Rosa Kavenoki was born in St. Petersburg, Russia where she obtained her MA in Spanish Linguistics and Literature. In her post-graduate studies, she continued to work with the same topic that interested her in college: developing dictionaries of word frequencies by subject matter. She also worked with a small team of scholars who created machine translation corpi of technical and scientific terms. Subsequently, Kavenoki developed a dictionary of Mayan word frequencies which was the first of its kind at the time.
Professor Kavenoki’s life took a different turn when she went to work as the public relations director for a major Russian drama theater. She also worked directly with playwrights on play development and editing, and was involved in selecting material for productions. In addition, she translated two plays into Russian, one from Italian, the other from Spanish.
Throughout her career she has continued to do freelance work in Translation and Interpretation, using Spanish and Italian at first, then English after moving to the U.S in 1985. She has worked with expansive and eclectic subject matter for such organization as the U.S. Secret Service, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, International Launch Services, and the International Olympic Committee, among many others.
Introduction to Translation into Russian
Introduces students to the basic theory and practice of translation, both written and sight. Students will learn to apply text analysis, text typology, and contrastive analysis of their working languages to identify, analyze, and resolve translation problems while independently developing an efficient and rational approach to the process of translation. The appropriate application of electronic translation tools will also be introduced. Fundamental translation theory will be emphasized at the beginning of the course and will be conveyed in the form of assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and independent research. In addition, course assignments will include practice and graded exercises in sight and written translation, utilizing authentic texts drawn from an extensive variety of text categories that include, but are not limited to, current events, general political economy, general legal documents, and scientific and technical topics for general audiences. As the term progresses, student time and effort will increasingly be spent on the preparation and evaluation of written translation assignments. Students will be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam, to be assigned at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Builds on the theoretical and practical foundation laid in Introduction to Translation and introduces the translation of specialized subject matter. Depending upon the language program in which they are enrolled, students will be expected to acquire and demonstrate basic proficiency in the sight and written translation of either commercial and economic texts, legal texts, or scientific and technical texts. The amount of emphasis accorded to a particular topic will depend on the specific professional requirements of each language program. Course assignments will include readings, research, presentations, practice and graded exercises in sight translation, and practice and graded written translation assignments, including exercises in speed translation. Students will also be expected to take at least one midterm and one final exam. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are largely at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Translation or equivalent background.
Intermediate Interpretation – Consecutive and Simultaneous
Builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Introduction to Interpretation. Consists of both language-specific and joint sessions with other language programs.
In consecutive, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Students also expand their active vocabulary to include the terms and idioms that frequently occur in extemporaneous speeches. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are delivered extemporaneously, are of moderate difficulty, and are derived from professional settings. These passages vary from one to several paragraphs in length depending upon language combination, direction, and source content.
In simultaneous, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode in the booth. Begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are between eight and ten minutes in length.
Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with some emphasis placed on business and economics. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Course prerequisites: Introduction to Interpretation or the equivalent
Advanced Translation I into Russian
This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring translation knowledge and skills up to the level that would be required of someone working in a professional translation environment. Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year translation courses to produce translations that meet high standards for content, form, and presentation. A great deal of attention is given to subject matter knowledge and research, precision in text analysis and writing, and the appropriate application of translation technology. Some programs emphasize scientific and technical topics in this course, but others give considerable attention to commercial, economic, legal, and political texts, many of which have a technical component. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record. Students will, however, be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam.
Prerequisite: 2nd-year student in good standing or equivalent background.
Advanced Interpretation I Consecutive into Russian
This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring interpretation knowledge and skills up to the professional level. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year interpretation courses to produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on business, economics, science, technology, and other topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the language combination in question. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.
In consecutive interpretation, students prepare by researching topics before each session, with emphasis on sequential logic in notetaking and accurate terminology in delivery. Students continue to hone their skills by diagnosing and correcting problems at all stages from listening through delivery, while progressing to increasingly difficult and challenging material. In simultaneous interpretation, the techniques learned in the previous semester are consolidated, which enables students to polish their delivery and language register. Focuses on nuance of meaning, accuracy of interpretation, research and preparation for conferences, and glossary development. Special attention is given to maintaining concentration while under significant psychological stress. Students learn to recognize SL discourse patterns and render them effectively in TL.
At the end of the course, students are able to interpret difficult passages that are derived from professional settings. In consecutive, students are able to interpret passages up to several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous interpretation, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
This course is the counterpart to Advanced Translation I. Students are expected to translate texts of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of operational challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional translation settings, such as working in teams or coping with multiple technologies. Emphasis is on particular text categories and subject-matter knowledge that are pertinent to current market demand for the specific language combination and direction in which the course is being taught. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record, but will include projects that simulate, as closely as possible, the professional translation environment, as well as at least one midterm and one final exam.
Prerequisite: Advanced Translation I or similar background.
Advanced Interpretation II – Consecutive and Simultaneous
This course is the counterpart to Advanced Interpretation I. Students are expected to interpret speeches of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional settings. Provides final preparation for the Professional Examinations.
In consecutive interpretation, emphasis is placed on both science and technology and political rhetoric, requiring particular attention to nuance and tone. Students learn the vernacular of political speeches and other challenging material while sharpening listening, processing, and notetaking functions.
In simultaneous interpretation, advanced instruction is given for difficult speeches. Emphasizes following the logic of complex scientific and technical discourse, and remaining faithful to the style and tone of persuasive political discourse. Students are also introduced to simultaneous interpretation with text. They learn how to draw upon outlines, transcripts, slides and transparencies, and other written materials to enhance the accuracy and completeness of their interpretation. Emphasis is placed on text preparation strategies and efficient use of textual materials while on the air.
Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the relevant language combination(s). Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.
At the end of the course, students are expected to interpret difficult speeches in professional settings. In consecutive, students are called upon to interpret passages that are several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Course prerequisites: Advanced Interpretation I or the equivalent
Areas of Interest
As part of her extracurricular activities, Professor Kavenoki built a network of Russian-English T&I schools incorporating all leading Russian universities. Currently, she is launching a one-of-a-kind, trilateral, Russian-Chinese-American enterprise for young T&I professionals. Professor Kavenoki is interested in new social phenomena that affect mass media and the linguistic evolution of English and Russian—the changing meanings of words; the creation of new meanings from existing words; English inclusions in Russian contemporaneous speech; etc.
She is a zealous reader with a pronounced passion for books that reflect critical history points of the 20th century in the U.S. and Europe. She is very interested in how the American 20s and 30s affected the country’s overall cultural narrative and likes to explore how various pop culture events influenced contemporary language and thought.
- MA in Romance Languages and Structural Linguistics, St. Petersburg State Pedagogical University
- Postgraduate Studies: Developed word frequency dictionaries for a major machine translation project at the Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg
Professor Kavenoki has been teaching at the Institute since 1985.