2021_征文20 ▏Luz: My love for translation led me to China

2021_征文20 ▏Luz: My love for translation led me to China


Name : Luz


Country of Origin : Spain


Occupation : Translator, interpreter and CMO


Years in China : 6 years


How did your journey in China begin?


I was a Spanish, English and Chinese translation major in my undergrad years. After 4 years of part-time Chinese learning, I could translate written texts, but could barely utter a few Chinese sentences with the tones all mixed-up… Luckily, the chance to visit China came with a scholarship from the Confucius Institute of the University of Granada, Spain. My classmates and I enjoyed our first China-experience at Beijing University in 2014, and that encouraged me to learn Chinese in Xiamen for 10 months. Then, after a year of work in Spain, I chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Chinese translation at Xiamen university which led to working at MTS, and here I am!

我本科主修西班牙语、英语和汉语翻译。断断续续学了4年汉语,我可以翻译书面文字,但却说不了几句汉语,声调是混乱的……幸好西班牙格拉纳达大学孔子学院提供奖学金来华游学。2014 年,我和同学来到北京大学,那是我第一次来中国,然后我到厦门学习了 10 个月汉语。接着,在西班牙工作一年后,我选择在厦门大学攻读汉语翻译硕士学位,之后我选择在精艺达工作,也就是我现在工作的地方!

Luz with her classmates and teacher at the Spring Camp of Beijing University in 2014

What do you like most about your city and China as a whole? 


China surprised me from day 1. I mistakenly assumed it would be difficult to make friends with the locals and fully integrate here. Luckily, my own experience proved me wrong. I have joined all kind of activities and felt welcome in groups where only Chinese was spoken.

中国从第一天起就带给我许多惊喜。刚开始, 我错误地认为很难与当地人交朋友并完全融入这里。但是,我的亲身经历证明这个想法是错的。我参加了各种活动,在只说中文的团体,也能感受到大家对我的欢迎。

Luz with fellow musicians from Xiamen University Student Orchestra, conducted by outstanding Professor Larry Peng

In my opinion, China and Chinese people are welcoming to foreign professionals, and this place offers unique opportunities to international students, which I enjoyed and will always be grateful for. Specifically, about Xiamen, what is it not to be liked about this place? Sandy beaches and quiet mountains with their hiking trails are all around the city. But my favourite are parks and squares where the elderly gather to play Mah-jong, Chinese chess, cards, speed-walk with loud music, dance in big crowds or peacefully practice Tai chi.


Two people practice Tai chi in the park

What fascinated you the most about living in China? 


What fascinates me is how similar Spanish and Chinese culture are. I find so many shared values. I see large families and groups of friends gathering for meals, toasting to health, wealth and love, and it brings cherished memories from home. Food culture, family, community, these pillars of Chinese culture are so international, don’t you think? Living here helped me realize that friendship and love speak the same language everywhere, no need for translation.


Finally, what is your unique China story? Tell us something that you experienced that made you love living here even more. 


After learning Chinese in Xiamen for a year, I returned to Spain and worked for a winery for a while. One of my duties was to recruit a new employee, a Chinese native speaker. I called Lin, one of the girls who applied for the job, and she turned out to be from Xiamen! Later on, we decided to meet up in Madrid as friends. She showed me around like a local madrileña and we really connected. A few months later, she became my angel, my gateway to return to Xiamen, as she encouraged me to apply for a scholarship and her relative supported my application with a recommendation letter to apply for a Master’s Degree in China. Now we both live in Xiamen, and I thank 缘分 (destiny) for making our friendship happen.

在厦门学习了一年汉语后,我回到西班牙,在一家酒厂工作了一段时间。我的职责之一是招聘一名以汉语为母语的员工。我打电话给林女士,她是应聘的女孩之一,她竟然是厦门人!后来,我们成为了朋友,之后约在马德里见面。她就像 madrileña(马德里当地女性) 一样带我四处转悠,我们真的亲密无间。几个月后,她成为了我的天使,帮助我回到厦门,她鼓励我申请奖学金,她的亲戚以推荐信支持我申请中国的硕士学位。现在我们都住在厦门,我感谢缘分让我们成为朋友。

Ready for below zero temperatures in rural Fujian (not so ready for a European fashion show, but hey, Rosalía may rock this look one day, who knows?)

Some background on her hometown

介绍一下 Luz 的故乡

I like to say I come from Almansa, a small city near Valencia. Most Chinese friends have heard of Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia football teams, but Albacete province is quite unheard of here. In the Eastern end of Don Quixote’s La Mancha region, a crossroads for the Arab and Roman Empire’s routes to and from the Mediterranean coastline to the Iberian plateau, the city of Almansa has witnessed several milestones of Spanish history.


The Castle of Almansa and temporary exhibited sculpture by José Luis Sánchez covered in snow

El Castillo de Almansa, the Castle, one of the best-preserved fortresses of the region, which dates back to the end of the 11th century, has witnessed battles, conquers and reconquers by different civilizations and is now our city’s icon. The Battle of Almansa, a decisive event for the Spanish monarchy, took place here in 1707 and historians from all around Europe gather in Almansa to recreate the battle. From May 1st to 6th, the local festivities “Moros y Cristianos” declared of International Tourist Interest in 2019 are a festival of costumes, make-up, live music and fireworks, a must-see! Learn more about Almansa here: https://almansaturistica.es/

毕克拉阿尔曼萨城堡是该地区保存最完好的堡垒之一,其历史可以追溯到 11 世纪末,征服与再征服,不同文明在此交战,现在它已经成为我们城市的标志。阿尔曼萨战役是奠定西班牙君主制的决定性事件,1707 年在此爆发,如今来自欧洲各地的历史学家聚集在阿尔曼萨回忆这场战斗。5 月 1 日至 6 日, 2019 年度国际旅游活动“Moros y Cristianos”(摩尔人和基督徒节)在当地举行,这是服装、化妆、音乐和烟花的盛会,不容错过!了解阿尔曼萨的更多信息请点击:https://almansaturistica.es/

作者:Luz “小露” 翻译:余欣阳

If you would like to contribute your story, feel free to contact us.

Email: luz@mts-tech.com