China lacks qualified translators, interpreters

13:32, May 23, 2011      

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At the annual International Permanent Conference of University Institutes of Translators and Interpreters (CIUTI) held in Beijing on May 21 and May 22, the Translation Association of China stated that the translation industry in China lacks qualified personnel and teaching resources.

The CIUTI, cosponsored by the Translators Association of China (TAC) and Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) took as its theme economic development and the function of professional services in translation and interpretation.

About 300 professors and scholars from translation and interpretation institutes at home and abroad delivered speeches and had lively talks concerning the demand for translation professionals in a world of economic globalization as well as the expertise and skills a translator or interpreter should acquire to serve global economic exchanges.

"With the development of globalization, the Chinese business of translation has been committed to serving the people of China and the world, in other words, promoting world peace and regional stability." Li Zhaoxing, president of TAC, said at the opening ceremony.

Translation education has a short history in China that started when the United Nations first offered translation courses at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 1979. Without reliable statistics, the number of Chinese practitioners in the industry of language services is still unknown and so is the demand in the translation market.

According to a survey conducted by TAC, 67.7 percent of respondent enterprises believe that the current translation industry is short of personnel training and cultivation, and the enterprises each plan to recruit more than five employees this year on average. This result affirms that there is a strong demand for qualified translators and interpreters in China, especially those fluent in translation from Chinese to other languages.

TSC said the number of people who have been formally trained in translation is very limited, and neither the content of the education nor the amount of teaching resources is satisfactory given the current demand for translation.

By Zheng Qingting, People's Daily Online
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