The Value of Language has invited Dr Lim Beng Soon (SIM University, Singapore) to showcase how translator training in the city state of Singapore prepares graduates in language studies for the demands of professional life in a complex linguistic landscape. The Value of Language invites developers of translation courses in Europe to join the debate and share thoughts and ideas on translator training in complex linguistic landscapes and against the backdrop of linguistic superdiversity in urban areas.
The linguistic landscape in Singapore is indeed complex. Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. English is the working language, and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools. Public bodies in Singapore conduct their businesses in English, and documents written in any language apart from English typically have to be translated into English to be accepted for submission. Interpreters are required if one wishes to address the Courts in a language other than English. However, in terms of its linguistic landscape, Mandarin is the language that has the greatest number of speakers at almost 50%. Malay is spoken within the Singaporean Malay community, with 12% of all Singaporeans using it as their native language. Around 4% of Singaporeans speak Tamil as their native language.
In his presentation, Dr Lim Beng Soon will discuss the complex linguistic landscape in Singapore and the challenges that this complexity has brought about to the field of language studies and translation in this city state.
He will then explain how the Malay language department at SIM University, Singapore’s sole private university, provides training in basic translation knowledge and skills for a diverse group of clients in Singapore.
Dr Lim Beng Soon will also discuss the Malay language needs for translation in Singapore and how these needs require a generic training module that is broad based enough to attract sufficiently large economies of scale in cost averaging.
Associate Professor Dr Lim Beng Soon is the Head of Malay Language and Literature at SIM University in Singapore.
(Picture: Gary Tanim)