations for language positions?

Above all, anyone interested in working for the Verbatim Reporting Service must possess an excellent command of both their mother tongue and their foreign languages. They should refine their written speech, enrich and broaden their vocabulary in various fields, and read high-quality literature, including reputable newspapers and other news resources. I would also advise candidates to keep abreast of current events and developments in the world and at the United Nations, familiarize themselves with the work of the United Nations and its terminology and, last but not least, to have faith in themselves and their abilities. With that, they will overcome all challenges!








Russian Federation


Job Title: 


Verbatim Reviser


Working Languages: 


English, Russian (main language), Spanish