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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

尊敬的新加坡书籍理事会主席,张齐娥女士

陈妙华老师

各位来宾

女士们,先生们

各位线上的朋友们

大家早上好!

  1. 很高兴受邀出席首次由新加坡书籍理事会举办的“新加坡翻译研讨会”。研讨会聚集了多位本地和海外的翻译工作者和学者们,可说是高手如云,包括张齐娥主席本人也是精通双语,因此大家看翻译字幕的时候,如果发现有任何错漏的地方,请多多包涵、指正。

    Importance of translation in our daily lives

  2. 刚才张齐娥女士的演讲她也有说到,在多元文化和多元语言的新加坡,翻译和语码的转换,可说是我们日常生活的一部分。为什么我这么说呢?因为我们经常在不知不觉中转换语言,或是将语言交叉使用。多种语言的掌握,能让我们更好地理解使用不同语言人士的思路和观点,减少许多语言不通所造成的误解和误会。由此可见,翻译工作其实对促进不同文化之间的交流,至关重要。
  3. 翻译工作也让我们有机会将独具特色的本地文学创作,推广到世界各地,让世界更好的认识新加坡。近年来,有更多本地作家以母语撰写的作品,被翻译成不同语文,让新加坡的本土故事走向世界,也让外国朋友们能够更深入地认识我国社会。
  4. 已故华文作家,文化奖得主,英培安先生的作品,就被翻译成英文、马来文、荷兰文和意大利文。
  5. Another Cultural Medallion author, Mr Isa Kamari’s works, have also been translated into English, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and Indonesian – seven languages!
  6. Similarly, award-winning Tamil author, Ms Kanagalatha’s works have been translated not only into English, but also into French and German.
  7. 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

  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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

  15. 各位朋友们,今天的研讨会汇聚了众多海内外的翻译工作者和学者们。在这个别具意义的特殊场合,我们要特地表扬本地先驱翻译作家和学者的非凡成就。谨此热烈恭贺陈妙华老师和杨贵谊博士荣获首次颁发的《新加坡书籍理事会成就奖》。
  16. 陈妙华老师和杨贵谊博士夫妇,多年来孜孜不倦,将许多马来文书籍翻译成华文,并携手编辑多部马来文—华文字典,拉近了本地马来族和华族社群之间的距离,促进族群间的相互理解,反映了注重多元与和谐的新加坡精神。真的很感恩。
  17. 陈老师和杨博士等多位先驱翻译工作者,数十年来辛勤耕耘,为我国的翻译界奠定了稳固的基础。您们的热忱和奉献,深深地启发我们继续以翻译工作,维护和促进社会的多元性和凝聚力。
  18. 展望未来,数码平台和人工智能等等新科技,正给翻译工作带来巨大的改变和崭新的机遇。我希望有更多的年轻学生加入翻译的团队,本着“信、达、雅”原则,结合科技,创造出优秀的翻译工具,让世界真的有一天,能够打破语言的隔阂,更加顺畅地沟通与融合。

    Conclusion

  19. 最后,衷心祝愿由新加坡书籍理事会主办的翻译研讨会,取得圆满成功。
  20. 我想再次恭喜陈妙华和杨博士。我也要感恩新加坡书籍理事会这50年来齐心齐力地翻译,培养我们的年轻的学生阅读的习惯。感恩有你。
  21. 谢谢。

Last updated on 27 September 2021