National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A foreign language instructor from a public university in Tainan, Taiwan, has criticized the government for failing to respect new immigrants by providing them with quality and accurate translated materials, particularly in Vietnamese.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha, a Vietnamese language instructor at the National Cheng Kung University, recently set up a Facebook page titled Vì một tiếng Việt chuẩn (For a standard Vietnamese), where it receives people’s complaints from across the island over poorly translated government articles, the China Times reported.

For instance, in the announcement for the 2018 Annual Army-Civilian Joint exercise, also known as the “Wang-an 41 Air Raid Drill,” the exercise code “Wang-an” was translated into vạn lý trường thành (The Great Wall of China).

Another mind-boggling thing is that there are six different words referring to new immigrants and migrant workers, causing huge confusion to readers of Vietnamese.

Nguyen said a friend who had her teacher training from the Taiwanese government last year found the teaching materials full of language mistakes from grammatical errors to wrong collocation.

Translated copies full of mistakes and errors across official documents and teaching materials gave people a very bad impression that the government was not being attentive and even disrespectful to the Vietnamese community.

To truly celebrate multiculturalism, the government should consult professionals before publishing any materials, he said.

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