'Silent anchor' helps the hearing impaired to 'hear' 19th CPC National Congress

Hu Yijing China Plus Published: 2017-10-26 20:34:19
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A video of a sign language interpreter's 3.5-hour live translation at the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress has gone viral, The Beijing News reports.

Screenshot showing Zhou Ye, a sign language interpreter, during a live broadcast of the 19th CPC National Congress on October 18, 2017 [Screenshot: CCTV]

Screenshot showing Zhou Ye, a sign language interpreter, during a live broadcast of the 19th CPC National Congress on October 18, 2017 [Screenshot: CCTV]

Zhou Ye, dressed in bright red, made over 25,000 signs with her hands, while CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a report on October 18, 2017.

It is China's longest live sign interpretation broadcast, and Zhou received the printed document of Xi's report just 40 minutes ahead of the speech.

Zhou Ye introduces sign language to journalists with Guangming Daily. [File Photo: gmw.cn]

Zhou Ye introduces sign language to journalists with Guangming Daily. [File Photo: gmw.cn]

Zhou said that by the time she had finished the translation, she was so exhausted that she could barely stand up.

The 54-year-old has been dubbed the "silent anchor" by Chinese, in praise of her efforts to help people with hearing disabilities to "hear" the big event.

Zhou Ye serves as a sign language interpreter during a live broadcast of a TV programme. [File Photo: cyol.com]

Zhou Ye serves as a sign language interpreter during a live broadcast of a TV programme. [File Photo: cyol.com]

Zhou is one of the most recognized faces in the Chinese sign language field. She has been working for a news program with China Central Television (CCTV) for years.

She previously served as a sign language interpreter at the 18th CPC National Congress in 2015 and the NPC/CPPCC sessions in 2012, the first time the country used a sign language interpreter for the live broadcast of the annual two political sessions.

The experienced interpreter, currently headmaster of a special education school in Beijing, has more than 34 years of sign language teaching experience under her belt.

Zhou Ye practices sign language with hearing-impaired children. [File Photo: cyol.com]

Zhou Ye practices sign language with hearing-impaired children. [File Photo: cyol.com]

Zhou's school provides education for children with mental and hearing disabilities.

Zhou said she felt "honored" to be the sign language interpreter for the 19th CPC National Congress, and was motivated as her work represents "a sense of respect."

"The government allowed the deaf and hearing-impaired to 'hear' the report at the first time. It is not only about the report itself, but also conveys a sense of respect, which is of greater significance," said Zhou.

Zhou Ye communicates with a student with hearing disabilities. [File Photo: bjnews.com.cn]

Zhou Ye communicates with a student with hearing disabilities. [File Photo: bjnews.com.cn]

According to reports, China has 27.8 million people with hearing disabilities.

In his speech, Xi promised the country would focus more on issues to do with special education.

Zhou Ye introduces sign language to journalists with The Beijing News. [File Photo: bjnews.com.cn]

Zhou Ye introduces sign language to journalists with The Beijing News. [File Photo: bjnews.com.cn]


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