Military Review

21 May - Day of the Military Translator

21

In the Russian Federation, the Day of the Military Translator began to be celebrated since 2000 at the initiative of the Alumni Club of the Military Institute of Foreign Languages ​​(WIIL). The date was set on May 21, since on this day in 1929, the Deputy People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, Joseph Unshlikht, issued an order, according to which a new specialty - a military translator - officially appeared in the Red Army.


Actually, it was actually not new at that time. After all, there has always been a need to have in military service those who know foreign languages, which are spoken by allies, opponents or the local population. And during hostilities, the opposing sides had to somehow negotiate and communicate with each other. When written reports and orders were intercepted from the enemy, they turned to a translator so that they could understand the content of these papers. And the interrogation of captured prisoners in most cases would have been impossible without the participation of a person who speaks the languages.

And such people were in our country in the army at all times. The first "interpreters", as the translators were called earlier, appeared in the princely squads back in the days of Kievan Rus.

And from the second half of the XNUMXth century in Russia, they began to train translators specifically for the army and fleet in the Asian Department of the Empire's Foreign Ministry. Cadets who had previously served in the guards units were accepted there. They were taught French as well as various oriental languages. In addition, English was added to the curriculum in 1907.

Although the Military Institute of Foreign Languages ​​existed in the USSR before World War II, after the Nazi invasion the Red Army began to experience an acute shortage of specialists who knew the German language and the languages ​​of the allies of Nazi Germany. Therefore, at this educational institution it was necessary to open accelerated language training courses. During the war years, about three thousand people underwent such training, who then went to the front and made a significant contribution to the victory over fascism. They were exactly the same military personnel as representatives of other military professions. Therefore, not all of them survived until the defeat of Hitlerite Germany and its allies.

And although peacetime came after the war in the Soviet Union, our military had to participate in the conflicts that erupted in the countries of Asia, Africa and even Latin America. Most often they served as military advisers. And, of course, there was enough work for military translators then.

And since 1979, our country itself entered the war in Afghanistan, which unexpectedly dragged on for a whole decade. There, military translators served both in the units of the USSR Armed Forces and helped the Soviet special services in their work. Only one military translator died in this Asian country, 15 people.

Today, the Day of the Military Translator is not an official holiday and is celebrated very modestly, almost at home. Occasionally, on this date, the opening of exhibitions, expositions is scheduled, and awards are held. Members of the Alumni Club of the Military Institute of Foreign Languages ​​(WIIL) are active and try not to lose sight of each other.

The editorial board of Voenniy Obozreniye congratulates all military translators, both current and future ones, on their professional holiday, as well as veterans who have devoted many years of service to their beloved work. We wish you good health, success in your profession and personal happiness.
Photos used:
Union of Veterans of VIIYa
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 21 May 2021 06: 55
    +5
    There is a good (and unfortunately, the only) mini-series dedicated to the service of these people - "Russian Translation", if I'm not mistaken.
    Success in the service, comrades - interpreters!)))
    1. Soveticos
      Soveticos 21 May 2021 07: 20
      +5
      Yes, a good series about Arabic translators. I join in the congratulations. I wish you always to negotiate mutually beneficial cooperation!
      1. Tatyana
        Tatyana 21 May 2021 11: 33
        +2
        All involved with a professional holiday! love
        I wish you health, success and happiness in your personal life! yes

    2. tatarin1972
      tatarin1972 22 May 2021 10: 36
      0
      Here are just the main character graduated from Leningrad State University and not VIIYa.
  2. tuts
    tuts 21 May 2021 06: 55
    +5
    All involved in the holiday
    1. Egoza
      Egoza 21 May 2021 08: 09
      +7
      Quote: tots
      All involved in the holiday

      I remember with gratitude my teacher, Vladimir Ivanovich, who was a translator for a group of military men who took Paulus' surrender.
      Bright memory to all translators who fought and still managed to do a lot "during breaks"
    2. Doliva63
      Doliva63 21 May 2021 09: 55
      +3
      Quote: tots
      All involved in the holiday

      Their name is legion, how hot! For I remember that in the intelligence of the USSR Armed Forces, almost all officers had a certificate of a military translator. For example, during my service in the GSVG I had to "earn extra money" as an interpreter in the prosecutor's office and in the special propaganda department, so I also have the right to get drunk today. laughing drinks
      1. ccsr
        ccsr 21 May 2021 12: 17
        +1
        Quote: Doliva63
        For I remember that in the intelligence of the USSR Armed Forces, almost all officers had a certificate of a military translator.

        No, not all - for this it was necessary to complete courses, pass exams and then periodically confirm qualifications, because for this there was an additional payment to the salary.
        By the way, there were many full-time translators in the group from civilian universities - translators from the VIIYa were very rare, they were not scattered around and were practically not sent to the troops.
        1. Doliva63
          Doliva63 21 May 2021 16: 53
          +2
          Quote: ccsr
          Quote: Doliva63
          For I remember that in the intelligence of the USSR Armed Forces, almost all officers had a certificate of a military translator.

          No, not all - for this it was necessary to complete courses, pass exams and then periodically confirm qualifications, because for this there was an additional payment to the salary.
          By the way, there were many full-time translators in the group from civilian universities - translators from the VIIYa were very rare, they were not scattered around and were practically not sent to the troops.

          Colleague, it was enough to pass the exam for a translator at your native school, if you are not in the know drinks
          1. ccsr
            ccsr 21 May 2021 19: 07
            +1
            Quote: Doliva63
            Colleague, it was enough to pass the exam for a translator at your native school, if you are not in the know

            Firstly, not all schools gave such knowledge of a foreign language in order to obtain a translator's certificate, this is still a difficult specialty. Secondly, I still had to hold a position related to knowledge of a foreign language. Well, and every two years to confirm their knowledge to the commission, if my memory serves me - at least in the group it was so with me. So not all intelligence officers were presented to this commission - the list was approved by the head of the department.
            1. Doliva63
              Doliva63 22 May 2021 19: 48
              +1
              Quote: ccsr
              Quote: Doliva63
              Colleague, it was enough to pass the exam for a translator at your native school, if you are not in the know

              Firstly, not all schools gave such knowledge of a foreign language in order to obtain a translator's certificate, this is still a difficult specialty. Secondly, I still had to hold a position related to knowledge of a foreign language. Well, and every two years to confirm their knowledge to the commission, if my memory serves me - at least in the group it was so with me. So not all intelligence officers were presented to this commission - the list was approved by the head of the department.

              How not all? In all those I know - exactly: Mospekh, Lenpekh, DVOKU, KVOKU, RVDKKU, SVVPTAU, NVVPOU, well, I don't remember the school of communications. This is only with whom he served. Another thing is that not everyone, after passing the foreign language exam, studied for another year in order to get admission to the examinations for a translator. As for the extension in the troops, yes, for the prosecutor's office, for example, it was needed, and the special propaganda department didn't care if you had already worked with them. And then, in addition to the certificate (German), I had 2 more languages ​​- English (in the volume of a military translator) and Spanish (socio-political vocabulary, as they said then). Staggering around Germany in my free time, I easily "mowed" like a tourist laughing And only when the police intresovalas, took out a blue passport. Youth, damn it! wassat
              1. ccsr
                ccsr 23 May 2021 09: 58
                0
                Quote: Doliva63
                How not all? In all those I know - exactly: Mospekh, Lenpekh, DVOKU, KVOKU, RVDKKU, SVVPTAU, NVVPOU, well, I don't remember the school of communications.

                Foreign languages ​​were taught in all higher military educational institutions of the USSR - this is a compulsory course. But in order to get the specialty of "military translator" it was necessary to take a special course in a foreign language and then get a certificate, as far as I remember. For operational intelligence, translators were trained in the Kiev combined arms, which Rezun graduated from, for example, but he did not immediately get into intelligence, so they could not pay him anything as a commander of a training company for a language. I won't talk about the rest of the schools, but to become a military translator of a foreign language course, military schools were not enough - judging by the translators I had to deal with, they all had at least foreign language behind them.
                Quote: Doliva63
                Another thing is that not everyone, after passing the foreign language exam, studied for another year in order to get admission to the examinations for a translator.

                That's what I'm talking about - the usual course was not enough, and in some educational institutions this was not provided at all.

                Quote: Doliva63
                And then, in addition to the certificate (German), I had 2 more languages ​​- English (in the volume of a military translator) and Spanish (socio-political vocabulary, as they said then).

                Such knowledge of languages ​​could be obtained either in the foreign language, or in the VIIYa, or in the VDA - I do not know of any other structures that trained specialists of this profile in the Armed Forces. You probably finished foreign languages ​​or some additional courses - as I suppose.
                Quote: Doliva63
                And only when the police intresovalas, took out a blue passport. Youth, damn it!

                Didn't they take the passports after arriving in the group? We were supposed to hand them over, and only when going on vacation or a business trip to the Union were they put in hand.
                True, I did without any passport, even when I went to West Berlin after the unification - it was enough to show the pass of the group with a photo, and the Germans left without question. By the way, on one of the sites I posted my pass of those times - they were not even taken away during the withdrawal.
                1. Doliva63
                  Doliva63 23 May 2021 17: 12
                  0
                  No, the passport was not handed over. We were advised to carry it with us, not an ID. Since childhood, English was my second language, both taught in our school, I trained myself to the level at the school, but there it was impossible to officially teach 2 languages, because study groups are divided precisely by language. I taught Spanish myself. Well, German is my favorite, I even wrote poetry in it to the teacher of German laughing More or less could speak Polish and Romanian - relatives, you know. In the "intelligence" three times "buyers" came to "look" me, but it did not work out, and served in intelligence before demobilization laughing drinks
                  1. ccsr
                    ccsr 23 May 2021 17: 28
                    0
                    Quote: Doliva63
                    Since childhood, English was my second language, in our school both taught, at the school I trained to the level, but there it was impossible to officially teach 2 languages, because study groups are divided precisely by language.

                    We, too, all study groups were divided into two languages ​​- German and English. It was even envisaged to write a diploma in a foreign language, for which they could pay extra to the salary, but I don't remember anyone doing it, because it was too difficult to write it with our knowledge of the language, and even in radio engineering.
                    Quote: Doliva63
                    More or less could speak Polish and Romanian - relatives, you know.

                    You are just a polyglot, I even wonder why you didn't make a career with such inclinations. By the way, when the military special propaganda was handed over to us, very highly qualified specialists came there, and they were all a department and they were stronger than our youth, it seems to me.

                    Quote: Doliva63
                    Three times "buyers" came to "reconnaissance" to "look" me, but it did not work out,

                    What were they looking at - further study or service in another structure? There was a different approach, if you are aware, and even medical indicators were taken into account.
                    1. Doliva63
                      Doliva63 23 May 2021 18: 08
                      0
                      A "German" at the school made me write a term paper on the history of the development of the tank industry in German - how grateful I am to her for that! Firstly, he was noted at once at 3 departments - history, tank troops, foreign language; secondly, they immediately offered to join the party, and the recommendations were made by the heads of these departments, who were considered "iron" in our country, against which no one would have trampled; thirdly, I automatically got into the exam for a translator - and this was almost a guarantee after graduation to get to my small homeland - in the GDR.
                      A career ended when the SA began to fall apart. It became not interesting for me to serve. Especially when the commander of a unit I know, convicted by the court of honor, became the Deputy Chief of the Ground Forces. This is no gate!
                      The "buyers" were from the Soviet Army Academy, like. That is, study. Well, you probably know the faculties there. And with medical indicators there was a complete order - CCM in 4 sports (hand-to-hand, OKU-32, kettlebell, cross). Probably, the character affected. Said what I think.
                      1. ccsr
                        ccsr 24 May 2021 16: 22
                        0
                        Quote: Doliva63
                        The "buyers" were from the Soviet Army Academy, like. That is, study.

                        They were from the headquarters of the group - so it was customary for the primary selection.
                        Quote: Doliva63
                        Probably, the character affected. Said what I think.

                        It is not at all necessary - the wife could not pass by some parameters, or the external data was not what was required. Or maybe your bosses were involved - you wouldn't have been told about this anyway.
                        But I think that you have not lost anything - not everything there is as rosy as it might seem from the outside.
                      2. Doliva63
                        Doliva63 25 May 2021 17: 38
                        0
                        My friend's dad was a resident in another hemisphere. He told a lot about "not everything is so rosy". And then in the service he met the major, who in his lieutenant years was his driver there, can you imagine how tight our army was? laughing But I was not drawn to this, I dreamed of going with a group along the Amazon. And what a shame, one of my comrades, though from another school, was still there! Not for long, such as an internship accompanied by local comrades. Here I envy him.
  • serg.shishkov2015
    serg.shishkov2015 21 May 2021 07: 21
    +4
    Among those awarded for the development of our magazine rifle was an officer of the General Staff. he was fluent in several foreign languages ​​and promptly provided the Commission with fresh foreign military-technical information. Happy Holidays!
  • tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 21 May 2021 08: 15
    +5
    Happy military translators! Your country gave you a good education, a lot of people from your environment who took part in writing the modern history of modern Russia. Probably even you are the only ones.
  • aszzz888
    aszzz888 21 May 2021 10: 00
    +3
    .... He doesn't just translate,
    He builds bridges between people.
    Listen to him more attentively
    He even translates souls.
    In villages, kishlaks, in capitals -
    It should be one in a hundred faces.
    With a professor - a small scientist,
    With the military - experienced in the fire.
    With the enemy - a skillful diplomat,
    Not using, though necessary, obscenities.
    With the Chekists - looking forward,
    With the dead - grieving about them.
    The affairs of anyone are sensitive to,
    With a peasant, he will love the land.
    In a conversation with a pilot - he is a pilot,
    With everything, however, a translator. ...

    Kirsanov Yuri
    Afghan cassette number 1 • 1980


    Happy Holidays, military translators !!! soldier
  • Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 21 May 2021 10: 38
    +3
    Of course, I join in the congratulations of the interpreters! But I just wanted to note that you can translate not only from Russian into ... and vice versa, English, German, French, Italian ... but also the "language" of gestures, facial expressions and drawings!