Ruizhen (Judy) FU

Translator

About This Project

I moved to Melbourne in year one of primary school. I was woefully ignorant of Australian culture, and my English, at the time, was pretty dismal. I still remember the emotions of walking through those school gates for the first time. Everything around me was all so new, so different. It was hard to survive in a class of kids who already knew each other. And learning proper English? It seemed impossible.

 

But at that school, I met a person who would change my life: my teacher, Ms Watson.

 

A small incident that I witnessed shortly after starting classes changed my perspective of the entire school. We were on our way to a swimming carnival. Everyone was already on the bus, ready to go, when one classmate arrived late, and without swimming gear. He was a family friend at the time − I knew a bit about his story, how his parents had just landed on a 163 Visa. They were struggling with a new business and had little time to spare for their son.

 

Ms Watson didn’t send him home, or reprimand him. She just led him straight onto the bus and sat next to him when none of the other students would. During the trip, he fell asleep, and she let him rest until we reached our destination.

 

Ms Watson’s teaching methods were such an eye-opener for me. She never set me any repetitive homework, and yet my English improved so much learning from her. She gave me the love and care that I so desperately needed at the time. By the end of that first year in Australia, I was already reading Harry Potter in English.

 

Now, I’m a translator, and have translated one of J.K. Rowling’s biographies into Chinese. I sent a copy of the book to my Melbourne primary school.

 

Ruizhen (Judy) Fu is an author and translator based in Beijing

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