Singapore College Students Detail Challenges of Translation Work

Foreign Languages Translation ConceptA group of students from the Jurong Junior College (JJC) in Singapore shared how performing language translation work requires intensive education and training.

The four students spent their school holidays in June 2015 studying the art of translation as an A-level course in JJC. Some people may think that translation simply involves determining the equivalent of a certain word or phrase, but it requires more than what meets the eye. Singapore language translation, for example, can be tricky since most people read, hear or even speak Singlish, a colloquial term for Singaporean English.

This has made it difficult for them to translate traditional Singaporean to English and vice versa that we would need professional services for an accurate interpretation.

Summer Activity

While the four JJC students chose an uncommon way to spend their vacation, they learned something valuable about translating complex English documents such as insurance terms, financial policies and immigration papers into Chinese.

Other parts of the course syllabus included news articles and literary papers. The subject covers a total of eight genres. The students admitted that the work entails great focus and determination to overcome certain challenges.

Lost in Translation

One of the students, Tricia Chee, said that time proved to be their biggest obstacle. The group had even argued about the correct translation of just one word for up to 30 minutes. Her schoolmate, Debbie Abby Wong, agreed in saying that good stamina is needed to sift through large amounts of text without feeling tired.

Some of the words that stumped the students included “policy holder” from an insurance document. “Tou bao ren” is the Chinese equivalent of those phrases, something that people rarely use in daily life, Wong said.

Language translation is both a fascinating and demanding type of job. Some people have made a thriving career out of interchanging words and phrases among various languages, with businesses employing this kind of professionals for a wide variety of purposes.