Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My experience in translation

When I was serving as a teacher in Jerantut, I had a lot of free time in the afternoon and at weekends. Hence I started to contribute Malay articles to the press. My writing mainly consisted of exam questions and answers to guide the then MCE and LCE students (now the exams are know as SPM and PMR) students. One national Chinese newspaper also published translated works. Hence, I did translation of Mahua short stories (short stories written in Chinese by Malaysian writers) into Malay with my friend, Chong Choong Yong. We used the context type of translation between Chinese grammar differs from the Malay one. Sometimes for one sentence, we had to discuss for quite some time before deciding on the most appropriate one. Cross-cultural translation is no easy job. We had 6 translations to our credits.

I personally translated six Mahua short stories into Malay on my own. My works were exhibited to the public during my school’s centenary celebration.

One direct sale agent asked me to translate one flyer from Chinese into Malay and I charged him according to the number of words I produced out of the original. For one thing, I made sure there were no grammatical errors. For another, it looked like Malay. The essence of translation is to render a piece of work from the original into another language comprehensible to speakers of the latter language.

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