MA Interpreting and Translating student Clare Borradaile was named among the winners of the recent 16th United Nations St Jerome Translation Contest.

Clare’s rendering of the contest piece '¡El chat GPT me ha hecho una paella!' (ChatGPT made me a paella) was the overall winner in the student category.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, which was held on 4 October at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), Clare said:

To have won the contest is the perfect end to an amazing year at the University of Bath, where I learnt so much from the many knowledgeable and enthusiastic lecturers there. I’m so grateful for the constant encouragement to apply for opportunities that seemed completely out of my comfort zone, and for the countless opportunities Bath provided to hone my translation skills outside of the academic sphere.

With the deadline for submissions falling only a few days after my interpreting exams in May, I very nearly didn’t enter the competition at all. So finding out that the judges had chosen my submission to be the winning entry was a huge shock. In fact, it still hasn’t sunk in yet!

The St Jerome Translation Contest was welcomed formally by the UN General Assembly in 2017 in its resolution 71/288 on the role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development. It serves to celebrate multilingualism within the United Nations and highlights the important role that translation plays in the work of the United Nations and in the world at large.

The University of Bath’s memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) means that all students studying MA courses in translation and interpreting (MA Interpreting and Translating (MAIT) and MA Translation and Professional Language Skills (TPLS)) are eligible for the contest.

The awards ceremony, timed to coincide with the commemoration of International Translation Day on 30 September, began with welcoming remarks by the Director-General of UNOV and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ms. Ghada Waly, and a message from the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, Mr. Movses Abelian. The judges for the contest shared their praise for the excellent standard of all the translations entered.

Clare, who recently graduated and travelled from a trainee position in Brussels to attend, also said:

I have just begun a five-month traineeship with the Directorate-General of Interpretation at the European Commission in Brussels, in the recruitment section. I’m excited to have the opportunity to view interpreting from an entirely new perspective and learn more about the discipline as a whole.

It is definitely a change from the Bath MAIT course, but I’m really enjoying the fast-paced and varied nature of the work that I am doing – as well as getting to explore a new city.

From training in the interpreting booths at the United Nations to translating interviews for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, choosing to take an MA in Interpreting and Translating has led to amazing opportunities that all seemed far-off possibilities before I started the course. When my current traineeship ends in five months’ time, I know that whatever happens, the skills I have gained from this MA will stand me in good stead as I embark on the next chapter of my career.

MA Interpreting and Translation, one of Bath's longest-running MA courses, trains professionals for careers with international organisations worldwide, including the United Nations agencies, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission, as well as for industry, the health and justice systems, sports and the media. Students can specialise in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Watch the full 16th United Nations St Jerome Translation Contest