Zuraidah Ehsan, winner of JALA’s Indonesian-to-English translation competition, translates this article by Jakarta journalist and blogger Risa Herdahita Putri on the historical context of Yogyakarta’s Royal Palace, and how the role it has played and the customs surrounding it have changed over time.
Patricia Wong, winner of JALA’s Chinese-to-English translation competition, translates this essay by Singapore pioneer translator Chan Maw Woh on the perspectives gained from a visit overseas. Is there ever such a thing as a universal perspective or outlook on life? How do our surroundings shape us?
This short story by Singapore Tamil writer Latha is a meditation on isolation, memory, and the power of a good narrative. Translated from Tamil into English by established translator Sulosana Karthigasu, it follows a story told over a series of conversations, and examines how the act of listening affects the listener.
Written in Tamil by respected Singapore media professional Saba Muthunatarajan and translated into English by his daughter Saaradhaa Muthunatarajan, this poem is a celebration on life in the face of death, inviting readers to reflect on the value of experiences of all kinds, and the joy offered by a graceful ending.
Caterina Poh translates this short story by Xiao Han, a celebrated Singapore writer and lyricist, from Chinese into English. A work of speculative fiction, the story looks at familial and romantic relationships through the lens of an imagined world to ask: What does it mean to be alive, and just what do we live for?
Tse Hao Guang 謝皓光, co-editor of the cross-genre, collaborative e-journal OF ZOOS, translates this poem by celebrated broadcast journalist and TV screenwriter Amanah Mustafi from Malay into English. Vivid and intensely emotional, the poem depicts the pain of waiting for something that is ultimately a mirage.
Migrant worker Zhang Haitao’s poem speaking of his longing for home was a shortlisted entry in the 2015 Singapore Migrant Worker Poetry Competition. Playing with structure and continuity, the poem reflects on what it means to simultaneously experience the reality of the physical world and to dream of faraway joys.
Banned from Singapore airwaves because of its Cantonese lyrics, the xinyao song《麻雀衔竹枝》(“Little Sparrow Found a Twig”) was finally broadcast simultaneously by three local Chinese radio stations when it was “unbanned” in 2013. Tina Sim translates into English this nostalgic folk song by composer Liang Wern Fook.
Selected for Singapore Translation Month 2017, this Tamil poem is written and translated by two of Singapore’s most respected media professionals. This piece examines the often-deprecated worth of a mother and what we may be taking for granted. Does this apply too when it comes to one’s mother tongue and mother land?