Hakob Nahapetyan Lecture
, ,

Alumnus Hakob Nahapetyan (BAB ’19) Speaks at AUA

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — On November 1, the American University of Armenia (AUA) General Education program hosted a talk with AUA alumnus Hakob Nahapetyan (BAB ’19) as part of the series Beyond the Campus: Alumni Stories.

In his presentation on “Opening doors to a global audience: A project of translating and subtitling Armenian films,” Nahapetyan spoke about what motivated him to embark on this project, further expanding on the intricate process of translating films and his future plans. 

Nahapetyan shared that his interest in Armenian cinematography developed during his Armenian History classes at AUA. The idea of translating and subtitling Armenian movies came to him in Dr. Tigran Matosyan’s class where an Armenian language film was screened and Armenian students were translating for their non-Armenian speaking classmates. Nahapetyan notes, “I realized that something needed to be done to make Armenian films accessible to non-Armenian audiences. I viewed this as a social responsibility. That was a concept I also encountered in other courses during my time at AUA, which persuaded me to take on this work.” 

Since then, Nahapetyan’s fascination with Armenian cinematography and commitment to social responsibility have evolved into a larger hobby project of translating and subtitling movies produced in Armenia during the Soviet era. To date, Nahapetyan has translated ten films, including classics like the 1967 Triangle (Եռանկյունի) and 1981 The Big Win (Խոշոր շահում)․ His overarching goal is to translate and subtitle the complete Soviet-Armenian cinematic legacy. 

During the presentation, Nahapetyan also spoke about his own process of translating films into English, highlighting the intricacies of rendering culturally specific idioms, sayings, and proverbs. He duly noted that there exist some artificial intelligence platforms that have the capability to aid in the translation of culturally nuanced expressions into English. Nahapetyan also provided some key statistics from his YouTube channel Armenian Cinematic Legacy, such as view counts and the countries where his films were shown. He also shared some user comments that, he underscored, serve as a source of motivation for him to keep up with the project. 

AUA instructors, students, and guests from outside the AUA community attended the event. Following the presentation, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions and also offer Nahapetyan comments and recommendations.

Beyond the Campus: Alumni Stories aims to foster sustained relationships and professional networks among AUA alumni, students, and faculty, as well as help current students explore opportunities and make post-graduation career or further education plans. The forum is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.