About TAC: A brief introduction

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 3, 2012
Adjust font size:

The Translators Association of China (TAC) was founded in 1982. As the only national association in the field of translation in China, it functions both as an academic society and a trade association.

TAC aims to unite with and organize translators and interpreters, and people devoted to the promotion of the profession, from all sectors of society throughout the country, conduct research in translation and interpretation and academic exchanges, train a large contingent of translators and interpreters, improve the self-discipline and regulation of the translation industry, protect the legitimate rights and interests of translators and interpreters, and facilitate exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts both at home and abroad.

Made up of institutions, enterprises, associations and individuals engaged in translation, interpretation, localization and terminology, TAC has group, institutional/corporate and individual members across the country and beyond.

30 years of the Translators' Association of China (TAC)

1. Founded after the reform and opening up (June 23, 1982)

The founding of the Translators' Association of China (TAC) was the direct outcome of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee. After the Third Plenary Session brought ideological guidelines out of chaos and shifted the emphasis of our Party's work to socialist modernization, our country started to have more external activities, which made translators feel they finally had their place again. Translators are eager to see the founding of TAC so that they could exchange experiences, carry out academic interflows, enhance translation skills and play a bigger role in promoting the development of China's translation undertakings and realize the socialist modernization.

Against this background, initiated by China International Publishing Group (CIPG), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Bureau for the Compilation and Translation of Works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, National Publishing Administration of China, International Radio Station of Bureau of Broadcasting Administration and with the approval of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Translation Workers Association of China was established on June 23, 1982. Former Party and state leaders Wang Zhen, Ulanhu, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Bo Yibo, and Yang Jingren attended the founding meeting and made remarks. The meeting passed the first "Constitution of Translation Workers Association of China", and set the association's name as Translation Workers Association of China. The meeting specified that the association is a national academic mass organization of Chinese translation workers led by the Communist Party of China, and its task is to use Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought as guidelines, earnestly implementing the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend, uniting and organize translation workers around the country, carrying out translation research, holding both formal and informal academic exchanges between domestic translators or with foreign translators, and improving the skills of Chinese translators, and serve the needs of socialist modernization.

From then on, Chinese translators have had a national society and China's translation undertaking opened a new chapter.

2. Growth during the promotion of academic exchanges and the prosperity of translation undertakings (1982-2004)

Along with China's adoption of the reform and opening-up policy, the association was founded, developed and gradually became an essential force in promoting the development of China's translation undertakings. The Chinese Translators Journal, a publication of the association, adheres to the highest academic standards and carries the utmost authority in translation circles. The journal is also a gateway for foreign language teachers and students, translators and translation fans to exchange research findings and practical experiences with each other. The Hansuyin Youth Translation Awards, founded by the association, has become the oldest and most influential contest of its kind with the most participants. The awards have played a positive part in promoting the growth of young translation talent. The summer national training program of college and university translation-major teachers, launched by the association, has been widely received and acknowledged by translation circles and has become a famous brand for translation talent and teacher training. The association actively advocated and assisted the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security for the launch of the China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI). CATTI filled the void of a national certification for professional translators and interpreters. It was a major initiative to improve the overall quality of Chinese translators and a fresh attempt to allow the evaluation system of translators become more socialized, scientific and standardized. The establishment of the system has played a positive role in promoting the healthy development of translators, standardizing the translation industry and accelerating the development of China's translation undertakings. The association also has initiated the honoring of senior translators, creating a positive social influence. Then-Vice Premier of the State Council Qian Qichen, then-Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Xu Jialu and Han Qide, former State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, and Director-General of the State Council Information Office Zhao Qizheng attended the commendation meeting and issued honorary certificate to award-winners. Li Tieying, then a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, wrote a letter expressing his congratulations. The honoring activities reflect that our society highly values the translation industry and its translators, and fully appreciates the wisdom of the older generation of translators and their contributions and ethics. The activities also encourage young and middle-aged translators to love and respect their work and improve their professional skills.

The association successively set up eight translation committees , focusing on the translation of ethnic languages, literature and art, social sciences, military, external communication, science and technology, foreign affairs, and translation theory and teaching. These committees organized academic activities in various fields, promoting the accelerated development of academic translation research and discipline construction. During that time, China saw the establishment of multiple translation research institutes around the country and colleges of translation at universities. Some universities were able to issue translation majors and degrees.

At that time, the association still went by the name "Translation Workers Association of China", and its nature remains a national academic mass organization of Chinese translation workers led by the Communist Party of China. The association's tasks gradually extended to the following. ①Uniting translators in China, including translators in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese translators, and strengthen communication and cooperation. ②Holding academic seminars and other types of academic exchange activities. ③Organizing members to serve the society by doing translations, translation consulting and relevant training programs. ④Strengthening communication and cooperation with overseas translation organizations and promoting academic exchanges between Chinese and overseas translators. ⑤Protecting the legal rights and legitimate interests of translators. ⑥Issuing publications, compiling and publishing translations of academic materials and books, and advocating the translation cause. Members of the association consist of government-approved translation societies at all levels.

3. Transition and development (2004-)

In the 21st Century, translation has become its own industry and a crucial part of China's services sector. With the development of the society, translation circles strongly urged the association to bear more responsibilities and play a larger role in the development of the translation industry. Against this background, in November 2004, the association held the fifth national council meeting. The meeting passed a new constitution, under which the association was renamed the "Translation Association of China (TAC)". The meeting clarified that TAC will be an academic and industry-wide social group, extending TAC's business scope from purely academic to its industry counterpart. In addition to translation societies, TAC started to recruit members of translation enterprises and institutions and individuals engaged in the translation industry. This transition was a necessary requirement of the development of the translation industry and the whole society. It's also a concrete reflection of the association's efforts to keep pace with the times.

After five years of practice, the association successfully transferred to an academic and industry society from a purely academic one. During these five years, the Chinese economy expanded quickly and external exchanges saw a boom. As a result, demand for translation services surged and the translation industry made substantial progress. The industry has become irreplaceable for and closely connected to the development of the society and the economy. In order to adapt to the new situation and play its part in the development of the industry, the TAC held the sixth national council meeting and revised the nature of the association in its constitution. After the revision, TAC became a "national, industry-wide and non-profit social organization" from its original "academic, industry-wide and non-profit social organization". Being an industry organization has helped upgrade TAC's social status, unite more social forces, promote the coordinated, healthy and sustained development of the translation industry and better serves our society and country.

During this time, the association realized a historic leap to an industry organization, serving the great course of reform and opening-up. The association has contributed to external communications, translation academic research, translation discipline construction, translation publishing and translator training. According to its new constitution, the association has also gradually started to perform the function of "providing industry guidance and participate in industry administration". The association set up the Translation Service Committee and Localization Service Committee, actively coordinated relevant departments and authorities, promoted the formulation and popularization of industry standards and codes, and indentified and utilized expertise from its members. The above help enhance industry self-regulation, encourage orderly competition, and promote sound development of the translation industry. The association enhanced industry exchanges and promoted industry best practices by holding the China (International) Translation Industry Forum and the China (International) Translation Service Industry Conference. The association also conducted industry surveys and research and released authoritative data on the industry, laying foundation for development trend analysis and industry development planning. The association also took charge of the certificate registration and continual learning of the China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI), contributing to the establishment of a complete, professional and standardized evaluation system of translators. Meanwhile, the association also integrated competitive resources, accelerated company cluster and cultivation, and pushed the industry towards a larger scale, a stricter standard and better clustering.

At this phase, the association was renamed the "Translation Association of China (TAC)". TAC is aimed at assisting government organs to step up guidance and administration of the translation industry, initiate translation research and interchange, promote talent training, protect the legal rights of translators, carry out communication and cooperation with overseas translation organizations, improve translation quality and translation services, and foster the development of the translation industry. The organization's membership comprises translation social groups, government organizations, private enterprises and translators.

4. Enhancing international exchanges

Since its founding, the association has actively carried out international academic exchanges and set up ties with foreign translation organizations, increasing understanding and friendship between translation circles at home and abroad. In 1987, the association formally joined the International Federation of Translators (FIT). Since the 12th FIT World Congress, TAC delegates have been elected as FIT Council Member and Vice President.

The FIT Asian Translators' Forum, initiated by the association in 1995, has been successfully held for six years. The association held the first in 1995 and the fourth in 2004.

At the 17th FIT World Congress in Finland, TAC won the bid to host the 18th FIT World Congress in 2005. From August 4 to 7, 2008, the association and FIT co-hosted the 18th FIT World Congress in Shanghai, which was a huge success. 1,456 delegates from 74 countries and regions attended the Congress, which was twice the number who attended the year before. The Congress received 1,510 essay abstracts in Chinese, English and French, five times that of the year before. 91 academic seminars, including keynote speeches and panels were held, 1.5 times that of the year before. The 2008 FIT World Congress had the most participating countries and regions, the most participants, the most essays submitted, and the most academic seminars. The successful hosting united international translators, effectively promoted Chinese culture and China's great achievements to its international peers, substantially increased the status and clout of the association and Chinese translators in international translation circles, and encouraged Chinese translators to forge ahead and seek for greater development of China's translation undertakings.

The association also enhanced its cooperation with other international translation professional organizations and industry organizations. In 2011, the association co-hosted the CIUTI Forum with the International Permanent Conference of University Institutes of Translators and Interpreters. In 2012, the association co-hosted the Asia Translation Summit in Beijing with the Translation Automaton User Society. Both these events yielded great results. The association has also frequently organized domestic translators to participate in international conferences, increasing the influence and international profile of Chinese translators. The Association also received visitors from the FIT and other international or national translation organizations.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter