4,000 volunteers provides english language service for Canton Fair
2011-October-31 Source: english.gz.gov.cn
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Hordes of university students holding up placards offering interpreter services used to be a unique sight around the exhibition halls of the Canton Fair. However, few such students are seen this year as there are more than 4,000 interpreter volunteers offering free linguistic services to visitors and exhibitors. As a result, the number of part-time interpreters seeking paid temporary jobs has plunged by two-thirds. Many university students have jointed the ranks of volunteer interpreters to hone their English skills.

The volunteer language services for the Canton Fair are organized by the Haizhu District Communist Youth League and the Haizhu District Youth Volunteers Association. According to Chen Yaohua, head of the services, there are 131 service stations with 4,000 volunteers at the current Canton Fair. More than 40 volunteer teams with thousands of members from Sun Yat-sen University, the South China University of Technology and other institutions signed up for volunteer services, and 30 teams were eventually selected, meeting 80 percent of the demand for volunteer services. For the first time in the history of Canton Fair, members of the public are also recruited for volunteer services at the fair, and 400 out of nearly 7,000 applicants were recruited, meeting the other 20 percent of the demand for services. In view of the overwhelming response from the public, the organizers have doubled the number of volunteer jobs on weekends.

"All volunteers are skilled users of English who hold at least a Band 6 College English Test certificate," said Mr. Chen. Volunteers also received two hours of professional training and practiced for 30 minutes on the fair venue.

(Translated by Guangzhou Association of Foreign Affairs Translators)

Editor: Olivia
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