BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- China's translation industry aspires for more standardized translation service and more efficient translator management, as the country's fast economic growth and increased international communication have fueled a billion-US-dollar
market for translation.
China's translation industry accounted for some 11
billion yuan(1.33 billion US dollars) in 2003, and that number is expected to
grow to over 20 billion yuan (2.41 billion dollars) by 2005, according to the
Translators Association of China (TAC).
Huang Youyi, deputy director-general with the China
Foreign Languages Publishing and Distribution Administration, said the 2008
Beijing Olympics and 2010 Shanghai World Expo are golden oppotunities for faster
growth in China's translation industry.
By 2008, one out of every ten sentences spoken in
Beijing is expected to be in a foreign language, a much higher rate than the
current situation, Huang said.
The translation industry has witnessed an upsurge in
the numberof companies, with more than 3,000 currently operating in China. The
number may actually be closer to 10,000, as many small companies that are
registered as consultant agencies actually conduct translation business.
To thrive in this growing market, the translation
industry has taken steps to better standardize its services.
In November 2003 the State Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued an official Specification for
Translation Service, which took effect in June, to provide objective criteria on
translation qualifications and compulsory contractual regulations in translation
A certified translator examination system, China
Aptitude Test for Translators and Interpreters, was also introduced last year.
So far, about 30 percent of the 4,600 examinees have passed the exam, Huang
"Translation is still a fledgling industry in China,
compared with its European and American counterparts. Problems, including poor
quality, non-standardized prices and lack of specialized labor division, have
impared the market's development," he said.
China needs a governmental department to supervise
its translation industry, a common practice in some Western countries,he added.
China's translation industry has also been haunted by
the lack of translation professionals. Though the country has 60,000
professional translators and interpretors, and the number of people who actually
practice translation is at least 500,000, it still cannot meet the surging
In view of China's fast economic growth and
increasing influence in the world, there is a shortage of 90 percent of the
number of qualified Chinese-foreign-language translators, according to Huang.
With China's recent acceptance into the World Trade
Organization, foreign translation firms may pose challenges to their Chinese
According to Huang, however, the challenge imposed by
foreign companies is minor if their contribution in promoting the
standardization and commercialization of China's translation market is taken
into account. Enditem