Professor Ludmila Stern

My Expertise

Western intelligentsia & USSR in the 1920s - 1930s (mechanism of creation of French - Soviet cultural contacts); interpreting & cross cultural communication at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia & national courts

Field of Research (FoR)

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Ludmila Stern is the founder of the MA in Interpreting and Translation Studies - a professional program endorsed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). She was the Program Convenor (2005-2010, and (2014-15), the Deputy Head of School of Languages and Linguistics (2005-2010), and the Head of School of International Studies (2011-12). She was a Director on the NAATI Board (2010- 2016) and is the Chair...view more

Ludmila Stern is the founder of the MA in Interpreting and Translation Studies - a professional program endorsed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). She was the Program Convenor (2005-2010, and (2014-15), the Deputy Head of School of Languages and Linguistics (2005-2010), and the Head of School of International Studies (2011-12). She was a Director on the NAATI Board (2010- 2016) and is the Chair of NAATI's Technical Reveference Advisory Committee (TRAC).

Research Summary
Ludmila's historical enquiry raises the questions about Western intellectuals' involvement with the interwar Soviet Union, and closely looks at the attraction of eminent Western writers and artists (G.B Shaw, H.G.Wells, V. Gollancz, R. Rolland, L. Aragon, Jean-Richard Bloch, L.Feuchtwanger) to Stalin's USSR in the light of the developing Soviet cultural propaganda. She was among the first researchers who worked on the declassified documents of Soviet 'cultural' organisations in the former Soviet archives - research that led to the publication of her monograph Western intellectuals and the Soviet Union. From Red Square to the Left Bank, 1920-40, Routledge, 2007. She is the co-editor, with Rachel Mazuy, of the book Moscou-Caucase Été 1934. Lettres de voyage en URSS, Jean-Richard et Marguerite Bloch, CNRS Éditions, Paris, 2019. She is working on the WWII-time relations between western intellectuals and the USSR as well as Soviet espionage in the 1920s-30s France.

Her contemporary research examines interpreter-mediated communication in the complex settings, including that of war trials conducted in national and international courts. She conducted research on interpreting practices during the Australian War Crimes Prosecutions (1986-1993) and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and has been conducting research at the International Criminal Court (ICC). She is currently working on the project Interpreting in the War Crimes Trials. From the Nuremberg Trials to the International Criminal Court and Communication between judicial officers and court interpreters: Implications for access to justice.

As a researcher and educator of interpreters and interpreter users (particularly legal and courtroom), Ludmila has been a consultant and an invited speaker in Australian legal and judiciary bodies (Judicial Commission of NSW, Bar Association of NSW, National Judicial College of Australia, Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration) and overseas (ICTY, ICC, STL). She was commissioned by AusAID to design and deliver a suite of interpreting workshops for the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR (2005-2011).

My Qualifications


My Awards

  • Recipient of the 2010 Dean's Award for teaching excellence
  • Recipient of the 2010 Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • Recipient of the 2015 Dean’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning for the unit Doctors Working with Interpreters in Healthcare Settings – Inter-professional training model for medical students (with Professor Sandra Hale and Mr Sean Cheng)

My Engagement

  • Chair, NAATI Technical Reference Advisory Committee (2017- ongoing)
  • Director, National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters LTD (NAATI) Board of Directors (2010-16)
  • Education of interpreter users - lawyers and judiciary (Workers Compensation Commitssion, Mental Health tribunal, National Judicial College of Australia, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Court, Judicial Commission of NSW, DPP of NSW, Bar Association of NSW, etc.)
  • Consultant and researcher at the International courts and tribunals (International criminal tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Speicial tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
  • Member of the editorial Board of Australian Slavonic and East European Studies (ASEES), member of the international advisory board of The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research, member of the InDialog Advisory Committee (Berlin 2013).
  • Australia and NZ Slavists Association (ANZSA)
  • Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT)
  • Association d'études de Jean-Richard Bloch.
  • Reviewer and referee of submissions for the journals European History Quarterly, Journal of Jewish Identities, The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, ASEES, John Benjamins publishers.

Media coverage of research:

  • Invited speaker interviewed by the media, including ABC RN (24 April 2018), My grandmother the spy Tuesday 24 April 2018 at 11 am. The podcast is out on the ABC Radio National:
  • European Commission Directorate-General Interpretation, Interpreting in Domestic vs International Courts and Interpretation in international courts (2013 and 2014)
  • Phillip Adams Late Night Live (2007), Damien Carrick Interpreters in the Courtroom, Law Report (2007 and 2009); World View, SBS Radio: The Role of the Judge, Training DVD, Judicial Commission of NSW and Australian Institute of Judicial Administration
  • Interpreting assignments include interpreting at the Sydney Writers’ Festival for the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (2006); annual conference interpreting for the UN Commission for the Conservation of the Marine Living Resources of Antarctica (CCAMLR, 1989-ongoing), Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties 50th meeting, the EU Commission for Standardisation of Food, Australian-Russian Business Forum, International Conference of Women Judges and other conferences

My Teaching

Having taught Russian Studies (1989-2004), Ludmila made a transition to interpreting and translation. She currently teaches advanced interpreting courses in the Masters in Interpreting and Translation. She is a guest lecturer in European Studies.

Ludmila is a UNSW teaching summative peer reviewer (2017 - ongoing)

Postgraduate courses:

  • MODL5105 Conference Interpreting
  • MODL5113 Preparation for accreditation in interpreting
  • MODL5117 Interpreting in International settings

Undergraduate course:
Since 2016, together with Dr Stephen Doherty, Ludmila has been teaching a blended learning multilingual multimedia course Capstone course ARTS3330: Introduction to Translation and Interpreting.

Postgraduate supervision (with Prof Sandra Hale):

  • Sophia Ra: Cross-cultural commuincation: A qualitative study of interpreter-mediated medical encounters between Korean patients and Australian doctors (PhD)
  • Wong Wan Kei: The Role of Preparation using Case-related Materials in Court Interpreting (PhD)

Completed Research students:

  • Xu Han: Lawyers working with interpreters in Australia. Inter-professional relations, role boundaries and professionalism (PhD 2019)
  • Xin Liu: Fidelity in Consecutive Interpreting - A Contrastive Study between Expert and Novice Interpreters (PhD 2017)
  • Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya: The Formal Literary experiments in Contemporary Russian Poetry in the Context of European Literature techne (PhD 2011)

Recent PhD examination:

  • Adolpho Gentile A policy-focused examination of the establishment of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters in Australia, PhD thesis, Monash University, January 2018.
  • Clément Extier La mémoire à l’œuvre. Drieu La Rochelle et la construction du sens : l’homme et la Grande Guerre, PhD thesis, co-tutelle University of Sydney- University Lyon, December 2017. Report and viva examination (in French).
  • Mansour Amini, Conference interpreting in Malaysia: A Study of Users’, Interpreters’ and Clients’ Quality Expectation, PhD thesis, Universiti Sains Malaysia, August 2015.
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257 Morven Brown


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