NTU HIGHLIGHTS August 2016  
  International Corner  

Symposium Explores Loss and Gain in Translation and Interpreting

NTU’s Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation joined forces with the Taiwan Association of Translation and Interpretation in hosting the 20th International Symposium on Translation and Interpreting Teaching here at NTU on March 26-27.

A major annual event for the translation and interpreting community in Taiwan, the symposium was inaugurated by TATI in 1997 to provide translators, interpreters, and scholars an occasion for learning and exchanges.  This year’s theme was “Is to Focus on This to Forfeit That?  Loss/Gain in Translation/Interpreting.”

In his opening remarks, Dean Jo-Shui Chen of the College of Liberal Arts noted that because globalization has increased demand for professional translators and interpreters, he looked forward to the symposium’s becoming a platform to stimulate ideas and opinions so that new possibilities for this new discipline could be explored.

Prof. Hsien-Hao Liao, the Executive Director of the Language Training and Testing Center, advised translators and interpreters to handle every translation problem carefully, calling translation a double-edged sword that had the potential to cause either loss or gain in each act of translation.

The symposium featured three keynote speakers: Franz Pöchhacker of the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna, Lawrence Wang-Chi Wong of the Research Center for Translation at Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Uganda Sze Pui Kwan of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

In his speech “Interpreting Studies: Two Decades of Gains,” Dr. Pöchhacker explored the systematic evolution of interpreting into an independent discipline.  He also expressed his hope for increased interdisciplinary collaboration to further improve interpreting pedagogy.

Dr. Wong delivered his paper “Gongshi (Tributary Envoy), Qinchai (Ambassador Plenipotentiary), and Lingshi (Consul): Translating the Official Titles of the Government Representatives of Great Britain to China Before and Around the First Opium War.”  The paper discussed variation in the translation of British official titles during the late Qing dynasty and considering the complicated historical background and power structure behind the variant translations.

Presenting “The Imitation Gain: Thomas F. Wade’s Sinophone Transliteration and the Technologies of the Chinese Language,”  Dr. Kwan examined the manuscript of the English-Chinese dictionary written by the sinologist Sir Thomas Francis Wade in Chinese Romanization and analyzed the Wade-Giles system’s significance for learning and teaching Chinese from the perspective of translation history.

In addition to nearly 20 paper presentations, the symposium also included a panel discussion called “21st Century Translation and Interpreting Education in Taiwan: Significance and Prospects.”