MPI and European Commission co-organise the 7th Conference Interpreting Seminar

Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) and the Directorate-General for Interpretation of the European Commission (EC) are joining hands to organise the 7th Conference Interpreting Seminar from 10 to 21 July. This collaboration aims to nurture high-calibre talent in conference interpretation as well as train Portuguese university teachers working in Macao and the Chinese Mainland. More than ten professional translators and Portuguese teachers from Macao and Chinese universities, together with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, are attending this two-week advanced training in interpretation.

The opening ceremony of the 7th Conference Interpreting Seminar was held at MPI on the morning of 10 July. The ceremony was hosted by Professor Marcus Im Sio Kei, Vice President of MPI; Mr. Chang Kun Hong, Acting Director of the Tertiary Education Services Office of the Macao SAR; and Mr. Pedro Elston, Senior Expert on Portuguese-Speaking Countries Affairs, and Mr. Jorge Andrade Silva, Pedagogical Coordinator for Portuguese Language International Assistance, both of whom were representing the Directorate-General for Interpretation of the EC. Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Im stated that China has seen a growing demand for Portuguese language talent, noting a tremendous growth in universities offering undergraduate programmes in the Portuguese language, from merely three in 2003 to over 30 at present. As a platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Macao should take full advantage of its unique history, culture, and linguistic strengths to support the "Belt and Road" Initiative. Macao should also contribute to the cultivation of much-needed Portuguese-language talent in response to the recent development of friendly relations between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

According to Professor Im, MPI has joined hands with the Directorate-General for Interpretation since 2006, and has successfully held six interpreting seminars, all of which have been well received by students. While teaching the theories and methods of interpretation, great importance to actual practice has also been emphasized. Professor Im hopes that this year’s seminar will be built on the success of previous initiatives. Led by two experts of the Directorate-General for Interpretation, who have extensive experience in conference interpreting and training of interpreters, this two-week training will focus on the theories, methods, practice and experience acquired over the years by the Directorate-General for Interpretation. Students on this training will gain new knowledge and will be able to apply what they have learnt to their teaching and interpretation practice. Professor Im also thanked the Tertiary Education Services Office for their support, with hopes that this training would yield fruitful results, including the promotion and development of Portuguese language teaching and learning in Chinese universities followed by a subsequent improvement in the level of Portuguese interpretation on the Chinese Mainland.

Mr. Pedro Elston, Senior Expert on Portuguese-Speaking Countries Affairs of the Directorate-General for Interpretation of the EC, also mentioned in his speech that training for conference interpreters began as early as 2006 as a collaboration between the EC, the Macao Administrative and Public Service Bureau and MPI. Mr. Elston expressed his deepest appreciation for MPI’s role as an academic "reference institution" for the training of Chinese-Portuguese translators and interpreters over the years. Mr. Elston stressed that apart from teaching, efforts should be made to "train the trainers" so that this seminar would produce not only excellent translators, but also Portuguese teachers who would be able to nurture conference interpreters in Macao in the near future.

Guests attending the opening ceremony also included: Mr. Hong Bo, Head of Culture and Education Office, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region; Ms. Xu Yingzhen, Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao); Mr. Casimiro de Jesus Pinto, Director of the Language Affairs Office of the Macao Administrative and Public Service Bureau; and Professor Cui Mingfen, Acting Director of MPI’s School of Languages and Translation, among others. The 7th Conference Interpreting Seminar is partially sponsored by the Tertiary Education Services Office of the Macao SAR.

The 7th Conference Interpreting Seminar jointly organised by MPI and the European Commission opens

Professor Marcus Im (right), MPI’s Vice President, presents a souvenir to Mr. Pedro Elston, representative of the European Commission's Department for Interpretation

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