Wang Chen (second from the right), minister of the State Council Information Office, sees the 2008 China International Translation Industry Exhibition, August 4,2008 in Shanghai,China.
: The subject of this FIT congress is "Translation and Cultural Diversity". What is your understanding of this theme?
Wang Chen: In a time of rapid economic development and globalization, cultural diversity has become a subject of concern to people all around the world. The theme highlights the importance of translation in promoting civilization and multiculturalism. The congress can help present China to the world as a country engaging in a process of reform and opening up.
Multiculturalism is a motive force for the development of mankind. The interaction of different cultures can produce new and original ideas.
Multiculturalism is also a source of cultural innovation. New developments in dance, music, literature, paintings and crafts are often developed as a result of cultural exchanges.
Languages are the bearers of culture. Multiculturalism is closely connected with linguistic diversity. The United Nations declared 2008 "The International Year of Languages". Koichiro Matsuura has said that "Languages will play a great role in tackling the challenges of the coming decades. Multiculturalism is closely related to linguistic diversity."
China's idea of a harmonious world is gaining acceptance by more and more people. Translation is crucial to enhancing communication and mutual understanding between countries and increasing worldwide harmony.
China.org.cn: You have worked for several well-known media organizations. As the director of the State Council Information Office, can you give us your views on the relationship between translation and the media?
Wang Chen: Translators enhance mutual understanding between peoples, spread civilization and culture, and record the progress and development of civilization, in many ways playing the same fundamental role as reporters.
Translation and media are closely related in practice. The main media organizations in China such as the Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China International Publishing Group, China Daily, and CCTV International all have strong translation departments. For example people.com.cn reports in 7 languages, xinhuanet.com in 6 languages, china.org.cn in 9 languages, and cri.cn in more than 40 languages.
The Chinese media has for many years been using translation to introduce China to the world. Translation is an indispensable tool helping the Chinese media enhance its worldwide influence.
China.org.cn: As the director of the organizing committee, what are your expectations for the congress?
Wang Chen: First of all I would like to welcome the participants from around the world. The 18th FIT Congress is big event for the translation community both in China and around the world. I hope translators will continue to help promote communication, mutual understanding, civilization and multiculturalism. The congress can be a platform for both the Chinese translation industry and Chinese culture as a whole. Translation and help minimize misunderstandings resulting from cultural differences. I expect the congress to be fruitful and contribute to the development of the international translation community. I hope that translators around the world will continue to contribute to realizing the goal of a diverse but harmonious world.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin and Yang Xi, August 4, 2008)