Leong Cheok I, a lecturer in the Department of Portuguese of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the University of Macau (UM), passed her oral defense, successfully with excellent results, with her PhD thesis entitled “Aspectuality in the Translation of Sentences from Chinese to Portuguese” (A Aspectualidade na Tradução das Frases do Chinês para o Português) on 16 June 2006. She becomes the first PhD graduate in the area of Linguistics at UM as well as the first PhD at the Department of Portuguese.
Leong Cheok I was born in Macao. In the early 90’s, she obtained her bachelor and master degrees from the Portuguese Department (the former Institute of Portuguese Studies) of UM. Upon graduation, she gave up her post in the Civil Service and became a lecturer at UM. In addition to teaching, she has devoted herself to conducting scientific research in Linguistics. During the period from 2000 to 2002, Leong Cheok I had been involved in the exploration of the Portuguese/Chinese Automatic Translation System of INESC-Macau. At that time, she was the only member responsible for linguistic research in the group.
The thesis of Leong Cheok I involved the aspectual concepts of translation between Chinese and Portuguese at the same time and her research had been rather difficult. However, Leong Cheok I said that she has benefited a lot under the supervision of Professor João Malaca Casteleiro, her supervisor. Moreover, the resources and the excellent research environment of UM, as well as the encouragement from the Department Head and the concerns from her colleagues have facilitated her research. Her findings have brought certain significance to the development of Portuguese/Chinese Automatic Translation and to the teaching and learning of Portuguese and Chinese. They will also inspire future comparative research on both Chinese and Portuguese languages.
The chairman of the examination committee of the above-mentioned oral defense was Professor Rui Martins, Vice Rector of UM. Other members were Professor Joao Malaca Casteleiro, President of Department of Portuguese Language and Culture of University of Lisbon, Honorary Professor at UM as well as thesis supervisor, Professor Cheng Ting Au from Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics of City University of Hong Kong, Professor Maria José Grosso, Visiting Professor at UM from Department of Portuguese Language and Culture of University of Lisbon, Professor José Carlos Pais de Almeida Filho from University of Brasília, Brazil, Professor Maria Antónia Espadinha, Portuguese Department Head, FSH / UM, and Professor Alan Baxter from the Portuguese Department also.