It is the honor of Cheng Yu Tung College (CYTC) to have the renowned scholar Prof. Zhang Mei-Fang to give a speech on “Reading Different Cultures through Cultural Translation: On Translations of Site-names in Macau Historic Centre” on January 19th, 2017. Prof. Zhang is a full professor in the Department of English of UM and her research interests are translation studies, discourse analysis and media translation.
It is well-known that Historic Center of Macao is a collection of over 20 locations that present the unique assimilation and co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau, a former Portuguese colony. It represents the architectural legacies of the city’s cultural heritage, including monuments such as urban squares, streetscapes, churches and temples. In 2005 the Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is certainly interesting to know how these historical sites were named and translated into different languages. Prof. Zhang shared many stories of the site names. Taking the “Moorish Barracks” and “Largo do Lilau ” as examples, Moorish Barracks was a historic building in Macau Peninsula which was used to accommodate Muslim Indian policemen from Goa in 19 century and now occupied by the Macau Maritime Administration. People today call it Macau Maritime Administration in Chinese but we still keep “Moorish Barracks” in English. And “Largo do Lilau” means Lilau square. Lilau (which translates to ‘mountain spring’ in Portuguese) has been called “Grandma’s Well” in Chinese was highly valued by the residents and a famous local saying from those days was that “Anyone who drinks from Grandma’s Well of the Lilau- will never forget Macau”. Through these two examples, the audience realized the cultural translation should respect the history and keep the cultural nature and characteristics. Even though the barrack was no longer in operation, we still keep the original name.
CYTC held this speech in G012 of CYTC, attracting a total of 102 student and teachers to come. It was interesting and intellectual as well. The talk lasted for 1.5 hours and students asked a variety of questions and they were also interested in how to translate Chinese cuisine into English or the difference of translation of movies’ name in Taiwan, Macau and China. Prof. Zhang suggested CYTC could hold other cultural translation talks in the future. All the participants undoubtedly learned a lot from Prof. Tang’s talk.