The Translation Workshop

27/02/2016

OPENING REMARKS BY MR CHEE HONG TAT, MINISTER OF STATE FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, AND HEALTH, AND CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TRANSLATION COMMITTEE, AT THE TRANSLATION WORKSHOP (翻译学习营), ON SATURDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2016, 9.30AM, NANYANG JUNIOR COLLEGE


Colleagues,

Teachers, students and

Friends from the media,
 
Good morning.

2 I am very happy to see so many enthusiastic young minds here on a Saturday morning. It is wonderful to see all of you taking your first step towards discovering how interesting and very relevant translation is to our lives. 

3 Translation is a part of our everyday lives: it can be in the form of advertisements at public places such as bus stops and MRT stations, or the subtitles on television shows.
 
4 Translation is not simply a process of changing one language to another but also bridging and bringing our communities together especially in a multi-lingual, multi-racial society like ours. This is because not every Singaporean is well-versed and familiar with communicating in English. We still have, for example, some of our pioneers who are more comfortable speaking in other languages and in their respective mother tongues.

5 You may have seen our recent video on MediShield Life, where we used the song 恰似你的温柔 by Teresa Teng. For those who have not watched it, I would encourage you to take the chance to view it as it is available online. Through the video, we wanted to bring across the message that MediShield Life provides lifelong protection. We also had subtitles put in the video because we want non-Mandarin speaking Singaporeans to understand and appreciate the video as well. Getting the subtitles translated accurately is critical, as a sign of respect to our different communities, and also to ensure nothing is lost in translation.

6 This is why we are committed to working with schools, the media and other partners to nurture young Singaporeans who have the interest and talent in translation and to help raise translation standards in Singapore. Beyond this, we are also preparing Singaporeans for the changing trends in the global economy. China is now the world's second largest economy. Hence, bilingual Singaporeans equipped with translation skills will find many career opportunities when they join the workforce as businesses venture into China. We will have more opportunities to make use of translation skills as changes in the global economy take place. The National Translation Committee will also work with more partners in the coming years to nurture young Singaporeans. Some of you among us may even want to go further to take up courses in translation.

7 The Nanyang Technological University recently launched a Masters’ degree in translation and interpretation, which would be helpful to you after you complete your basic degree. I met some of these students recently, and they came from different industries such as communications, the gaming industry and even their own family business. Despite coming from different industries, they found translation to be a useful skillset.

8 The Ministry of Education has introduced H2 Translation, and students who are proficient in English and Chinese can apply to study it at any of the five schools offering the subject. This is a good path for students who want to embark on their journey in translation. And after that, those of you keen on pursuing a career in translation and public communications can apply for the MCI Translation Scholarship, which was launched last year.
 
9 Going forward, some key areas we need to pay attention to are raising standards, widening interest and also finding innovative ways for us to interest more students in translation. I am also looking forward to interacting with all of you later during your activities, which are ways to make translation interesting for our students and the wider community.
 
10 Now let me say a few words in Mandarin.
 
11 刚刚在英文稿中,我和大家分享了你如何可以从生活发现翻译的“踪迹”。翻译实用性大,尤其在新加坡这个多语言和多元种族的社会。通过翻译,我们可以更了解其他种族的文化特色,所以除了华文之外,我也鼓励同学们有机会的话也接触其他的语言,如马来文和淡米尔文。这一来可以增加我们对其他种族、其他文化的认识。我们也能够帮助各个族群对政府的政策有更好的理解。为了达到这些目的,我们就要培养一批年轻的新加坡人在翻译方面有更深的理解。所以对翻译有兴趣的学生,你们已经能够在高中选读这个课程。 高中毕业后,我希望你们当中有一些会考虑在翻译方面继续的深造。我们也有大学课程和硕士课程。通讯及新闻部也推出了翻译的奖学金,所以希望你们可以考虑这些不同的选择。在翻译方面,我们不只是把它限制在新加坡使用,也能帮助我们和其他国家有联系。语言是用来跟世界各地的社会沟通和桥梁。要实现这些目标,单靠政府单方面的行动是不足够的。我们很需要学校,还有我们的社会伙伴,大家一起携手合作,才能提高我国的翻译水平,扩大大家对翻译的认识。谢谢大家今天的参与,希望等一下有机会和大家接触交流。 谢谢。

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