Singapore Translation Symposium 2023

Sat Sep 30 2023 at 09:30 am to Sun Oct 01 2023 at 06:30 pm

Living Room, The Arts House | Singapore

Singapore Book Council
Publisher/HostSingapore Book Council
Singapore Translation Symposium 2023
The Singapore Translation Symposium takes place from 30 September to 1 October this year!
About this Event
About the Singapore Translation Symposium 2023

The Singapore Translation Symposium returns this year from 30 Sep – 1 Oct! Over two days in a series of talks and lectures, we will explore translation as a creative act, and how it provokes conversations and discussions across languages, cultures and borders. It is a conversation between the writer and the translator, between two languages, and between two cultures. The sessions at the Symposium this year aim to illuminate the various processes and collaboration that take place during the translation of a work (and even publication subsequently).

Featured speakers include Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma (US), Shanna Tan (Singapore), Chen Si-an (China), Susan Xu Yun (Singapore) and Jeremy Tiang (Singapore).

For enquiries, please email [email protected]

Symposium Details

Date: 30 September - 1 October (Saturday to Sunday)

Venue: Living Room, The Arts House

30 September Sessions*

Featuring: Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

In English

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma speaks about translation as a form of apprenticeship to master poets, sharing how translating from Tamil and from Spanish has shaped his journey as a writer and poet and showing how what he calls the lyric imagination can transcend the boundaries between words.


Featuring: Yeow Kai Chai, Gopika Jadeja, Shelly Bryant

In English

What place does translation occupy in literary magazines and what exactly are editors looking for when reviewing translations for publication? Is the original work also considered? We hear from the editors of literary journals how they are promoting diverse literatures and what goes into the curation process when deciding what to publish.


Featuring: Susan Xu Yun, Ho Zhi Hui

In English

With AI's increased prominence, the changing landscape that translators currently face will continue to evolve. As the possibilities of collaboration between AI and human are being explored, what does this mean for the literary translator and their work? This presentation examines complex issues of rights in the context of AI-assisted literary translation, examining the potential impacts and legal considerations that translators need to navigate in this changing landscape.

1 October Sessions*

Featuring: Chan Cheow Thia, Jeremy Tiang

In English

Literary translation clearly entails creativity, but the labour of innovation can be prone to erasure. What are some practices that can be further advocated to recognise and support the inventiveness of translingual acts? In this conversation, literary translator Jeremy Tiang and literary studies scholar Chan Cheow Thia will discuss ways of making a more diverse cast of translators and set of stories from under-represented world regions visible to readers.


Featuring: Chua Sock Koon, Chen Si-an

In English and Chinese

This panel brings together translators who have all translated English Sing Lit titles into Chinese who will share their personal experiences and insights into the challenges and rewards of translating, and discuss how they have overcome the creative issues involved in bringing these works to a Chinese audience.


Featuring: Shanna Tan, Daryl Lim Wei jie

In English

Join this conversation with up-and-coming translator Shanna Tan, who translates from Japanese, Korean and Chinese! Find out more in this session about her journey from just starting out to getting her very first book deal with Bloomsbury, Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop, by Hwang Bo-reum. She will share how she came to translation as a career, the challenges that she's faced on this path and how she overcame them, her translation approaches and processes, and also provide some advice to translators who are just starting out. Shanna will be in conversation with Daryl Lim Wei Jie, a poet, editor and translator.

*Session details may be subject to change.

Speakers and Moderators

Chan Cheow Thia is assistant professor of Chinese studies at the National University of Singapore. As a literary translator and editor, he has worked with Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine.

Chen Si'an is a playwright, theatre director, short story writer, and literary translator. She is the founder and artistic director of the Sound and Fury Play Reading Festival. She has written four collections of short stories and five plays. Her plays were performed at the Royal Court Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, National Theatre Company of China, Taiwan, Beijing International Fringe Festival, etc.

Gopika Jadeja is a bilingual poet and translator, writing in English and Gujarati. Her literary writing and translations have been published widely. Gopika is committed to translating writing from marginalised communities and is working on a project of English translations of Dalit and Adivasi poetry from western India. She is Editor at Large for Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing and Editor for PR&TA: Practice Research and Tangential Activities.

Ho Zhi Hui is a translator, teacher and writer. Born and raised in Singapore, she did her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and her Masters in Translation and Interpretation at Nanyang Technological University. She is currently working on a book of short stories, 《邻人的运气》(Neighbour’s Luck).

Jeremy Tiang is the translator of over thirty books from Chinese, by authors including Yeng Pway Ngon, Hai Fan, Zhang Yueran, Yan Ge and Lo Yi-Chin. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize. He also writes and translates plays.

Shanna Tan is a Singaporean translator working from Korean, Chinese and Japanese into English. Her translation of the Korean bestseller Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum is forthcoming with Bloomsbury in Oct 2023. She is also translating a Korean bestselling novel for Penguin Random House, and a Singaporean Chinese title for City Book Room.

Shelly Bryant  divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a poet, writer, and translator. She has translated work from the Chinese for Penguin Books, the National Library Board in Singapore, Giramondo Books, and Rinchen Books. Shelly’s poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions. Her translation of Sheng Keyi’s Northern Girls was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012 and her translation of You Jin’s  In Time, Out of Place  was short-listed for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016.

Susan Xu Yun is the Head of Translation and Interpretation programmes and Associate Professor at the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). Susan is involved in developing the Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation and Graduate Diploma in Translation and Technology, the first and only programme of its type in Singapore. She is a member of the Chinese Resource Panel for National Translation Committee, Singapore.

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is an author, translator, teacher, and performer. His translation of the classical Tamil masterpiece The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural, was recently published by Beacon Press. Other books include The Safety of Edges (poems) and Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyar (translated from the Tamil). He speaks and performs widely, teaches, and has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U. S. Fulbright Program.

Yeow Kai Chai has three poetry collections: Secret Manta (2001); Pretend I’m Not Here (2006); and One to the Dark Tower Comes (2020), which received the 2022 Singapore Literature Prize. He co-wrote three books, including Lilla Torg (2023). A QLRS co-editor, he was Festival Director of Singapore Writers Festival (2015-2018).

Cancellation Policy

The programme can be cancelled or postponed two weeks before the date if the minimum number of participants is not met. Participants will be fully refunded for workshops cancelled by us.

Participants who are unable to attend a programme they have registered for are to inform us of the reason two weeks before the programme date. They will be fully refunded in the event of extenuating and mitigating circumstances (E.g. illness, bereavement, accidents) . Those who inform us up to 5 working days before the programme date will receive a 50% refund. Those who did not turn up at the programme will not receive a refund.

Upon registration, you are deemed to have read and understood the terms and conditions and cancellation policy and accept the terms contained therein.

For enquiries, please email [email protected]

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Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Living Room, The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore, Singapore


SGD 15.00 to SGD 56.00

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