Singapore launches first-of-its-kind English-Tamil glossary

Published: Feb 04, 2018, 17:07 IST | PTI

A first-of-its-kind English-Tamil glossary with over 4,000 common English terms and their corresponding Tamil words has been launched in Singapore to help translate public communication materials to the Indian language

English-Tamil glossary
Representational picture

A first-of-its-kind English-Tamil glossary with over 4,000 common English terms and their corresponding Tamil words has been launched in Singapore to help translate public communication materials to the Indian language. Tamil is Singapore's fourth official language along with English, Chinese and Malay.

The 200-page glossary contains a glossary in alphabetical order, a compilation of names of government organisations, as well as lists of educational terms and titles of statutes, The Sunday Times reported.

The glossary was produced by the Tamil Resource Panel under the National Translation Committee (NTC) in collaboration with the Tamil Language Council, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said in a statement.

It aims to be a guide for the practitioners of the Tamil language, including the media, teachers, students and government agencies who need to translate public communication materials to the Tamil language.

The NTC has also identified a list of experienced translators and vetters for government agencies to tap to improve vetting of Tamil translations.

In his speech at the launch of the glossary at The Indian Heritage Centre, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat said government agencies have not been consistent when tapping a list of experienced Tamil translators and vetters.

"Some have implemented it well, others I suspect, pay lip service and just go through (the) motion," Chee was quoted as saying by the Times.

"I had to knock some heads over the past year, something which I did not particularly enjoy doing, but until we see consistent improvement across the public sector, we have no choice but to continue enforcing the standards to hold agencies accountable for the quality of their translations." Last year, pamphlets used in National Day Parade rehearsals contained errors in Tamil translation.

Following that, Minister Ng Eng Hen had told Parliament in August that the original Tamil translation submitted was correct but errors were made by the printers.

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