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A Lao interpreter’s happy life at PowerChina

Updated:2018-01-30 17:24:11   english.yunnan.cn

At the cascade hydropower project on the Nam Ou River, there is a handsome young Lao man working as an interpreter for PowerChina Resources Limited. His name is Alex.

Alex joined the Chinese company by chance. In 2013, PowerChina started work on the Nam Ou hydro-project in north Laos, as well as an investigation on reservoir resettlement options.

One day, the company’s interpreter asked for leave, and it was very difficult for the Chinese resettlement workers to communicate with locals due to the language barrier.

Seeing the dilemma, Alex cut in and asked whether the Chinese workers could speak English. Then, he offered to interpret English into Laotian. Because he is a local, villagers trusted him more, making communication much easier.

In the process, the Chinese workers noticed his language abilities and the company in turn offered him a position as an interpreter for the Nam Ou projects. 

Alex was born in the village of Ban Hat Khip near the dam construction site. Partly due to poverty, he began to live and study at a local temple at the age of ten. He is diligent, clever and studious. Years later, Alex could read Buddhist scripture and had learned English as well.

In terms of work, Alex never said no. Before getting off work each Friday afternoon, he always tells his boss, "If there is something to do tomorrow, just call me."

As a translator, Alex needs to fully participate in the entire process of resettlement work. Due to poor communication in the reservoir areas, he often stayed overnight in local villages, working together with Chinese resettlement workers.

Now, Alex has a beautiful wife and a three-year-old daughter. She is smart and cute. After the resettlement village was built, residents in the reservoir area moved into new and spacious houses much better than their previous shabby homes. Alex and his wife keep their new house clean, neat and warm.

Since Alex is frank and sincere, he was soon liked by Chinese workers. They taught him to play table tennis. In return, he showed his Chinese coworkers how to play sepaktakraw, the Lao national game.

"Working for ChinaPower increased my income and my friends admire me more now,” said Alex. He now has a good job, a good mood, a happy family, and above all, a most-wanted life! 

Reporting by Geng Xingqiang (China Electric Power News); trans-editing by Wang Shixue 

Keywords:   Lao interpreter PowerChina