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'Tiger mom' helps son become an English translator

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-07 21:16

LiguanYanping, 28, was born in Southwest China's Chongqing. He weighed only 1.4 kilogram and later was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy due to his preterm delivery.

Thanks to the perseverance and firm training from his mother Guan Ping, Liguan has achieved much that once seemed impossible. Now he is an English translator.

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance and posture. Patients often have poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles and tremors. They may also have problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing and speaking.

There are about six million people with this disorder in China, according to the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

Despite objections from other family members, Guan decided not to have a second child but to give all her love and care to her son.

In 1990, she quit her job as a factory worker and started looking after the son full-time.

"I will do my best to help my son achieve a real life by himself," she said.

To help her son recover some movement functions, Guan has taken him around the country for medical treatment for over 20 years. For two hours every day, she uses special massage skills to ease her son's muscle spasms and supervise his physical training.

When her son was young, no matter how hard he cried and begged, she was so strict with the routine that the people called her "tiger mom". Some neighbors even reported to the local community that Guan was abusing her child.

"My mother and I have a very close relationship," Liguan said. "She is my best friend, best teacher and best coach."

Due to his physical condition, Liguan did not attend school. His mother, a high school graduate, taught him at home.

When Liguan was 12, he started to fall in love with learning English. Guan bought him study materials and took him to local language training centers and English corners in the city.

Liguan has showed great talent in language learning. He passed China's Public English Test 4, the equivalent of the language skills of a non-English major graduate student.

Last year, a Chinese friend from Oxford University helped Liguan get a translation job for a picture book of Chinese calligraphy and painting. His work gained recognition from the author, who then asked him to continue translating the book's Volume 2.

Now he is working on his third translation project, a book on the origins of Chinese characters.

"My dream is to become a professional English translator and song composer," he said.

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