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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Translators undervalued

Translators undervalued

The Editor,

I read with appreciation your article "Bleak Future of

Translators" in the 5th May issue.

The university translators course has

survived almost independently for a long time. Although its only class is part

of the Foreign Languages Center which is currently funded by the Australian

government, this class has done everything by itself to keep running, including

fund-raising and making its own curriculum. All this has been made possible

thanks to its one teacher, and also the director. (The teacher's) only

motivation, and also what the students hope, is that in the future Cambodia

would have good translators. Until recently, they did all enjoy their current

diploma course.

However, they realize that better qualified translators

will be inevitably needed in the years ahead in order to reach a standard of

translation and interpreting which is internationally recognized. A higher

degree will surely guarantee the future job. For this very reason, the

university agreed to submit a proposal, with a new curriculum designed by the

teacher, to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to ask for the diploma

to be upgraded to a bachelor degree. For some reason, the proposal took so long

to fall on the right desk. Finally the response was negative.

Now that

the race is lost, the future of the university translators course is in

jeopardy. Many students have lost their interest in continuing to study and,

willing or not, the course is rushing to an unexpected end much earlier than it

should have been.

Its a shame that in a country where well-trained skills

are badly needed, the potential human resources are undervalued.

- Yos

Phanita, A former student from the university translators.



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