Students win Chinese interpretation competition

Three students from the Institute recently won prizes in the Yunshan Cup, a Chinese language performance competition.

Two current Middlebury Institute students and an alumnus won prizes in the finals of the Yunshan Cup International Remote Interpretation Competition. Anran Li MATI ’22 won first place in simultaneous interpretation. Xinyun Lu MATI ’22 won second place in the simultaneous interpretation category as well as third place in the consecutive interpretation category. Former student Jiayi Lyu MATI ’21 won second place in consecutive acting.

The Yunshan Cup is hosted by Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and is open to students from all over the world. The competition consists of two interpreting categories: consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, divided into three rounds each. The preliminaries and semi-finals for each category were held entirely online, while the finals were held in a hybrid format. In the preliminary rounds and semi-finals of the competition, the students performed video clips from Chinese to other languages. In the final round, the students took turns interpreting a live lecture by a guest speaker.

Middlebury Institute students encountered technical and physical difficulties when entering the competition. They had to learn a new remote interpreting platform for the competition, which required adaptability. In addition, since the competition was held in China, students had to perform at odd hours. This was the first time Li performed simultaneous interpretation at 11 p.m.

Li and Lu learned about the competition from their teachers in the Chinese Translation and Interpretation programs. Preparing for the competition required intense classroom coaching as well as hours of practice with peers in person and on Zoom. Professor Wallace Chen explained that students were able to apply what they learned in their classes to a performance competition that mimics real-life situations. At the Institute, students receive training and develop skills applicable to a variety of bilingual communication contexts typically found in a global setting. Their internship opportunities with potential clients were also key to their success in the interpreting competition.

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