The Sixth Plenary Session of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held in Oct. 2011, made the decision to deepen the reform of the nation's cultural system and promote a vigorous development and prosperity of socialist culture. Harder efforts were demanded to introduce Chinese culture to the outside world and "carry out cultural exchanges in diversified manners, participate in international dialogues, promote mutual exchange between different cultures, enhance the influence and attractiveness of Chinese culture and work with other countries to maintain cultural diversity."
The decision has created a higher demand for the Chinese translation industry. As a bridge between China and the world, translation plays a key role in promoting the prosperity of China's cultural sector and introducing Chinese culture to the outside world. However, due to acute problems such as a severe lack in competent translators and a declining translation quality, the industry is unable to meet the demands of the nation's development and hinders the efforts to take Chinese culture to the global stage.
Against this background, the Second National Conference on Translation is one of far-reaching significance. Held immediately after the 18th CPC National Congress, it is a special application of the congress' principles in the field of translation. It will play an important role in helping the translation industry better serve the nation's international communication and making Chinese culture better known across the globe.
The conference is the second one of its kind in 61 years. In Dec. 1951, the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) held its first session with the aim to improve the quality of translations and help translators nationwide to cope with the nation's development in an orderly manner. At the seminar, Hu Qiaomu, then vice minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Shen Zhiyuan, then director of the GAPP Compilation and Translation Bureau, delivered the keynote speeches. It was decided that two documents, i.e. "GAPP Regulations on Translated Publications Published by Public Publishing Houses (Draft)" and "Regulations on Translation Works Conducted by Compilation and Translation Departments of Government Institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations (Draft)," would be submitted to the State Council by GAPP for their assessment and approval.
Over the past six decades, great changes have taken place in the field of international communication field. Today, translating is needed everywhere every day, just like water and power supply. However, due to the lack of a government department to oversee the translation works, the whole industry falls short of overall planning and coordinated management, which in turn exerts a bad influence on the nation's dialogue with other countries and on helping Chinese culture go global.
China International Publishing Group (CIPG) is in charge of publishing houses, magazines and websites oriented towards international communications. It is also responsible for the Translators Association of China (TAC), the only national translation association in the country, as well as the China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI).
CIPG and TAC are the organizers of the second National Conference on Translation, which will be held in 2012, the year marking the 30th anniversary of TAC. In addition to reviewing its previous successes, it will probe methods on better facilitating China's international communications and introducing Chinese culture to the world. The conference is also a response to the suggestions proposed by Tang Jin, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), on "convening a national translation conference as soon as possible to tackle the problems in current translation works" during the national CPPCC conference in 2011.
The conference is expected to be held on Dec. 6, 2012 in Beijing with a theme on taking Chinese culture to the global stage and promoting China's translation works. More than 200 people, including those in charge of the related government departments and institutions as well as representatives of different translators, are set to attend.