Urgency to standardize translations of foreign words

16:38, April 15, 2010      

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The Translators Association of China (TAC) and People's Daily Overseas Edition held a joint symposium centered on the theme of "standardizing translations of foreign words and creating a harmonious language environment" in Beijing on April 14, 2010. The attendees had in-depth discussions on the standardization of the use of foreign words in Chinese, the social duties of media workers, among other issues.

"Language is a window for the soft power of a country, so we should respect and protect our mother tongue," said Huang Youyi, vice president of the TAC and deputy director-general of China International Publishing Group. His statement addresses the growing problem of many foreign words being adopted directly into numerous publications and news reports without being translated.

"The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language had long ago established regulations on adopting loanwords in Chinese,” said Liu Guochang, deputy editor-in-chief of People's Daily Overseas Edition. “Media workers such as ourselves should read the law carefully and thoroughly and then persuade others to follow the law."

Yu Hong, director of the Department of Language Planning and Administration under the Chinese Ministry of Education, also highlighted the importance of translating foreign words into Chinese. She believes that both spoken and written English do not match with Chinese, and simply mixing English and Chinese words will be harmful to the development of the Chinese language.

The attendees also proposed that the government should improve relevant laws to standardize the use of foreign words as soon as possible. Moreover, all translators and media workers should play an exemplary role in protecting the Chinese language and maintaining its purity.

In addition, they proposed that an authoritative institution should be established to examine and verify the translations of foreign names, various scientific terminologies and other foreign words in order to promote the use of standard translations.

By People's Daily Online


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