Availing himself of the pulpit provided by a professional translating forum in Beijing, President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) Peter W. Krawutschke said that annual output of the global translation and interpretation industry could be worth US$13-14 billion.
FIT President Krawutschke that the translation and interpretation industry formed a crucial segment of the emerging "knowledge industry". He added that although no method existed to accurately judge the scale of the industry at present, his estimate had been conservative.
Krawutschke was speaking on Friday at the opening session of a forum seeking to address various issues relating to translating Chinese into foreign languages. This initial forum, labeled "Forum on Translating from Chinese into Foreign Languages -- A Bridge to the World", will close on Saturday.
Cai Wu, minister of the Chinese State Council Information Office, also spoke at the forum: "Since the late 19th century, Chinese intellectuals have promoted the country's modernization through translating western works; today we need to place more emphasis on introducing Chinese culture to the rest of the world. The 5,000-year-old Chinese culture not only belongs to China but the whole world. China should play its part in helping build a global cultural landscape in the new century."
"The work of translators will determine the success or failure of this goal," said Cai.
Experts gathered for the forum echoed one another in stressing the need of informing foreign audiences about China given the speed of the country's development and the rapidity in which this same development is grabbing the world's attention. A key component of the country's international communication array, translating Chinese content into foreign languages must be given its dues as part of the national cultural strategy and thus be improved.
Topics to be discussed at the forum -- all from the perspective of translating from Chinese into foreign languages, include the translating of official documents, news reports, classical works, industry-specific texts as well as expressing creativity in cross-cultural communication.
Organized by the China International Publishing Group and the Translators Association of China, the forum has brought together 200 participants, including illustrious names from Chinese ministries, national media and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics as well as translators and researchers from every continent.
The forum is part of a series of events leading up to the 18th World Congress of the International Federation of Translators to open on August 4, 2008 in Shanghai.
(China.org.cn, April 6, 2007)