Monday, 15 June 2020 07:39

IATIS COVID-19 Testimonials: Mutual Respect and Support

Zhaoxing Xu, SUNY Binghamton University, USA

How has the Coronavirus emergency impacted your work?

My trip back to my home country has been postponed for several months because of cancelled flights. Due to this I had to defer a job offer. I have started seeking new job opportunities in other countries which is not necessarily negative, though the chances for me getting one would be low. 

What are you doing to help, to cope, to maintain contacts and to support individuals and communities?

I am in touch with family members, friends and professional connections from all over the world. I offer soothing words and receive warm-hearted replies. We are generally mutually supportive to one another though we feel anxious as well.


How important are translation and interpreting in dealing with the emergency in your area of the world?

I am currently attending an online medical translation/interpreting workshop and a translation-technology tutorial in my home country, China. I feel translation and interpreting are definitely playing a very positive role in the emergency situation in my home country. 

How much attention has been paid (or not) to language and translation needs?

I feel people's attention has not yet been geared enough toward language and translation needs, except for the medical system and public media. However, during this pandemic, language services, especially translation and interpreting, definitely play important function in finding the way out. 

What adjustments must we make to the ways that we work to accommodate the future? 

We will need to alter our mode of work as a response to such an unexpected public health emergency event that will potentially exert huge impact on our daily lives. 

How do we protect livelihoods, highlight the role of teachers and trainers, or support existing and emerging jobs and careers?  

We should demonstrate mutual respect and mutual support as our primary principle and help create a caring community for language professionals, improve their learning experiences and boost their career development. I am a teacher myself, teaching English language courses online to students in China. I think we should appreciate the spirit of sharing with others knowledge and experiences with an open mind. Meanwhile, we need to be aware of the potential issues of information security in cyber space. We should abide by the rules when using the platforms to access the resources. 

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