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BIRTH OF A TRANSLATOR

As translators, terminologists, and researchers, Yang Quee Yee and Chan Maw Woh have worked continuously to bridge the Chinese and Malay cultures  over the course of six decades.

In this clip, the translation pioneers explain what prompted them to embark on this difficult lifelong journey.

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Chan Maw Woh or Chan Meow Wah is a writer, a Chinese and Malay language translator, and was a journalist for Lianhe Zaobao, a Chinese newspaper in Singapore. Her writing career began in 1958, when she wrote her first short story “Ah Ngo”, which was published in the literature section of the Nanyang Siang Pao. She was the translator of Nyawa Di Hujung Pedang (Life in Danger), published in 1959, which was the first Malay novel translated into Chinese in the history of Singapore Chinese literature. She has received several literature awards, including Sahabat Persuratan (Literature Friend Award) given by the Malay Language Council of Singapore, Anugerah Penghargaan (Honour Award of Literature), and Anugerah Bakti Persuratan (Devotion Award of Literature) given by Angkatan Sasterawan ’50 (Malay Writers Association) for promoting Malay language and literature beyond the Malay community. She is the vice-chairman of Singapore Literature Society, a life member of Angkatan Sasterawan ’50, Tropical Literature and Art Club, and the Singapore Association of Writers.

Dr Yang Quee Yee or Yang Kui Yee is a writer, a Chinese and Malay language translator. Together with Chan Maw Woh, he has compiled 16 Malay-Chinese, Malay-Chinese-English, Chinese-Malay, and Chinese-Malay-English dictionaries. He was the recipient of the 2008 Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Literary Award conferred by the Singapore Literary Association in 1993. He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the National University of Malaysia in 2007, and conferred the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Nantah Education and Research Foundation, Malaysia. In 2005, he released a Malay language book entitled Memoir of Yang Quee Yee: From Rubber Plantation Boy to Dictionary Compiler