Incorporated in October 1971, the Hong Kong Translation Society Ltd. is a non-profit making academic body with the object to enhance the bilingual standard and status of translation (interpretation) in Hong Kong. It became a registered charitable organization with the Hong Kong Government in 1991 and is the only organization for translation scholars and professionals in the territory. It has been a member association of the Translators Association of China since 1986 and the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs since 1988.
The Society conducted its own Diploma and Advanced Diploma examinations from 1991 to 1995, specifically designed to be exacting, practical tests of translating and interpreting at undergraduate and graduate levels, offering opportunities to capable persons lacking a formal qualification in translation. Professional expertise upon consultation were also provided on various issues, such as translation and language education in Hong Kong, the English translation of the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, and the annual Hong Kong Youth Translation Competition.
The Society celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1991, when a charity piano recital by virtuoso Fou Ts'ong was held for the institution of a Memorial Fund in dedication to modern Chinese translation master Fou Lai. In 2001, the Society held the “Third FIT Asian Translators’ Forum” in commemoration of its 30th anniversary, further consolidating its contribution to the cause of translation in Hong Kong. 2005-06 witnessed the 36th Anniversary of the Society featuring the “Translation and the Arts Seminars”, a series of “Distinguished Scholars Lectures” and a “Charity Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition” showcasing the works of local scholar artist T. C. Lai, Founding Member-cum-President Emeritus of the Society.
In 2011, a “Translation in Hong Kong: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century” public lecture was held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Society. The 45th anniversary celebration included a large-scale “Translation and the Professions” Symposium and a talk series titled “Translation and Our Daily Life”, straddling 2016 and 2017.
Activities and Publication
Over the past three decades, the Society has been active in the cultural circle promoting multifarious activities relating to translation and language, including regular translation talks, territory-wide translation talks in joint presentation with Hong Kong Public Libraries, and the annual “Hong Kong Translation Competition” co-organized with HKYCAC. It maintains close ties with translation bodies and institutions in Chinese Mainland, Taiwan and overseas. It has also organized several international translation conferences in association with local and overseas tertiary institutions, with selected papers published to raise the professional and academic standard of translation.
The Society regularly publishes a Bulletin and a refereed journal Translation Quarterly and has released more than ten translation anthologies and monographs. Having been granted private sponsorship in recognition of its enduring endeavor, the Society administers a translation scholarships scheme: the “Hong Kong Translation Society Scholarships” for local translation undergraduates since 1991, as well as the “Hong Kong Translation Society Research Scholarship” for postgraduate students in Greater China from 2004 to 2008.
The Society has at present about 300 Members and 39 Honorary Fellows. Membership categories include Ordinary Member, Associate Member, Life Member, Student Member, Fellow and Honorary Fellow. Apart from the mainstream of translation and translation teaching, members come from various fields: education, creative writing, publishing, public service, business and other professions.
Note: The Hong Kong Translation Society is an academic society; it does not refer members or potential persons for commercial translation undertakings. However, we disseminate from time to time information about job opportunities to our members.
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