Shortly before the congress, Guo Xiaoyong, Executive Vice President of the Translators Association of China (TAC), spoke to Beijing Review about his expectations for the event and his evaluation of translation and interpretation services in China.
Beijing Review: What implications will the 18th FIT World Congress have for the development of translation and interpretation services in China?
Guo Xiaoyong: The 18th FIT World Congress to be held in Shanghai on August 2-7 is a major event not only in the Chinese translator and interpreter community, but also in the Chinese cultural sphere. Translation and interpretation play a pivotal role in strengthening cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries.
The 18th FIT World Congress will provide a good opportunity for strengthening the exchanges between Chinese translators and interpreters and their foreign colleagues and boosting the international influence of the Chinese translator and interpreter community. The congress also will help make China and its achievements in translation and interpretation better known to the world.
What contributions will China make to the global translator and interpreter community by holding the 18th FIT World Congress?
The congress will help introduce Chinese culture to the world. Given China's rapid development in recent years, many countries have shown a keen interest in its economic development and achievements. They are eager to learn more about the country and the daily lives and thoughts of the ordinary Chinese people. Translation and interpretation help make this possible.
The theme of the 18th FIT World Congress is "Translation and Cultural Diversity." Under this theme, Chinese translators and interpreters will highlight the inclusiveness of the Chinese culture and Chinese people's commitment to peaceful development and world harmony.
The FIT, an international federation that has 120 member organizations in more than 60 countries and regions, held all its previous 17 world congresses in developed countries. As the first FIT World Congress in China and Asia, the 18th FIT World Congress will have major implications for promoting the cultural exchanges between the East and the West and the mutual understanding of the translator and interpreter communities in different countries.
The congress has drawn widespread attention from the translators and interpreters from across the world. An estimated 700 representatives from overseas will attend the congress, including officials from UN and EU agencies and academic elites. More than 100 forums will be held during the four-day congress, covering such topics as translation and culture, education, economics, diplomacy, industry regulation and modern technology. A large international translation exhibition will be held alongside the congress. We hope to make the 18th FIT World Congress a high-level translation congress with distinctive features.
The TAC is the only national association in the fields of translation and interpretation in China. What role has it played in the profession? What are its future plans?
Since its founding in 1982, the TAC has played an important role in rallying Chinese translators and interpreters, promoting the development of translation and interpretation in China and regulating the country's translation industry. It often organizes academic and industry events, translation and interpretation training programs and public service activities. It has compiled three national standards for translation and interpretation in a bid to regulate China's translation and interpretation market. The China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters, proposed by the TAC and administered by China International Publishing Group (CIPG), has been adopted across the country.
The TAC is committed to improving China's translation and interpretation services by offering guidance to and regulating the industry. Looking ahead, we will intensify our efforts to train qualified translators and interpreters. We will put in place market access mechanisms for those seeking a career in translation and interpretation and translation and interpretation firms. We also will promote work ethics, strengthen self-discipline and enhance the professional competence of Chinese translators and interpreters.
How have translation and interpretation contributed to China's reform and opening up in the past three decades?
Over the past 30 years, historical progress has been made in political, economic, military, scientific and cultural translation, international exchange and minority language translation. Achievements in translation and interpretation have fueled China's modernization drive in the past three decades. Meanwhile, the reform and opening up have provided unprecedented opportunity for the development of translation and interpretation in the country.
For example, as a leading Chinese publishing conglomerate dedicated to serving foreign readers, CIPG not only publishes a wide variety of books in foreign languages but also presents more than 20 periodicals including