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[Keynote Session 1]

 Text and Translation

Asmah Haji Omar

University of Malaya, Malaysia


Words get their meaning when they are placed in a text.  In this sense a text can be defined as a single sentence (simple or complex), a sequence of sentences, or a paragraph. A given text conveys a message with two types of meaning functioning in consonance with one another.  The first is the core meaning, and the other is additional to the core.   Both are represented by linguistic elements at the grammatical and phonological levels.   In the former, it is the choice of sentence system and structure and the lexical items (in general and restricted language, metaphors etc.).  In the latter, meaning in spoken language is expressed by prosody, and in writing by punctuation marks and modifications to graphic symbols.  The additional meaning reflects the attitude,   feelings and emotions of the writer or speaker, as well as the history, culture and the social rules of the speech community of the language in which the text is written.  The translator’s task is to understand both the meanings in the source text so that she will be able to transfer the message conveyed by the text fully in the target language.



[Keynote Session 2]

 Translation Skills for All

 Kirsten Malmkjær

The University of Leicester, UK


“Translation in society” is the title of section 1.1 of Hans Lindquist’s doctoral dissertation (1989; Lund). He mentions the relationship between the need for translation in societies and


national pride which, for instance, has led the European Community to give the languages of all member states equal status, so that speeches can be made in, say, Danish, Greek and Portuguese, to be interpreted and/or translated into all the other official languages of the Community (Lindquist 1989: 7).


This still happens today. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of what is now the European Union (EU) prohibits discrimination on grounds of language (Article 21), and obliges the Union to respect linguistic diversity (Article 22). All parliamentary documents are translated into all the official languages of the Union, and every Member of the European Parliament has the right to speak in their language of choice. Every citizen has the right to write to any of the institutions of the EU ‘in one of the languages mentioned in Article 55(1) of the Treaty on European Union and have an answer in the same language’ (Article 24).


The associated costs are high. The Directorate General for Translation employs around 2500 translators. More generally, the translation industry is healthy. Nevertheless, compared with the number of language teachers in the European Union the number of translators is low, which raises questions about whether all language learners should be exposed to translation related materials. Reasons against include than not all language learners are going to become translators. Reasons for include (i) raising interest in translation among language learners and in societies; and (ii) a belief that translation is good for all language learners and for societies. In this talk, I argue in favour of these reasons.


[Keynote Session 3]

Translation & Intepreting in the Era of Globalization

 Anil K. Dhingra

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India


The paper examines the role of translation in the era of globalization and how its written and oral forms are helping bringing the world closer by promoting intercultural communication.  In a rapidly changing world where the people of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds are forced to work and live together in culturally different settings, their communication needs make the practice of translation an essential requirement.  On the other hand, the manifestation of cultural identities and their dissemination in the multicultural set up is also getting stronger. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative that translation plays its positive role in order to bring the world closer.  The paper tries to highlight the role of translation in promoting cross cultural communication with special reference to the complex and diverse societies ruled by multiculturalism and multilingualism such as India and Europe and how translation is playing its role in promoting cross cultural communication in the ever evolving world. 


The paper will briefly touch upon the concept of translation and interpretation, their meaning, processes, types, practice and problems.  It will also highlight some of the general considerations relating to the exercise of the profession of translator and interpreter and the economic benefits resulting from the same.

[Keynote Session 3]


 Mr. A. Palaniappan


Language Services Department, Parliament of Singapore, Singapore


Translation is a very important tool for multi-lingual societies such as Singapore. For effective communication, we need to develop capabilities. The National Translation Committee in Singapore has launched a programme known as ‘Community-in-Translation’. It is a programme that was launched to raise Singaporeans' awareness of quality translations, and in the long run produce capable translators. It exposes young people especially students to the joy of translation. The paper will outline the programme in detail and will assess the effectiveness of this programme and the many avenues that these students have in pursuing a career in translation. Another part of the “Community-in-Translation” is the ground-up efforts of the community to track the errors in translation and the gibberish print found in government communication materials mainly in the Tamil language. This community involvement led to the formation of a “workgroup" to make recommendations to reduce translation errors and to ensure that print materials reflect the true nature and character of the target language.


Photo: ppa15

Photo: PPA15


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