To enhance Singapore's global competitiveness, a number of strategic plans has been implemented. These plans intend for Singapore to serve as a hub for regional headquarters, tourism and international conventions; to maintain an open-door policy; as well as to act as a springboard for Singaporeans to venture abroad. The above strategic thrust highlights the significance of developing translation and interpretation (T&I) skills, bilingual competency and bicultural knowledge.
Endowed with an excellent geographical location in the Asia Pacific, coupled with a multi-lingual population, Singapore possesses inherent strength to serve as a hub for communication. With an abundance of opportunities in the region, it is of immediate urgency to develop T&I competency to capitalize on this strength.
Having sound grounding in the unique Singapore culture and nuances, locally trained T&I professionals will be ideal facilitators in communication between locals and their foreign counterparts. The Graduate Diploma in Translation and Interpretation (GDTI) programme of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) sets out to deepen appreciation for linguistics and heighten awareness of cultural nuances and practices of different environments. Graduates become more adept in representing themselves and can better engage their global counterparts.
In 2003, BG (NS) George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry, commissioned a steering committee on T&I, which was led by Dr Su Guaning, President of NTU. The committee saw Singapore's need for a systematic T&I training programme. Hence, in 2005, the GDTI programme was launched. Through grooming T&I talents who play active communication roles across all sectors in Singapore and internationally, NTU hopes to contribute to Singapore's growing global competitiveness.
Since its inception, the programme has been equipping students with versatile T&I skills, thereby enhancing their professional communication capabilities. Students can also look to strengthen their foundation in the study of language and culture. Open to individuals aspiring to become T&I specialists in the public sector and corporate world, the programme requires the application of acquired knowledge and skills in a critical and creative way. Graduate students have excelled in the professions of aviation, corporate businesses, finance, information technology, health, media and communications, publishing, and education; across the public and private sectors, locally and abroad.
Graduate Diploma in Translation and Interpretation Programme
Translation and interpretation (T&I) training in Singapore requires strong foundation in the Chinese language and culture. Since its founding days, together with its extended history of partnerships with top universities in China, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has carved a niche for itself as a leading Singapore institution in this area of training. The University's Graduate Diploma in Translation and Interpretation (GDTI) programme boasts a team of highly qualified and experienced practitioners from China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The programme aims to:
- Develop translation and interpretation capacities to promote and facilitate government-government, government-business, and business-business exchanges
- Develop local translators and interpreters to enhance Singapore's global competitiveness
The key strengths of the programme include:
- Faculty of Singapore and international professionals
- Complementary blend of theory and practice
- Chinese immersion component
- Localisation emphasis
Apart from excellent language proficiency, it is essential for one honing efficient T&I skills to develop an all-rounded knowledge base, thereby meeting the needs of Singapore's multilingual and multicultural environment. This explains the programme's cultural approach, where it pays special attention to the nuances and extra-linguistic aspects of communication. Drawing on the successful experiences of overseas institutions, it has also been designed to cater for special needs in the local context by the incorporation of localisation training.