More English translators needed

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


THE Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) needs more English-language translators to assist in translating Malay manuscripts into English, in a bid to promote the country’s publications overseas.

“We are short of translators who can translate our Malay publications into English,’’ said Director of the Language and Literature Bureau Hjh Aminah Hj Momin yesterday.

Answering the question of why the need to translate the books, Hjh Aminah said, “It is mainly because we want to promote the books (which are published in Brunei) abroad’’.

Hjh Aminah was speaking at the poetry translation competition and workshop, which was held as a side event at the Brunei Book Fair 2014 in the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

Currently, there are only 15 translators who are employed on a permanent basis with the bureau to work on more than 30 manuscripts daily.

To get the translation work done in the midst of limited staff, she explained that the bureau also outsource the work to professional translators from outside the organisation.

She said the bureau had requested to the National Institute of Translation Malaysia to translate Brunei’s literary works written by recipients of the Southeast Asia Writers Award (SEA Write Award) from Malay into English language.

As part of its efforts to improve the quality of the translations, the staff were sent to attend seminars and courses, as well as provided with the opportunity to further their studies in higher education institutions, ranging from bachelor degrees to PhD.

From time to time, she added, the bureau also organises translation and writing workshops to provide training for young Bruneians who are interested in freelance work as translators.

During the Brunei Book Fair 2014, a poetry translation contest and workshop was organised with the participation of 24 students from various colleges such as the Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College, Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College, Tutong Sixth Form Centre, Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre as well as Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The session was facilitated by Annisa Hj Moksin, assistant head of Translation Unit at the Language Development and Propagation Section of the Language and Literature Bureau.

The workshop aimed to instil and nurture students as the future translators.

It also hoped to overcome the issue of shortage in translators for literary works as well as to improve their writing skills in the Malay and English languages.

The Brunei Times