FIT Council meets in Kuala Lumpur and launches FIT Asia

FIT Council and observers in Kuala Lumpur

Translators, interpreters, and terminologists play a key role in helping to build crucial connections across the Asia–Pacific region, and FIT Council reinforced its commitment to the region at its annual Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, which was graciously hosted by the Malaysian Translators Association (MTA) and coincided with the 2024 FIT–MTA International Forum and the launch of FIT Asia, FIT’s newest Regional Centre.

It was Council’s second in-person meeting of the 2022–2025 mandate and the perfect opportunity to welcome new member Hasuria Che Omar (MTA President), network with colleagues from Malaysia and around Asia who had travelled for the event, and strengthen the profile of our professions in the region. Sadly, Jørgen Wind Nielsen, who was also recently co-opted to Council, was unable to attend. In addition to conducing official FIT business, such as reviewing reports from four Regional Centres and 18 standing committees and handling various administrative matters, Council reviewed the year ahead and resolved to continue its popular new webinar series.

At the lively and relaxed welcome dinner, the director-general of the Malaysian Language and Literature Agency, Dr Hazami Jahari, representatives from MTA and Singapore, and FIT Council members shared experiences over a delicious meal. Dr Jahari and FIT President Alison Rodriguez discussed the need to support Indigenous languages through learning and promotion and the importance of accessibility and government recognition.

Being in Kuala Lumpur was the perfect occasion to launch FIT’s fifth Regional Centre, furthering the vision of its predecessor, the Asia Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum (APTIF), and raising the profile of our professions across the Asia–Pacific, one of the world’s most geographical and linguistically diverse regions. Like all Regional Centres, FIT Asia will bring members closer to each other and to FIT, fostering stronger relationships with and between all regional members. The inherent value of multilingualism in Asia was naturally high on the agenda and exemplified by the host city’s many languages and cultures proudly on display during the visit.

The Association of Indonesian Translators (HPI) and observers from around Asia travelled to join the launch, which was spectacularly choreographed by MTA. Members who could not attend in person took part virtually via live feed to hear speeches and enjoy cultural displays.

The 2024 FIT–MTA International Forum, with the theme of ‘The role of FIT in today’s translation practice’, was a valuable opportunity for Council to meet with regional members and hear their concerns. The forum was moderated by Mohamed Zain Sulaiman, Head of Foreign Languages and Translation at the National University of Malaysia (UKM), and included presentations by FIT’s president and vice presidents followed by a lively Q&A session. Alison Rodriguez spoke of the Federation’s strategic priorities: visibility, community, and the future of the profession. It was gratifying to see so many young professionals and graduate students mixing with their more experienced peers and contributing to the event. When new ideas and enthusiasm connect with practical knowledge and wisdom, the entire profession benefits.

FIT Council would like to express its sincere thanks to MTA for hosting such a memorable and fruitful event.

FIT Council

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