[Saranghandae] A Big Step to Promote Global Communication
Introducing the Global Communication Committee
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Just a few years ago, the translations for the official Hanyang website were in a state of catastrophe. There was no consistency in the terminology used, and there was an overall insufficiency of contents available in foreign languages. This frail structure soon became a bigger problem as the university gradually increased its engagement in international programs, such as exchange student programs, foreign internships, and language institutes. So what changed all of this?
The answer is the Global Communication Committee (GCC). First initiated to address the inconsistencies in the various English titles within the university organization, GCC has extended its role to facilitate Hanyang University’s expansion of activities on a global platform. Providing a wide array of linguistic assistance in English and Chinese, it is now considered an integral tool on Hanyang’s path to becoming a truly global institution.
Introducing the Global Communication Committee
Established in March of 2016, GCC consists of two departments that respectively handle content in English and Chinese. The English department consists of two professors and three graduate student assistants while the Chinese department is made up of one professor with two student assistants. There is also a supervisor and a chairperson who oversee the entire project. Situated on the fourth floor of the new Administration Building, GCC engages in four main activities: 1. Translating promotional content created by the Media Strategy Center, 2. Translating and managing English/Chinese content on the official website of Hanyang University, 3. Translating and consenting of key public documents generated from other departments, 4. Serving in a committee that establishes the official names and titles that exist within Hanyang University.
Delving a little deeper into what GCC does, one of their major tasks is translating news articles written by student reporters. In an effort to share recent and noteworthy news with the foreign faculty and students, GCC took special attention in making these articles available in other languages. Regarding the process of translations, much of the writings are done by the student assistants, who then send their work to the professors who work for GCC for review and editing. In addition to news articles, GCC provides English versions of various notifications and updates from the university, which foreign students had trouble comprehending in the past.
Other specific tasks include revising the English versions of congratulatory remarks given in major school events such as the bi-annual Paiknam Prize ceremony, and the university’s entrance/graduation ceremonies.
The last role of GCC that cannot be stressed enough is the designation of official names for school departments and various titles. In the past, when these titles were translated freely by individuals, there was major confusion among foreign students and professors when discussing certain departments or facilities. Furthermore, the lack of an official, organizational title itself was a major breach in the university’s global competency. At the end of 2017, GCC had provided official titles for all departments, facilities, and faculty positions for Hanyang University. Furthermore, throughout the year, GCC had serviced 67 requests for translation from other departments, published 7 different printed forms of magazines, brochures, and catalogues, and uploaded 285 English news articles as well as 135 in Chinese.
The engines behind the committee
Ben Park and Jessica Warren are the two professors in charge of the final editing of the various English documents that pass through GCC. Whether it is a letter to be sent to a partner university, or a compilation of a new faculty manual, it is only after Ben and Jessica give consent that they become the official work of Hanyang University. “It’s a very important job. I had often heard from my colleagues that the English translation of the website was, quite frankly, embarrassing. I feel proud of how much progress we’ve made,” commented Ben. The two professors also work for the Center for Creative Convergence Education, where they teach classes such as Professional Academic English and Presentation and Writing Skills in English.
It has not been long since Ben and Jessica began working for GCC. Ben began working for GCC in the fall semester of 2017 and Jessica since March of 2018. Prior to their position with GCC, Jessica had worked extensively in the field of English editing. For her, the biggest change in her work as a member of GCC is that the result of her revisions is now much more influential in scope and depth. As she was used to instructing students on a one-on-one basis, her editing tasks for GCC involve the production of something that so many people will see and be affected by was eye awakening. “My proudest moment while working for GCC was taking part in the translation of the new attendance program and its manual,” mentioned Jessica. She explained that her participation felt like a direct and practical effort in helping her English speaking colleagues.Ben has also had extensive experience in editing from his years as an ESL teacher in the United States. As such, he places quite an emphasis on the grammatical soundness of the papers he receives. “I try as much as I can to keep to the original structure intended by the writer,” answered Ben. For him, the hardest part of the job was editing translations that still had a Korean fixture. “Direct translations are usually very dense and awkward. It takes strict mental work to figure them out.” On the other hand, Jessica confessed that she finds these pieces entertaining, in a way that is similar to a puzzle. Either way, it was clear that both professors held great pride and interest in their role with GCC. They also agreed that they were surprised at how many programs and systems the university has in place for its students, and that the thought of making these opportunities more accessible to
Executive Vice President Lee Sung-chull
Executive Vice President Lee Sung-chull is the founder and current chairperson of GCC. Also having served as the first Dean of the Division of International Studies, he has dedicated his time at Hanyang University by nurturing its global capacity. According to Dr. Lee, the main motivation for the establishment of GCC was the lack of a systematic management in its English affairs, despite the significant scale of our university. “Not only were all of the names of our buildings different, but professors and students could only check school notifications in Korean, and various English publications in the university were coordinated at the individual department level.” He also added that it imposed embarrassing complications when corresponding with foreign institutions.
Executive Vice President, Dr. Lee expressed his satisfaction about the progress that GCC has made so far. “Every department, building, and infrastructure now has an official name, and we have sorted out the complicated number of titles for the professors.” Furthermore, he was very content with how the university website has turned out. He felt that what had consisted of rigid, direct translations is now very smooth and natural. Moreover, he felt that the visual design and concept of the improved website went beyond the domain of words, creating a welcoming platform for everyone. Meanwhile, he desires to make GCC more widely known. Though he was happy to hear that there was a steady growth in the requests for translation from other departments, he sought to position GCC in a more integral role at Hanyang University.
“We are currently catering to English and Chinese, the two most commonly used languages on our campus. But as Hanyang University grows more global, there will be further expansion of languages as well as faculties to meet this new demand.” Emphasizing the ‘Communication’ in the name, Global Communication Committee, Executive Vice President, Dr. Lee has expressed hope that the committee will not just facilitate communication with foreign institutions, but amongst ourselves as members of Hanyang. With such dedication and support from all levels of GCC, Dr. Lee’ s aspirations do not seem very far-fetched.
By Lee Chang-hyun (Student Reporter)
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