Bath Interpreting alumna Shuai Wang has won first prize for translation from English to Chinese in the prestigious United Nations St Jerome Contest. Shuai, who studied on the MA in Interpreting and Translating at Bath in 2011–12, wowed the judges with her translation of an English text entitled 'Fingerprint words'. She works for the UN headquarters in New York.

Teaching Fellow Teresa Lander from the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies won second prize in the French to English translation category for her translation of a French text entitled 'Le vintage: matière et mémoire'.

As William Heckel, one of the judges, pointed out, the 27 English language entrants came up with 16 different variants of the title alone. “Competitions such as this one show that, given the nearly infinite possibilities and twists and turns of language, translation cannot be reduced to some mechanical operation, but is instead truly an art”, said Mr Heckel.

The United Nations St Jerome Translation Contest, now in its 13th year, was first instituted by the members of the English Translation Section at United Nations Headquarters in New York as light relief from their serious everyday business of disarmament, poverty and human rights. It now covers all six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) plus German. The competition is open to current and former UN staff and interns, with a special category for students at universities, like Bath, that receive language resources and training visits from UN staff under a special agreement.

The St Jerome Translation Contest is launched every year on 30 September, proclaimed as International Translation Day in a UN General Assembly resolution in 2017. Completed entries are due by 31 January of the following year.