Lu Yuan Chen was born in mainland China and moved to Australia in 2006. He’s been working as a certified Mandarin interpreter for LanguageLoop for over
11 years. Majoring in English back home, Lu Yuan undertook a Master of Translation and Interpreting at Macquarie University.
During his time at LanguageLoop, he’s been able to average over 80 jobs a month with no complaints. Lu Yuan specialises in telephone interpreting but particularly loves helping Non-English Speakers (NES) take their driving test and assist students and families at parent-teacher interviews.
“One job I took for VicRoads about three years ago has stayed with me,” Mr Chen said.
“I helped a client who was six months pregnant with her driving test. At the time of her test she needed to go to the washroom however the client toilets were under construction. As an interpreter we must remain impartial to adhere to our Code of Ethics so, in that situation, I found myself in an ethical dilemma. Do I speak up to help a shy Non-English Speaker or mind my own business?”
“After a few seconds of hesitation, I approached the client to let them know that the Non-English Speaker might need to use their staff washroom as she was heavily pregnant. Although this is not usually part of their policy they were more than happy to help out the Non-English Speaker. To this day, I still feel proud of the decision I made on that day,” Mr Chen said.
Lu Yuan loves helping non-English speaking clients overcome language barriers to ensure they are not excluded from the broader Australian community, however he believes language can be a very subjective thing and therefore can be challenging.
“Some clients ask me to use their particular style or wording. In these situations I let them know how language can be a very subjective. And as a professionally trained interpreter, I will make every effort to transfer messages accurately and in the right context for both the source and target language,” Mr Chen said.
Lu Yuan's favorite quote ‘有我在您身边’ which translates to ‘I will be there for you’ sings true for the way he carries out his profession. He believes good language skills combined with ethical conduct not only makes a good interpreter it defines the essence of interpreting.