Printing of Tamil translations by parties leave Tamil speakers confused and enraged

And Singaporeans First (SingFirst) have lived up to their name by being the first political party to have done so, at a press conference on 28 Aug. SingFirst launched their new campaign slogan which includes the official four languages of Singapore across the backdrop banner, with the wrong Tamil translation.

SingFirst was not aware of this mistake before or during the press conference. According to Channel NewsAsia, the error was only pointed out to the party right after the press conference.

What was supposed to be a Tamil translation of “Restore Our Nation”, the words printed on the banner turned out to be made up of nonexistent characters in the Tamil alphabet.

Tan Jee Say, Secretary-General of SingFirst responded with the explanation that the error made on the banner was entirely a printing error.

According to The New Paper, Mr Tamilavel, deputy news editor of Tamil Murasu tried to explain for what might be the reason to the error of translation.

“I believe that the correct words were typed out and given to the printer, except that whoever printed out the banner didn’t have the correct Unicode (a universal character set) downloaded to display the correct words.”

Not having a Tamil-speaking candidate on the party might be one of SingFirst’s weaknesses, but they seem to be trying their best to make up for this.

Next In Line

The second political party to have made a mistake in Tamil translations is National Solidarity Party (NSP). This time, the mistake was printed on posters which had already been put up on lamp posts in the constituencies they are contesting in.

According to CNA, a reader had alerted TODAY paper regarding an error of Tamil translation for the posters in Tampines GRC on 2nd Sep. What was supposed to be translated as “Singaporeans Deserve Better”, turned out to be a mix up of words and arrangement.

Sebastian Teo, president of NSP, has commented how despite having professional translators, ensuring the Tamil script is printed accurately is a harder challenge for the party. The explanations NSP have for the Tamil translation error is similar to the ones SingFirst gave: Printing Error.

Netizens have expressed their utmost resentment towards the errors of Tamil translation on social media platforms.


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This is blasphemy!

Maybe both SingFirst and NSP should include more Tamil-speaking candidates into their party to show how the Tamil-minority group matters enough to not make a mistake in Tamil-translation. Both parties have made arrangements to correct the printing errors on their posters and banners.

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With References from Facebook, Channel News Asia, The New Paper, The Straits Times.