There is a idea that Singapore does not need professional translators and interpreters because most Singaporeans are effectively bilingual, and understand how to juggle between the distinct languages and dialects seamlessly. As such, it gives some persons adequate causes to underrate the significance of expert transformation services in Singapore. However, is it factual that most of us can speak, write and convert properly from English to Chinese and vice-versa?
If this is factual, we wouldn’t have converted “Hungry Ghost Festival” as 匈牙利鬼节 or “Chinese New Year” as 中国农历新年.
Thankfully, mistakes in the transformation of carnival titles did not diminish the celebrative mood of these festivals by the local people; whereas the identical will not contain true in all other situations.
Regretfully, due to the need of comprehending and a incorrect insight of the translation commerce, the local groups have not yet advised transformation services as a “science and technology”, much less as an “art and culture”. Perhaps due to budget constraints, numerous businesses prefer to have their transformations presented in-house by individuals who purport to be competently bilingual, and this likely explains why we often come across anglicized English to Chinese transformations such as, “do not journey alone” converted as 不要单独旅行.
Linguistically, due to the city-state’s abundant chronicled and cultural heritage, the local people are using a Creole dialect that is largely derived from English, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil and to a lesser extent various other European, Indic and Sinitic dialects.
But persons who talk Creole will not be advised as bilinguals or multilinguals. In detail, as pointed out by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the forefather of Singapore, “Nobody can master two dialects at the identical level. If (you think) you can, you’re deceiving yourself.”
Mr Lee Kuan Yew accepted that his insistence on bilingualism in the early years of Singapore’s learning principle was “wrong”.
furthermore, the Creole language, as an indigenous and primitive merchandise of an era of spontaneous or premature society is doomed to be replaced or marginalized by overriding Lingua francas such as benchmark and modern English and Chinese (Mandarin) under a macro-background of globalization and internationalization. It will be hard for the Creole dialect to rendezvous the needs of the mainstream financial humanity. It is believed that translation services, particularly English to Chinese transformation, has a calm undertaking market potential and will flourish in Singapore and the district.
Nevertheless, a dilemma still lives for the local transformation commerce, as sharp out by Pro. Eddie Kuo, Academic Advisor to SIM University. The most critical topic is that the transformation services part in Singapore has not yet to garner adequate vigilance and it still needs a well-established mechanism for Accreditation, value promise, Remuneration and Professional development.
In one word, Either Engliese or Singlish, will not lah!