Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Hau defends Flora Expo event after translation gaffes

By MO YAN-CHIH  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday defended the city government’s promotion of the forthcoming Flora Expo, dismissing concerns about poor translation into Japanese during an event in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Hau arrived in Japan on Monday for a three-day visit to promote the expo, and attended a promotional event at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon. Taiwanese singer Lin Yu-chun (林育群) and Judy Ongg (翁倩玉), a Taiwanese singer living in Japan, also took part.

The city government said the promotional tour had been a success, but a story in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) reported that Tuesday’s event descended into “chaos” because of poor translation into Japanese.

Hau introduced the delicacies and major attractions of Taipei to representatives from Japanese travel firms and Japanese reporters during the two-hour event, but a translator frequently struggled to come up with the correct translation and made the event incomprehensible for most of the audience, the report said.

Shrugging off the story, Hau said yesterday the translator was a Taiwanese PhD student in Japan who had been nervous during the event.

“We still successfully promoted the expo in Japan. The audience loved Lin and Ongg and Fuji TV broadcast the press conference shortly after it was held,” Hau said yesterday when meeting with the press in his office.

The Taipei City Government cooperated with EVA Air in organizing Hau’s promotional tour to Japan. Hau said the airline invited the translator and the company had already apologized to him over the translation problems.

The Taipei International Flora Expo will be held from Nov. 6 to April 25 next year. The city government began its international promotional events last year, and has held several events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

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