Trek bike interpreters share para games stories

INAPGOC

Jakarta

Journalists covering matches in the 2018 Asian Para Games are greatly helped by foreign language interpreters present in all competition arenas.

In the Jakarta International Velodrome, Rawamangun, interpreters like Hendi (Mandarin), Devin Setya Arum (Korean) and Tsabitah (Japanese) are frequently asked to help translate reporters’ questions to athletes, coaches and officials.

Their assistance is also often sought by athletes and officials who ask about many things in Indonesia, such as restaurants with delicious specialties in Jakarta.

These interpreters have different backgrounds. Some have had occupations and started businesses, while others are pursuing master’s degrees. However, they can still spare some of their time to get involved in the sports festival.

“I’m ready to serve as an interpreter here because the 2018 Asian Para Games is a rare event and a big moment. I’m also eager to see if our country is indeed able to welcome guests from various countries,” Devin said.

“I also seldom interact with disabled people and I’m inspired as I have been watching [the athlete’s] performance. Rather than a drawback, they have an advantage over most other people,” added Devin, who attended university in South Korean.

“With my psychology background, I like listening and conveying something. I’m also interested in translating. I wish to tell foreigners that Indonesia is beautiful and fit for the disabled. I even absorb the energy of athletes as I get involved,” said Bitah, who took part in a student exchange program in Japan.

“For me, I feel happy to be able to bridge the language gap and help journalists communicate with various athletes,” said Hendi, who studied trading in Taiwan for five years.

The three expressed their hope that the 2018 Asian Para Games would be the beginning for Indonesia to pay greater attention to people with disabilities.

“I hope facilities for the disabled in Indonesia can be further improved like those abroad. For instance, there are lanes for citizens using wheelchairs. Many roads are in bad shape for normal people, let alone for the disabled,” noted Devin.

“We should be more open toward the disabled community. I think they don’t want to receive our pity, but they want to receive equal treatment as fellow citizens,” Bitah said.

“For the disabled players, I hope they will make bigger achievements and the government will take greater care of these athletes,” Hendi added.

Reporter: TS

Editor: DW

APG Media and PR in cooperation with The Jakarta Post