Volume 3, No. 2 
April 1999

Narine Khachatryan

Narine Khachatryan was born on October 18, 1975 in Yerevan, Armenia. She received her secondary education at Yerevan School No. 84 named after Kh. Abovyan, from which she graduated in 1992. In 1983 Miss Khachatryan began attending Music School No. 6 named after Anoushavan Ter-Ghevondyan (piano studies) and graduated in 1990. After graduating from high school in 1992, she enrolled in the Yerevan State Institute of Foreign Languages (with a double major in English as a Foreign Language and Practical Psychology) and graduated in 1997.
    Since 1995 Miss Khachatryan has been working at the Biophysics Center (BC) of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences as a translator/interpreter. In 1997 the BC was reorganized into Life Sciences International Higher Educational School (LSIHES) (functioning as a UNESCO Chair /Department/ of Life Sciences) and now she is a translator/interpreter at LSIHES.
    In her work, Miss Khachatryan has specialized mainly in translating life sciences manuscripts and doing scientific interpretation at international conferences. She has translated and edited more than 15 scientific manuscripts that have been published in various international journals. Since 1997 LSIHES has organized two scientific seminars and Miss Khachatryan has interpreted at these meetings.
    Now Miss Khachatryan is taking her first steps in fiction translation. Some of her translations of short stories by famous Armenian writers have already been published in various journals and others are under review now.
    Miss Khachatryan would be pleased to exchange ideas and experiences with colleagues doing similar work anywhere in the world.

Narine Khachatryan can be reached at



What’s New?
by Gabe Bokor
Index 1997-99
  Translator Profiles
A Typical Translator?
by Cynthia Keesan
  The Profession
The Bottom Line
by Fire Ant & Worker Bee
  Legal Translation
Pitfalls in Legal Translation
by Davide De Leo

Working in Brazil
by Danilo Nogueira.
  Translators Around the World
Translators’ Day in Armenia
by Narine Khachatryan
  Arts & Entertainment
Translation for Art and Architectural History
by Michael Walker
  Science & Technology
A Translator’s Guide to Organic Chemical Nomenclature XV
by Chester E. Claff, Jr., Ph.D.
  Caught in the Web
Web Surfing for Fun and Profit
by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
Translators’ On-Line Resources
by Gabe Bokor
  Translators’ Tools
Translators’ Emporium
Translators’ Events
Letters to the Editor
Call for Papers
Translation Journal
Translators Around the World

Translators’ Day, a Holiday Celebrating a One Thousand Six Hundred-Year-Old Tradition in Armenia
(a historical excursus based on encyclopedic data)

by Narine Khachatryan

Binding In 405 B.C., Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet and together with his co-workers and pupils laid the foundations of Armenian-language literature. The first sentence translated into Armenian was: “To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding” (The Book of Proverbs 1,2).
   After the invention of the Armenian alphabet, an extensive active period of enlightenment began, which encompassed all Armenia. The basic books of Christian doctrine, the Old and New Testaments and the works of ancient philosophers were translated into Armenian; original treatises on philosophy and history were written, religious poetry flourished.
   Some of the ancient Greek originals of Armenian translations no longer exist; scholars are familiar with these works only through their Armenian translations.
   For centuries foreign invaders trampled on Armenian soil, turning its villages and cities into ruins and destroying the cultural achievements of the Armenian people.
   The years following 1915, the year of the genocide of Armenians over the entire territory of Turkey (historical Armenia), marked a disastrous period for Armenian culture as a whole. Innocent, unarmed people were deported from their age-old native land and our cultural centers—monasteries and churches, schools and libraries—were consigned to flames. During those years of bloodshed, tens of thousands of unique manuscripts were completely destroyed. Yet no one could ever break the will of the nation that has repeatedly proven its right to existence. Book Title
   The art of translation flourished in Armenia for centuries even as our nation struggled for existence and survival. The masterpieces of world-renowned authors have been translated into Armenian and a great number of works by famous Armenian authors have been presented to many nations of the world in various languages. Thanks to translations, the names of Movses Khorenatsi and David Anhaght, Grigor Narekatsi and Nahapet Kuchak, Hovhannes Toumanyan and Avetik Isahakyan, Eghishe Charents and Paruir Sevak, Hovhannes Shiraz and many other distinguished representatives of Armenian culture became known to the world.
   Translators’ Day, celebrated in October, is a holiday of Armenian education and culture.
   Since 1979, Translators’ Day has been widely commemorated in Armenia once every three years. The opening ceremony takes place in Oshakan, where Mesrop Mashtots (the creator of the Armenian alphabet) is buried and the monument to the Armenian alphabet has been erected. During this celebration the authors of the best translations are awarded a special prize named after E. Charents.
   Thus, in a country where for centuries the art of translation has played an important role in the development of the arts, science and education, this tradition is being carried on. Translators’ Day pays tribute to one of the most significant fields of human activity, which helps people of different nations and religions better to understand each other and become acquainted with each other’s history and culture.

The photos illustrate the silver binding (1255 A.D.) and the title page (13 - 14th centuries) of manuscripts now kept in Matenadaran (depository) named after Mesrop Mashtots in Yerevan .

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