The outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020 hit the world hard, bringing about tremendous impact on the interpreting profession. As a cross-language and cross-cultural communication activity, interpreting has not only met with unprecedented challenges in this critical period, but also demonstrated special features and functions. Starting from cases of interpretation work done by Chinese interpreters during the COVID-19 pandemic, this talk discusses the unconventional way of professional interpreters’ work in COVID-19, analyses the social functions of the interpreting profession, and forecasts the development and changes of the profession in the post-COVID era.


Dr. Cheng ZHAN, M.A (University of Warwick), Ph.D (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, GUFS) is currently Professor and PhD supervisor of School of Foreign Languages, Sun Yat-sen University. Prior to this, he was Professor and Vice Dean of the School of Interpreting and Translation Studies of GUFS. He is a senior member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) with over 1000 international conferences for clients including Chinese top leadership and foreign heads of state or government as well as business leaders, certified conference interpreter of PRC, Secretary-General of the Interpretation Committee of the Translators Association of China (TAC), as well as an expert of the United Nations Training Programme for Language Professionals. He has been given awards from provincial and national level authorities, including “Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Translation Undertaking in China”, and “The 14th Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation Award for Excellent Young Teachers of Higher Learning Institutions”. He is also a key member of the national-level teaching team of “English Interpreting”. He has published 4 monographs, 10 national-level textbooks, and over 40 academic papers, and is now the leading investigator of a research project funded by China National Humanities and Social Science Council.