Fish = рыбы: Translating fisheries science across languages and continents

Fish = рыбы: Translating fisheries science across languages and continents

Blogger: Abigail Lynch: PhD student

As difficult as it is for me to present a scientific presentation, I cannot fully comprehend what it must be like to present in another language. We did, however, have a bit of a window into the difficulties of communicating across language barriers this week at Институт Биологии Внутренних Вод (Institute of Biology of Inland Waters) in Borok, Russia.

We are visiting Borok to discuss collaborations between MSU and the Institute, particularly with regard to studying inland fisheries. So, we presented talks to an all Russian-only speaking audience through a translator to introduce them to our research. My talk, on my dissertation research, was titled Влияние изменения климата на озерного сига (Coregonus clupeaformis) в Лаврентийских Великих Озерах. My first experience presenting through a translator was quite a trying experience -- though I imagine it might have been more difficult for my poor translator!

Bill Taylor presenting in RussiaDespite our difficulties with Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet, our meeting here with our colleagues has been very positive. We had a large interest in our research projects, everyone received lots of questions on their talks, and the director of the institute was supportive of a formal collaborative relationship.  So, perhaps my next translated talk will go more smoothly!

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