Schoolbag.sg in Chinese : translated resources for parents to support children in their learning of the Chinese language in Singapore
Lim, Ammily Xin Bei
Date of Issue2017-07-12
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Bilingual education is the cornerstone of Singapore’s education system. The learning of the Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) is not only important for the transmission of values and culture, it is also imperative for children who are living in an increasingly interconnected and globalised world to know more than one language, in order to communicate effectively and remain competitive. There are parents who may only know how to read Chinese and speak Mandarin, but are keen to support their children in learning the language. This is where translation of English resources for parents plays a valuable part. This paper begins with a brief review of early childhood bilingualism and its benefits, Singapore’s bilingual journey, and the important role that parents play in supporting their children in the learning of languages in Singapore. Six articles were selected from Schoolbag.sg, an English online publication produced by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore, which provides parents with education news and tips. These articles were reproduced, and English-to-Chinese translations were done by the author of the paper. The main body of the paper then presents an analysis and discussion of the translation strategies adopted in producing the Chinese translations of the Schoolbag.sg articles. The translation strategies discussed involve remembering the “skopos” of the translation and keeping target audience in mind when translating, rewriting such as rearranging sentences or adding in extra content where appropriate, and adopting a “domestication” style of translating in accordance with how the target language should read natural and legitimate so that the target text can suit the local context. Finally, this paper proposes that useful resources for parents, such as Schoolbag.sg, should also be made available in the three official MTLs – Chinese, Malay and Tamil, to allow parents to benefit from tips and have access to more information so as to better help their children in their learning of the MTLs.