The importance of translation and honouring its pioneers
Opening remarks by Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry, at the Singapore Translation Symposium 2021
25 September 2021
Importance of translation in our daily lives
- Another Cultural Medallion author, Mr Isa Kamari’s works, have also been translated into English, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and Indonesian – seven languages!
- Similarly, award-winning Tamil author, Ms Kanagalatha’s works have been translated not only into English, but also into French and German.
- I am heartened to see that the works of our local writers have been well received internationally. Without the work and expertise of translators, this would not have been possible.
Acknowledging work of translators and institutions in the translation sphere
- In the last 18 months as we battle COVID-19, we have always been celebrating and honouring our everyday heroes, healthcare workers and essential workers. Translators play an important role in bringing literary works to different audiences. Our translators are also our silent heroes and heroines. We salute you – thank you!
- As we mark International Translation Day which falls on 30 September, let us recognise and honour the important role translators play in our society. Their work strengthens our cultural and linguistic diversity. It is vital in fostering intercultural dialogues and promoting understanding across people of different races and languages. In addition, the work of translators can also bridge differences and boost social cohesion. This topic has been reiterated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally. We have to continue to strengthen our interracial and religious harmony.
- Institutions like the National Art Council (NAC), the National Translation Committee (NTC), and community organisations, have also worked hard in growing the translation sector in Singapore.
- For example, NAC partnered with organisations such as the American Literary Translators Association to support emerging local translators such as Ho Zhi Hui under its Mentorship programme. It also supported the work of other translators on Singapore literature.
- NAC has partnered the UK National Centre for Writing to help support local translators like Dr Nazry Bahrawi conduct virtual programmes and translation workshops, and to build networks with international translators.
- Over the years, NTC has put in place many initiatives to raise translation standards and nurture talent in Singapore. Some of these initiatives include the Translation Talent Development Scheme, which provides professional development grants for aspiring translators and interpreters.
- They also support community-driven translation events, such as today’s and the Community-in-Translation initiative where students and teachers get to attend workshops in translation.
Honouring achievements of translation pioneers
Last updated on 27 September 2021