5 October 2018

Meet our volunteer translator: Ophélie

As part of the efforts made to ensure the proper delivery of information produced by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) in all six official languages of the United Nations, UNAI has been working over the past few months with a number of online volunteer translators recruited through the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Online Volunteering service, who have made a valuable contribution to broadening the multilingualism of United Nations public information by making the UNAI website more accessible to Arabic, Chinese, French and Russian speakers. This article was written by one of the translators helping with the UNAI website in French.

My name is Ophélie Chassard

Originally from France, I have been living and working in the United Kingdom for the past seven years. My studies and work experience have always revolved around my passion for languages. After a two-year degree specialized in Travel and Tourism Management, I have achieved a Licence Langues Étrangères Appliquées, equivalent of a BA (Hons) in Foreign Languages, with a heavy focus on translation between French, English and German. 

I acquired my most valuable experience in the private sector offering the translation, localization and linguistic validation of clinical assessment instruments. Organizing the 7th International Conference on Sustainable Techniques and Strategies in Urban Water Management also gave me the opportunity to be involved in a project related to sustainable development, whilst assisting with the translation of the conference proceedings.

Presently, I work as a Subject Matter Expert in the Customer Relations department of a renowned airline, where a wide variety of customer feedback is handled, including claims involving legal parties and civil aviation authorities. My responsibilities mainly consist of translating between English/German and French, as well as providing quality control and advice for employees issuing external communications and payments.

Whilst looking for a way to give some of my time, I came across the UNV online volunteering platform, where a wide range of possibilities opened to me. In my view, volunteering is the opportunity to make a difference, however big or small, in addressing urgent matters. With varied backgrounds and fields of expertise, each volunteer brings added value to the worldwide and influential organization that is the United Nations.

Faced with the magnitude of the task, joining forces towards the realisation of the SDGs is vital to keep the global change going. Online volunteering is a modern and convenient way of contributing, in my case by translating and hereby making information available to the French-speaking public. I enjoy the perspective of taking part in various projects on a global scale, especially the idea of helping create bridges between peoples and organizations.

As a whole, volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience, which offers the invaluable opportunity to learn on various topics and broaden one’s horizons. Currently, I have an ongoing collaboration with the United Nations Academic Impact, translating web stories since June 2018. I have discovered a specific aspect of sustainable development, namely the crucial role of academia in advancing the SDGs. The translation of articles enables a broader dissemination of their message.

To anyone who can and would like to dedicate some time, but is unsure, I would recommend not to hesitate and believe that every help counts to change things!