Low profile, high proficiency
Andrew C Dawrant’s voice is soft and appealing if you heard his voice without seeing him, you might think he was a Chinese speaking Mandarin with a touch of Beijing dialect. A senior member of the AIIC (Association Internationale des Interpretes de Conference), Dawrant is the dean of the Interpretation Department at GIIT (the Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation) at Shanghai International Studies University.
When he was 16-years-old, Dawrant attended a language school in Hong Kong to study Cantonese. Even before that, however, Chinese people had already made an impression on him.
"When I was still a little boy living in Canada, there were many immigrants who came from Hong Kong. Some of them could not speak English at first, and I was assigned to help them learn English in a local Montessori school," Dawrant said. "From then on, I was attracted by Chinese people and decided to learn their language. I still remember that when I was in Canada, I would often go to Hong Kong immigrants’ homes and watch Hong Kong TV series with them. I tried to take down almost everything I did not understand in these series and asked the people to help me."
After he had been in Hong Kong for several years, Dawrant began to take on another challenge. He went to a language school to learn Mandarin and at the end of the 1980s, he studied Mandarin at Heilongjiang University. In 1996, he earned a master’s degree in translation and interpretation studies from the Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation Studies at Fu Jen University of Taipei. Around the same time, he received a professional diploma (with honours) in conference interpretation. In 1999, he became an active member of AIIC.
"The road to becoming a member of the AIIC and a qualified professional interpreter is tough and long," Dawrant said. "But my interest in Chinese and interpretation helped me to carry on."
He said the selection and qualification system of the AIIC is very strict and there are fewer than 2,700 members worldwide. There are only about 5,000 people who dedicate themselves to professional simultaneous interpretation in the world.
"Because simultaneous interpretation is a very limited industry, it only needs a small group of highly qualified professionals. People should understand this point before they try to understand professional simultaneous interpretation," said Dawrant.
From the prime minister of Canada to the American president, from the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada to many Chinese ministers, Dawrant has successfully impressed people with his excellent proficiency. But he is still maintains a low-profile life.
"I think a first-class interpreter should not attract the audience’s attention when undertaking interpretation," he said.
Dawrant now works in the GIIT at Shanghai International Studies University. "I want to introduce a strict system that meets the international standards of professional simultaneous interpretation into China, and I’ll try my best to do this," he said.
Dawrant, who learned jazz piano in his 20s, plays piano in his spare time.
"But I’m only an amateur player," he smiled. "I think everyone needs something to remind him that he is not accomplished in everything so that he will not become arrogant. If I gain mastery of the piano one day, then I will try to find another reminder."
Dawrant will remain in Shanghai for three years, the duration of his contract with GIIT. He is upbeat and ambitious for his coming days in Shanghai.
"The most impressive thing about Shanghai is how fast it is changing. recently, the Shanghai local government has announced a series of ambitious plans, which include several new conference centres. This is deeply related to what I’m doing now and I think it is great."This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost : WordPress AutoBlog plugin
Purchase Process, WP-AutoPost
Low profile, high proficiency