Publication details [#283]

Seong, Teoh Boon and Beng Soon Lim. 2001. Challenges confronting translators in multilingual and multi-ethnic Singapore. Babel 47 (1) : 10–21.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Journal DOI


Singapore is a cosmopolitan city in the centre of Southeast Asia. Its population is multiracial and multilingual. The majority of Singaporeans is functionally bilingual, i.e. they know English and a mother tongue of their own; an ethnic Chinese Singaporean thus can speak English and Mandarin Chinese. Translation in Singapore faces certain challenges and in this paper some of these problems are highlighted, in the specific instance of translating into English from Malay. There is a tendency amongst Malays to write in a pseudo-spoken style and it has generally been acknowledged that spoken Malay is considerably different from written standard Malay. Often the impact of the translation may not be the same as that intended by the original and may be totally misconstrued. The paper describes some of these challenges in translating Malay.
Source : Based on abstract in journal