Zhou Mingwei: Joining hands to raise translation and interpreting work to new Heights in the Asia-Pacific region

China.org.cn, June 17, 2016

Zhou Mingwei, president of Translators Association of China, talks to China.org.cn in Beijing, June 14, 2016. [China.org.cn]

Joining hands to raise translation and interpreting work to new heights in the Asia-Pacific region

Speech at the Eighth Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum

Zhou Mingwei

President of Translators Association of China

President of China International Publishing Group

June 17, 2016

President Henry Liu,

Vice Minister Jing Junhai,

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Today marks the opening of the Eighth Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum (the Eighth APTIF) in Xi'an, an ancient capital and city of culture. On behalf of the Translators Association of China (TAC) and China International Publishing Group (CIPG), I wish to extend our warm welcome and sincere respect to all friends for your interest and participation in this forum. I would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to the International Federation of Translators (FIT) and the People’s Government of Shaanxi Province for your support at this event.

Xi’an was the starting point on the ancient Silk Road. It is the source of numerous stories of exchange between China and foreign people, leaving us a precious historical and cultural legacy. Today the city accommodates this grand gathering of the Asia-Pacific T&I community, where the participants will work together to develop a vision for our future.

Asia-Pacific was a major historical cradle of human civilization, and today it is the most dynamic and promising region with a unique and important position in global development. As the world’s economic center shifts ever faster to this region, and regional cooperation and integration continue to expand, Asia-Pacific is gaining enormous strategic importance in the framework of global development. In this scenario, translation becomes increasingly important as a bridge for economic and cultural exchanges. To translators and interpreters like us this means opportunities, and it also endows us with a mission to fulfill.

The theme of the eighth APTIF is “Translation and Interpreting in Tomorrow’s Asia-Pacific Region.” The participants are gathering here to explore the opportunities and challenges facing the T&I community and other language services in an era of globalization and new technologies such as cloud computing and big data, and to study the trends that we hope will bring future prosperity to the T&I industry around the world. I am sure this forum will help enrich our perception of the future of the Asia-Pacific T&I community, deepen our understanding, and create a broader base of confidence and support. As the problems and challenges we face are similar, we can expect to reach a greater level of consensus.

The APTIF was called the “Asian Translators Forum” when it was established in 1995 by translators associations in China, South Korea and Japan under the auspices of FIT. The first forum was hosted in Beijing (1995), and further events were held every three years in Seoul (1998), Hong Kong (2001), Beijing (2004), Bogor (2007), Macao (2010) and Penang (2013). Over the years, the forum has established itself as an important event where the Asia T&I community can engage in exchanges and cooperation.

In 2015, the TAC proposal to rename the forum “Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum” was adopted by the FIT Council, thus bringing the Asia-Pacific region under the same umbrella. The forum has now become a platform for the wider T&I community in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Twenty-one years have elapsed. Though a short period in history, the event has promoted exchanges and cooperation within the Asia-Pacific T&I circle. I wish to see the establishment of a mechanism to maintain the results achieved at each forum and serve as a channel for regular exchanges for the Asia-Pacific T&I community and other relevant organizations. This will help us tap our potential, supplement our mutual efforts, merge the interests of different countries, and combine the cultural strengths of our various civilizations so as to promote regional economic and cultural cooperation for common development.

As the only organization for China translators and interpreters, TAC has made it its mission to advance the translation profession in line with social progress, improve the quality of language service, produce high-caliber language professionals, encourage academic research, regulate industrial management, and promote international exchanges.

TAC is ready to join our counterparts in Asia-Pacific and other regions around the world to enhance our T&I work, and make a greater contribution to the cultural exchange and assimilation of information in Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

There is a well-known saying of the ancient philosopher Confucius: “Is it not a delight after all to have friends come from afar?” I hope this two-day assembly will provide the participants with information and academic exchange you expect, and I also hope that everyone will gain first-hand experience of China’s long history and diverse culture in this ancient city of Xi’an.

In conclusion, I wish the forum a complete success.

Thank you!

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