Mr Ang Pow Chew, Principal, National Junior College,

National Translation Committee members,

Teachers and students,

Good afternoon.

I am delighted to see many young people - both participants and supporters - at the 3T competition.

2 I would first like to congratulate all the participants for taking part in this competition, and I hope that you have gained useful insights from the experience.  I hope that the competition has motivated you to learn more about translation and that it highlighted the importance of bilingualism.

3 In fact, you will find many examples of bilingualism in our multi-racial and multi-lingual society. It is not just in the languages we speak, but also in TV programmes, songs, books and other written materials. Being fluent in our mother tongue languages helps us to better understand our culture and heritage, and communicate more effectively with one another. In the case of Singapore, our mother tongue languages are also spoken by people in other countries in Asia.  Hence, learning these languages will help to open new doors and enable Singaporeans to better connect with our region.  

4 Since the formation of the National Translation Committee in 2014, we have been working with our partners to raise awareness and interest in translation, especially among the younger generation. We are happy to support ground-up efforts, like this competition organised by National Junior College. It is part of our Community-in-Translation initiative. We support different types of efforts for all three languages – Chinese, Malay and Tamil, and we work with different partners, such as schools and our media. Ultimately, the aim is to raise awareness, interest and standards, especially among the young. You are the future of our country and it is very important that we involve, engage and interest you.

5 I am heartened that more schools and more students are participating in this year’s competition, as compared to last year. We look forward to seeing more ground-up initiatives such as 3T to strengthen our students’ language and translation skills through engaging activities. 

6 Before I came in, I had a chat with some students and I was asking them what subjects or areas they were interested in. I believe that if you want to do something well, be it in your course of study or the career you choose in the future, passion is very important. If you are passionate about something, you will put your heart and mind to do it well; and you will go deep and far. 

7 The students gave me quite a wide range of subject matters, from biology to design. I am very heartened to hear our students give thought to what they want to do in future. Some of you may say that this has nothing to do with translation. One student did say she is interested in languages. For some of the other students, perhaps the subject you are doing may not be directly linked to translation. But translation, just like language use, is actually a core skill for all of us to communicate with others and to better understand cultures, heritage, and different societies. I believe, even if you go into areas such as science, humanities, and so forth, translation will still be useful, directly or indirectly. We hope that even if you do not pursue translation full-time, that the translation experience that you have had and skillsets that you have picked up, will be relevant and useful to you in the future. 

8 There are many pathways and opportunities for students who are interested in translation, both in the public and private sectors. MCI has launched a Translation Scholarship. More details can be found in the folder. Please feel free to approach my colleagues to learn more about the scholarship and their experiences working at MCI.

9 To conclude, I would like to thank our teachers, for nurturing a passion for language learning among our students and encouraging them to take part in this competition. Your support is very important.  Many thanks also to the judges, and to NJC for hosting the event.

10 I hope that all of us can continue to work hand-in-hand to boost translation capabilities and raise translation standards in Singapore. 

11 Tahniah kepada pasukan-pasukan yang telah mengambil bahagian, terutama sekali kepada para pemenang. Terima kasih. (Congratulations to all the teams who have participated, and especially to the winners. Thank you.)

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