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Saturday, 7 January 2012

‘Poke eye’ Melayu English in many public institutions inexcusable!

The Star/Asia News Network

Melta: Language mistakes on Mindef website inexcusable

PETALING JAYA: The Defence Ministry's English Language mistakes on its website is inexcusable, said Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) president Dr S. Ganakumaran.

“If these sort of mistakes happen with ordinary people, it is still excusable, but if large institutions make such mistakes, it becomes a big problem because they should be the ones setting the standard. If such mistakes are present, what can we expect from the rest of the country?” he asked.

He said if the ministry had chosen to use English as a part of their website, they have the responsibility of ensuring that it is done correctly.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said such mistakes were absolutely inexcusable, especially because it was from a government website.

“This mistake gives a very bad impression and image of the Government. They have improved in many ways, but little things like these overshadow them,” she said.

National Translation Institute of Malaysia managing director Mohd Khair Ngadiron said there was still no perfect replacement for a professional translator's work.

“More often than not, machines tend to translate work literally, and even if we use Google to translate, we must still look at the context,” he said.He said anyone setting up a website should get a professional body to do its translation because the site would be viewed by many globally.

 Websites of other ministries have ‘poke eye’ English, too


PETALING JAYA: While there are no ministries which advise against “clothes that poke eye”, a check has shown numerous errors on their respective websites.

A check on the websites of the Prime Minister's Office and the 22 ministries, apart from the Defence Ministry, found eight with English translation that fell below what could be considered good standards of the language.

Among them was the Education Ministry that states:

Education in Malaysia is on-going efforts towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God”.

It was reported yesterday that the Defence Ministry had carried literal and somewhat amusing English translation on its website.

Other websites that used sketchy English include the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

The websites for the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries, Tourism and Natural Resource and Environment ministries also had noticeable grammatical errors, but had better language by far.

The Transport Ministry had taken down its English site for “maintenance”, while the Higher Education Ministry did not have such option.

However, most ministries clearly took the effort to make sure they used proper English on their respective websites including the Prime Minister's Office.

Two notable ministries were Home and Women, Family and Community Development that chose to use a more “approachable” way to explain their goals and functions instead of a “dry” approach.

Related Post:

“Clothes that poke eye”, Melayu English!

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