“Breaking the Barriers”: ITS Faculty and Students Provide Remote Interpreting and Translation Services for Harvard China Education Symposium 2020

A screenshot of a WFU logo shown in an ongoing Zoom panel. The panel manager was announcing that the simultaneous interpreting service was provided by ITS.

A screenshot of a WFU logo shown in an ongoing Zoom panel. The panel manager was announcing that the simultaneous interpreting service was provided by ITS.

As one of the most prestigious and influential events on Chinese education in the United States, the Harvard China Education Symposium (CES) aims to gather practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the field of education to present the latest research, exchange new ideas, and brainstorm innovative solutions related to education in China. It has been organized by the graduate students at Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2010. Some of the previous speakers include the former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Harvard University Professor Dr. Ezra Vogel. The theme for this year is “From Barriers to Dialogues: Envisioning the Future of Education in China.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symposium was held online for the first time on April 17-19, 2020 as scheduled.

A screenshot of the CES website, recognizing WFU as one of its interpreting supporters.

A screenshot of the CES website, recognizing WFU as one of its interpreting supporters.

Dr. Xijinyan Chen, Assistant Teaching Professor of the Interpreting and Translation Studies Program, has been connecting and communicating with the organizing committee since January. Dr. Olgierda Furmanek, Director of the ITS Program, and Dr. Chen were in charge of selecting and training the simultaneous interpreters, who were the second-year graduate students of the Chinese track in the ITS program.

During the symposium, Dr. Chen led and coordinated a team of five ITS students (Yuqing Cao, Neo Tai, Yuzhu Zhang, Wei Zhu and Hongyu Lu) to interpret for five of the ten panels remotely between English and Chinese. The Instructional Technology Specialist Tyler Pruitt provided technical support. Nearly 3,000 people around the globe registered for the events. For each panel, there were about 400-1,000 attendees.

A screenshot of a preparatory session. The panel managers, the panelists and the WFU interpreters were getting ready.

A screenshot of a preparatory session. The panel managers, the panelists and the WFU interpreters were getting ready.

In addition, all the seven graduate students of the Chinese track (Tong Wu, Kai Bi, Yuzhu Zhang, Wei Zhu, Hongyu Lu, Neo Tai, and Yuqing Cao) helped translate the subtitles of the CES videos into English/Chinese. Dr. Chen served as the proofreader.

After the symposium, the CES organizing committee shared many positive comments from the panel managers, the guest speakers and the audiences with the ITS program. They particularly acknowledged the professionalism, skills, and teamwork. Some panel managers commented that the ITS team from Wake Forest University “did a wonderful job in helping break the language barriers, as the theme suggested.”

A screenshot in one of the CES videos (BT: The subtitle translation is provided by the students from Wake Forest University: Tong Wu, Hongyu Lu, Yuqing Cao, Wei Zhu, Yuzhu Zhang, Neo Tai, and Kai Bi. Thank you.)

A screenshot in one of the CES videos (BT: The subtitle translation is provided by the students from Wake Forest University: Tong Wu, Hongyu Lu, Yuqing Cao, Wei Zhu, Yuzhu Zhang, Neo Tai, and Kai Bi. Thank you.)

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