Translating a childhood dream into excellence 

By Anna Sarkissian

Marthe Catry-Verron (right) congratulates the winner of her eponymous award, Ive Cartier. Magnifying glass

Marthe Catry-Verron (right) congratulates the winner of her eponymous award, Ive Cartier.

Most eight-year-olds don’t dream of being translators. “Being a fireman or a singer is always more attractive,” says Ive Cartier, who is graduating this June from the Co-op program in translation.

But there’s nothing average about Cartier, whose work has been recognized with a string of awards, including an entrance scholarship, the Marthe Catry-Verron Award of Excellence, and the Alexandre Quintal Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Growing up, she spoke French at home. At family get-togethers, Cartier didn’t understand the English jokes that were exchanged. When she would ask her father to explain, he would say, “It’s really funny, but I can’t translate it.”

“Sometimes he would try, but it wouldn’t be funny,” Cartier recounts dryly. “I thought he had no talent for translation and that I could do better.”

She was attracted to Concordia because of the strength of the translation program and its small class sizes.

Since 2005, she has been heavily involved in the Translation Games, where university teams assemble for friendly competitions like translating songs or comic strips. “Not only have I gained amazing experience in leadership, financial planning and professional networking, but it also triggered the creation of a student association in translation, which I led for a short period of time,” she says.

Giving back to the community is second nature to Cartier, who started volunteering in high school. She has given her time to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec, among others.

“I got involved in anything I could. The idea is to get the most and the best out of every situation and context.”


Concordia University