| by Emily Cipriani

News Stories

Yunshan Cup awards ceremony
Xinyun Lu MATI ’22 projected onto a screen during the Yunshan Cup awards ceremony.

Three Institute students recently won awards in the Yunshan Cup, a Chinese interpretation competition.

Two current Middlebury Institute students and one alumna won awards in the final round of the Yunshan Cup International Remote Interpreting Contest. Anran Li MATI ’22 won first place in simultaneous interpretation. Xinyun Lu MATI ’22 won second place in the simultaneous interpretation category as well as third place in the consecutive interpretation category. Alumna Jiayi Lyu MATI ’21 won second place in consecutive interpretation.

The Yunshan Cup is organized by the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and is open to students across the globe. The competition consists of two interpretation categories: Consecutive and simultaneous interpretation, split into three rounds each. The preliminary and semifinals of each category were conducted entirely online, while the finals were executed in a hybrid format. In the preliminary and semifinal rounds of the competition, students interpreted video clips from Chinese to other languages. In the final round, students took turns interpreting a live lecture by a guest speaker.

I showcased many of the skills that I’ve acquired from each and every professor at MIIS. One of the most important takeaways from my learning here is to perform like a duck: ‘Calm above the surface, but furious churning below.’
— Xinyun Lu MATI ’22

The Middlebury Institute students experienced technical and physical challenges when participating in the competition. They had to learn a new remote interpretation platform for the competition, which demanded adaptability. Additionally, because the competition was hosted in China, the students had to interpret at unusual hours. This was the first time Li performed simultaneous interpretation at 11 p.m.

I think that my interpretation training at MIIS prepared me very well for the contest, as the speeches I interpreted were similar to the ones we practice with in class. As a result, I felt rather confident and calm during the final round and managed to perform at my normal level, despite interpreting at a very late hour.
— Anran Li MATI ’22

Li and Lu learned of the competition through their professors in the Chinese Translation and Interpretation programs. Preparation for the competition required intense coaching in class as well as hours of practice with peers in-person and on Zoom. Professor Wallace Chen explained that the students were able to apply what they learned in their classes to an interpreting contest that mimics real-world situations. At the Institute, students receive training and develop skills that are applicable to various bilingual communication settings typically found in a global context. Their internship opportunities with potential clients were also key to their success in the interpreting contest.