Yang Shanshan, a PhD student of linguistics from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Macau (UM), recently won a second prize in the simultaneous interpreting (SI) invitational tournament, which was part of the Seventh National Interpreting Contest. During the contest, Yang competed with 15 students from 11 renowned universities. Dr Victoria Lei, Yang’s interpreting instructor, received the Distinguished Teacher Award.
The two-round simultaneous interpreting tournament was held at the SI lab of Beijing Normal University, with a live broadcast on the internet. In each round, contestants were required to interpret a speech from English to Chinese or vice versa for about 20 minutes, with the speeches covering various topics such as climate change, human rights, social media, refugee crisis, and political geography. As a cognitively challenging task, SI requires not only excellent bilingual proficiency, but also encyclopedic knowledge and a resilient mindset. In the two rounds, Yang demonstrated strong interpreting expertise. She was ranked No 5 among the 16 contestants and received a second prize. She was also the only contestant from the Macao region to advance to the final of this year’s contest.
As one of the 11 universities invited to participate in the contest, UM is committed to cultivating top interpreting professionals to serve the Macao society and the Greater China region. That effort has been recognised by both the academia and the industry. UM students have received prizes at various national and international interpreting contests, including third prizes at the Cross-Strait Interpreting Contest in 2016 and 2018, a second prize in the consecutive interpreting (CI) category of the 2014 National Interpreting Contest, as well as the team championship in the CI category and a second prize in the SI category of the 2016 National Interpreting Contest.
Organised by the Translators Association of China, the National Interpreting Contest is considered the most prestigious, influential, and representative oral interpreting contest in the Greater China region. This year’s event attracted over 5,400 contestants from 642 universities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and countries covered in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.