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
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.
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.
Phanita, A former student from the university translators.