Nationality

China

Education

Juris Doctor, New York Law School, New York, United States

Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Interpretation, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China

Bachelor’s Degree in English and International Trade, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China

Languages

Chinese, English

I first became interested in the United Nations back in the early 1970s. At that time, China was going through a period of change, and I wanted to be a part of its transition and immersion into the international community.

I joined the United Nations as an interpreter to be a part of the international dialogue between countries as they come together and discuss issues that impact the whole World. It is such a great responsibility. For an interpreter, these are called “missions”. I love working these missions, although at times they can become demanding. I have voluntarily worked 9-week sessions before, which required back-to-back missions. On occasions, there were so many missions that I often times lost count! My wife calls me a “work horse”, which is funny because I was born under the Chinese zodiac sign of the Horse.

Working as an interpreter is a challenge for many reasons. As an interpreter it is my job to allow the speaker to speak at his own pace to deliver his message. Furthermore, it is imperative that I convey that message quickly so that the audience understands the importance of the message. It requires mental agility and perseverance; an interpreter must be able to shift gears from one tongue to another, mindful of all of the cultural and colloquial nuances associated with the language. At times, the language gap can be immense, but a good interpreter bridges this gap fluidly. The biggest challenge to interpreting in the United Nations is not just conveying the message, but conveying the passion that goes along with it. I remember the adrenaline rush I felt when translating for Dr. Klaus Topfer, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; in 1998 he gave a speech with such passion and conviction that I felt such pride translating his message to the audience. His words, “I have the responsibility for UNEP. We must be accountable for our actions or inactions in a world where there is plenty to do and we have resources to do it.” These words deserve to be shared with the world.

I love the United Nations not only for the work I am able to do, but also for the opportunities to see the world of which I am a part. My wife and I take every opportunity to explore the globe. We have ascended the Great Wall of China, roamed around the Taj Mahal, and pushed the leaning Tower of Pisa. We have also descended into the Rift Valley, cruised on the poetic and picturesque Lake Léman, and enjoyed grandiose operas in Vienna. We even rode an elephant outside the Emerald Temple in Bangkok…the list goes on and on and on.

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