10 September 2018

Meet our volunteer translator: Soumia

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 Arabic.

My name is Soumia Berghout

I am an Arabic native speaker translator, with more than a decade of professional experience. I graduated as a translator from the University of Algiers and I hold a Master's degree in Arabic-English-French Interpreting from the High Arab Institute for Translation, Algiers. In 2003, I joined the Translation Service at the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a long-term basis and the almost fifteen years I spent there were among the most rewarding of my career.

I improved my skills translating a wide variety of documents including diplomatic records, national legislation, bilateral and multilateral instuments, national development plans, and national reports. The areas I grew most familiar with over the years were economic development, environmental protection, international law, international trade relations and trade law, international peace and security, human rights, social and humanitarian issues, and education.

My dream though was to diversify my experience and embrace an international career, broadening my horizons. Working in a multinational environment has been a real passion for me, which is why in 2015 I started to work from home as translator for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. As I look back over satisfying years of work I feel that the combination of working from home part and working in-house offers me the best of both translation worlds. 

That said, acquiring an international volunteering experience, as translator, has been crucial while at the same time, consistent with my own beliefs about the role that translators have in today's world. Therefore, this year I joined the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in an online basis, to help sharing information and delivering both strategy and action through translation. Because of this and without any doubts, when I saw the opening I decided to apply. Translation is a practical and efficient means to raise awareness globally and I am glad to be part of the team of online volunteer translators.