Translating “Druzhba” into German

November 01, 2012

UntitledOnline journalism seminar was held in Leipzig in October 11th-17th. This event was third in a row of German-Russian seminars organized by the “German Youth Press Union” and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. “Minorities and diversity” was the headline of this meeting.

Ten students from the SPbSU and ten students from all over the Germany have spent a week puzzling into the issues of religious, sexual and other types of minorities.

Seminar participants were to find their way around the new city, identify a hero for the article, to write the article for “To4ка-treff” web-portal and all these were in a non-stop training mode. Defying language barrier and huge amount of work to do participants managed to attend guest lecturers’ talks: journalists, filmmakers, activists of various minorities. Also participants were admitted to the local TV station and visited Leipzig University radio.

“ Personally I loved “Der Spiegel” journalist’s seminar most of all”, - says Polina Gorban, the 1st year student from SPbSU. “He talked about the new genres and ways to use multimedia. He has first-hand experience with those sorts of things. He has shown us the web-site “The Prison Valley”. He has also set us the feeling of unity and involvement being way more advantageous to the plain dry text.”

“Our visit to the local TV station “MDR” was an exciting event in our excursions program. It was lots of fun to see TV-industry from within. Two Russian samovars at one of the pavilions reminded me of home –so warm and gentle was this picture. But it was somewhat disappointing to hear once again the very basic concepts, that 1st and 2nd year students are fed up with”, says Lera Kuzmina, the 2nd year student.

Russian and German students were matched in pairs to prepare their articles. It was an easy solution in terms of cultural exchange, but as soon as it came to the text writing problems started: the communication naturally went on the international version of English, however the article should have been written in either of two students’ languages. In preparation students have interviewed catholic reverend, visited immigrants settled in Leipzig, have talked to the followers of the new “picnic” religion and much more.

“Every time I am so proud of my participants, that they can handle so much: Working together with a person, who doesn't know their own language, writing in pairs only one article in an unknown language - and all this in a very short period of time (and for the Russians even in a foreign country)”, Lisa Richter, the organizer of the workshop from the “German Youth Press Union” said. “I'm very glad that we could successfully accomplish the To4ka-Workshop together with your faculty from Saint Petersburg.”

She adds that it's the first time, that the German-Russian group is supposed to meet twice: firstly in Germany, secondly in Saint Petersburg. Due to this fact, the participants get the chance to do research about a specific topic from the German and the Russian point of view, which is pretty helpful and important (for example in order to eliminate prejudices).

Some students had no professional experience prior to this training and did their first steps during the seminars. Estelle Goebel, “To4ка-treff” editor, provided her support – daily at the hostel hall an impromptu-editorial office was set up, where she shared her advice and gave instructions generously.

“I think the workshop was quite challenging for all of us. The program was sophisticated and stuffed with and maybe a bit too much. I think the most difficult thing to cope with was the work in bilingual tandems. But all found ways to deal with it. I was impressed by the effort most of students made.”

Pieces of writing prepared by joint efforts of Petersburg students and their German counterparts on the topic “Minorities and Diversity” will be published in February at the Russian-Germany exchange web-portal «То4ка-treff».

The results of the two previous workshops, in German and in Russian can be found here: “All-Nighters”,made in Hamburg, and “Tasty”, made in Berlin.

At parting…

“Дружба”, – said Mari – student from Germany to me at parting. “Freundschaft“ – I’ve replied.

Looking forward to meet our German colleagues at St.Petersburg in November.

By Daria Golentsova and Victoria Mokrezova

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