The Translators Association of China (TAC) held its annual Conference in Beijing on November 9 – 10. The Conference attendees, including officials, researchers and TAC members from China and abroad, reviewed China’s achievements in its language services and translation cause since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.

Attendees also discussed how to foster new progress in the industry, so as to better serve the country’s overall development, as well as improve its efforts to communicate more effectively with the world.

In a Speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, Guo Weimin, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), said that China’s translation cause has, over the past 70 years, developed hand in hand with the development of the country and played a key role in telling Chinese stories to the world and promoting China’s international exchanges.

Looking into the new era, Guo called for the association to continue shouldering the honourable mission to introduce China to the world and promote its cooperation and mutual learning with other countries.

He also called for the association to innovate and improve existing translation theories and systems with Chinese characteristics, as they had successfully done over previous decades.

The association also released the “Report on the Development of the Language Services Industry and Belt & Road Language Services in 2019, as well as its “Industrial Standards and Specifications”.

Du Zhanyuan, President of the China International Publishing Group (CIPG), said that over the past 70 years, China had made great achievements in international communication, cultural exchanges and the construction of its discourse system.

Du noted that the country should strengthen the construction of its discourse system, the cultivation of its high-end translation talent, as well as the application of cutting-edge technologies to meet the challenges of the new era.

As a Professional Association of translators in China, the TAC has long been committed to promoting the development of China’s translation cause. Together with the Chinese Academy of Translation and other organisations, it has focused on integrating translation resources, gathering translation talent, and developing a standardised discourse system, Du said.

Zhou Mingwei, President of the TAC, thanked those who had devoted themselves to pushing the development of China’s translation in his opening remarks.

During the past 70 years, China’s translators have played an important role in promoting the country’s international exchanges, Zhou said.

He pointed out that translators should be aware of the historic opportunities and challenges they face, stay true to professionalism, and work together to grow the overall industry and make it more standardised.

Kevin Quirk, president of the International Federation of Translators, was also among the distinguished guests speaking at the opening ceremony.

Quirk highly recognised the theme of this year’s TAC annual conference. “Every time I have attended the TAC Conference, I have been extremely impressed by the themes you have chosen for your conferences, and this year’s theme, Translation in China 70 Years of Development – is indeed no exception, mirroring as it does 70 years of development of the People’s Republic of China.” He said.

During the ceremony, the TAC launched “A Handbook to Translating Chinese Political Terms,” which is the first of its kind and is expected to help standardise the translation of Chinese political terms. Many political terms are ingrained in Chinese history and culture, but often pose obstacles for foreigners trying to understand Chinese political wisdom.

During the Ceremony, Cao Du, Gu Jinpin, Lin Hongliang, Wang Nongsheng, and Wang Zhiliang were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation, the top honour conferred by the association, for their contributions to promoting translation and cultural exchanges between China and the world; and another 77 people won the honorary title of veteran translators.

More than 30 parallel sessions on China’s international communication, language services and translation were also held on the sidelines of the conference.

Experts who attended these events said that the annual conference of the TAC this year, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, is of vital importance for industry insiders and researchers to build on what has been achieved so far.

This can then help foster new developments in the field of translation, as both an art and a cause that is destined to assume greater significance with the development of China.

Experts also agreed that the reports and industrial standards that the association released will lay the foundation for the structure of a new discourse system with Chinese characteristics.