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Title: Chinese translation in the tax field : a case study on application of theories in practice
Authors: Tan, Li Ming
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: The growing footprint by the digital giants from China such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have enhanced e-commerce globally. While flourishing e-commerce is a boom to businesses, it has also created challenges to tax administrations on taxing transactions in the digitalized environment. Singapore has thus, following the international guideline in tackling tax avoidance in the digital economy, announced a new tax measure. Given English is the dominant language in public communication of Singapore tax rules, official Chinese translations on such are sparse and few. Interview findings conducted for this research suggest that there are demands for Chinese translations. This paper thus examines the practicality and challenges of Chinese translation in the tax field, with a case study of translating excerpts of guidance on taxing the digital economy and the new tax framework. The translation aims to achieve two goals − to inform (awareness-building) the affected businesses of their tax obligations in the digital economy and to help them comply (taxpayer education/compliance). As there is a gap between theory and practice in translation, the present study undertakes to apply relevant theories to the fulfilment of the translation brief. In transforming a tax-specific article to public communication through translation, the case study applies mainly the strategy of communicative translation, supplemented by adaptation, and thick translation; focusing on readability and adequacy. A comparability analysis of the terminologies in the source text was conducted amongst the Chinese equivalents of the comparable officially applied in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, before proposing a suitable model for adoption in Singapore. The paper concludes that Chinese translation has a vital role in communicating the tax requirements to Chinese businesses. Most tax issues have evolved and become more globalized, applying localization strategy across the board is not feasible as it was intended. The paper ends with recommending a set of guiding principles for practicing Chinese translation in the tax field.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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