FIJI PROVINCIAL REPORT POSES TRANSLATION PROBLEM

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By Frederica Elbourne

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Apr. 1) – Translation of the Tailevu Provincial Council annual report proved difficult because words could not be found in the Fijian language to explain certain matters best described in English.

And provincial council member Ratu Tu’uakitau Cokanauto cautioned the yasana committee against the use of certain terms translated into the Fijian language, saying it needed to be more sensitive.

Ratu Tu’uakitau was referring to the phrase vei beci (disrespectful) which was the used in annual report tabled at the meeting yesterday.

He said it was culturally insensitive to use the term and asked the committee to find another phrase to explain its point in the report.

Yasana committee spokesperson Adi Finau Tabakaucoro said translation from the English to the Fijian language was complicated because some things in English lost true meaning when written in Fijian.

"Besides, when matters are taken up to Cabinet level, it’s all in English," she said.

At the Tailevu Provincial Council meeting, she heard the grievances of elders who could not understand English vocabulary highlighted in the annual report.

She said the apparent differentiation between the indigenous Fijians and others needed to be done away with.

Criticizing the report, she said it failed to direct the yasana on where it was heading, adding that the lack of proper education and an immature outlook was to blame.

"The report does not have examples or illustrations to point out where we are and where we’re going," Adi Finau said.

"And if we face head on the fact that we are late, and need to catch up and fill in the gap, then we are on our way to speedy recovery. 

We are plagued with our lateness, late to arrive, lack of maturity and small mindedness," she said.

April 1, 2004

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

 

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