This year’s Languages Week theme is “Found in Translation”. This means that we are celebrating comprehension and understanding between cultures. We are celebrating the fact that different people can work together and build a common future despite our differences.
In this regard, few professions have been as helpful as the job of Interpreter. Interpreters play a key role in the international community. From the background of events Interpreters are the ones who make possible all the international summits, the world trade conferences, and anything that involves communication and understanding between different countries and cultures.
Our school is often praised for its linguistic excellence, for the fact that most of our students are bilingual or even trilingual. For this reason, we believe that our school is a potential mine of talent for interpreting.
This is what inspired Mr. Roblas to contact two professional interpreters in Taipei and organise an interpreting session at our school, where they shared with our H3 students their incredible language skills.
Our two honored guests were Mr. Wu Kunyong and Joey Chao. Mr. Wu Kunyong is president of the Taiwanese association of French translators and an experienced Interpreter. He has helped tremendously on building and nourishing the relationships between France and Taiwan. Joey Chao is a young and outstanding Interpreter who completed his degree in Political Science but ended up in the world of Languages and Interpreting. In 2008 he passed his Joint Professional Exam of Conference Interpreting.
During the session, both interpreters presented in a very transparent, entertaining and fun way for our students. They showed the positives of being an Interpreter, like the chance of learning new things all the time and getting to meet important and outstanding people around the world; but they also mentioned the challenges of this profession, like the fact that interpreters’ work is rarely praised or recognised by others. For this reason, interpreters also showed our students the skills needed to succeed in this world, and shared with them some useful tips for those interested in embarking on this adventure. Last but not least, interpreters performed a demonstration in front of all of us and, with the help of Mr. Vesseau, Head of the French Section, they interpreted a speech from French into Chinese and then from Chinese into English. Students were amazed by their interpreting skills and clapped enthusiastically at the end of their performance. It is our wish that students not only learnt, but also enjoyed this session and, maybe, decide one day to pursue this fascinating profession.
Meilin in H3 said afterwards:
We got to learn about the different types of interpreting: consecutive, simultaneous and whispering (‘chuchotage’). Before Tuesday, I didn’t know about this! I really enjoyed finding out about the relationship between the speaker and the interpreter. I never fully appreciated some of the challenges involved – the speed, quick-thinking, choosing the most appropriate word, understanding the cultural differences and accepting that there are some/words phrases that can’t be translated exactly! Both speakers gave us a really great insight into what happens at big world events and conferences and how much impact interpreters have, even though they’re usually not in the spotlight!
During the following weeks, Mr. Roblas and Ms. Sáez Ramos will offer H3 students the possibility to put into practise some basic interpreting skills that will help them to improve their listening, summarising and language skills.
Happy Languages Week!
Mr. Roblas and Ms. Sáez Ramos