Cultural consultant wants fund for Macau’s translation work

Ieng Weng Fat, a member of the Cultural Consultative Committee of the government, wants an exclusive fund to support Macau’s translation work with full force.
During yesterday’s International Forum on the “Cultural Mission of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area,” Ieng delivered a presentation titled “The Mission of Macao as ‘One Base’ – Translation and Transmission Help Communication.”

“[China] established Chinese centers around the world, taking a main measure to tell people what we are. That is the main strategy to export Chinese culture. The effectiveness of this method is flawed,” said Ieng, adding “I recommend we use the strategy of ‘understating what other ethnicities are’ in order to communicate.”

To achieve the aforementioned goal, Ieng believes that Macau specifically should be responsible for translating foreign books to allow GBA residents to learn about other countries.

“Macau’s GDP per capita is number one in the Greater Bay Area. Macau should take this as an advantage,” said Ieng, adding that “the SAR government should provide capital to establish a translation fund to invite translators from targeted countries to co-complete this task.”

According to Ieng, the SAR government should set up the fund through local higher education institutions, which will be the managing body behind the fund. Schools could then set up different programs to outsource the translations, with all costs being fully covered by the fund.

In addition, after the translation, a jury constituted by academic organizations from involved countries and regions could select translation products for final publication.

Macau could hold 10 years of copyrights of all the translated and published books and their by-products, Ieng proposed.

The books are suggested to be localized in Portuguese, or in languages from Southeast Asia. In addition, the fund is also proposed to fully sponsor translations of writers from the GBA.

The fund should have a life span of 10 years for each phase.

“Each year, if [Macau] translates 10 books, then, in 10 years, there will be 100 books. The total cost will be just several millions of patacas. It is a good investment deal,” said Ieng.

Aside from being a member of the cultural consultative committee, Ieng is a Master’s student supervisor at the University of Macau, a visiting professor of Macao Polytechnic Institute, and a member of more than five associations. Ieng has authored several books about Macau’s history.

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