Bulletin Vol. 7 No. 3 Nov 1970

The Vice-Chancellor's address, which followed, is a development of hi s last Congregation speech, in which he stressed the urgent demand for effective bilingualism in Hong Kong. Dr. L i emphasised the role of translation in the process of modernization and outlined what the University has done, is doing and will be doing towards the promotion of translation. He ended with an exhortation to the graduates to "dedicate (themselves) to the inter-flow of the Chinese and Western cultures and to rendering meaningful, selfless service to the community". A Graduation Dinner was hel d the same evening to give the new graduates an opportunity to meet the Chancellor, th e Honorary Graduates, members of the Universit y Council and the College Boards of Governors/Trustees, and leaders of the local community. A t the Dinner His Excellency Sir David Trench propose d a toast to Her Majesty the Queen, and President Y.P. Mei of New Asia College, representing Dr. th e Hon. Tang Ping-Yuan, member of the University Council, proposed a toast in both Chinese and English to the Honorary Graduates and the graduates. Responding on behalf of the Honorary Graduates, Dr. leoh-Ming Pei proposed a toast to the University. Mr. Lam Chi Chi (New Asia College ) and Mr. Koo Yee-Yin, Irving (United College) responded on behalf of the graduates. Miss Sha Wah-Hing (Chung Chi College) was mistress o f ceremony for the occasion. English Version of Dr. Choh-Ming Li's Address It is indeed a pleasure to have among us today so many young graduates at the Eleventh Congregation of The Chinese University and to know that these young people will work independently to serve our community. A t the Tenth Congregation held last year, I pointed out that Hong Kong was facing an urgent demand for effective bilingualism and that more and more the community was giving equal emphasis to both Chinese and English languages. With equal emphasis given to bot h Chinese and English, translation becomes a very important instrument to train us to think and to write precisely. However, the importance of translation is not limited to these functions. We all know that whether the process of modernization of a country is quick or slow and whether the modernization is complete or partial have very much to do with the amount and the nature of work in translation published. We can even say that the modernization of China should be attributed to two experts, among others, in translation: Yen Fu and L in Ch'in-nan. Yen Fu was the first man in China who systematically introduced Western thought to China. He devoted himself to extensive translation of classic s in the fields of sociology , politics, economics, philosophy, logic, law and education. Although L in Ch'in-nan himself did not know English, he had managed to render more than 170 Western novels to the Chinese public by writing in the Chinese language the narrations he heard from his assistant. The impact of L in Ch'in-nan's work was strongly felt in the May-Fourth Movement. Unfortunately an anti-westernization reaction set in and upset the process of modernization and consequently today we see tha t China still lags behind in her process of development. The slowing down of modernizatio n and poor performance in translation interacted upo n each other. Hong Kong is now entering an era of industrializatio and is therefore i n great demand of up-to-date knowledge in every category. If we wish to see Hong Kong become a truly modern city, we must first give special emphasis and make every effort to promote translation work. To depend on a few intellectuals to absor b and to provide us up- to-date knowledge from original texts is obviously no longer sufficient. In order to obtain an adequate source of knowledge to meet our needs and to solve our problems, we must make a serious effort to translate new terms, new concepts and current thoughts into our own language so that the man in the street can understand what problems are involved. For instance, the European and American countries have recently begu n to occupy themselves to a great extent with research work in Ecology. But in this part of the world, we do not even have a standardized translation in Chinese for that word. It is true the local newspapers have discussed the ecological problems but not enough attention has been paid to the seriousness involved. It does not mean that such problems do not exist. As a matter of fact, the problems of air and water pollution, combustion, garbage etc. have been threatening Hong Kong for some time. That discussions in the newspapers have faile d to arouse public attention is partly due to the fact that we do not have standardized Chinese terms to properly describe the situation. Since its inauguration The Chinese University has been keenly aware of the importance of teaching translation and has advocated its inclusion in the curricula. We strongly believe that translation can benefit our community because it has at least two very important functions : it serves as a channel of communication between the Chinese and the Western cultures, and it helps in the process of modernization. In order to promote the teaching of translation, — 2 —