Translators Associations Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific: The region has now the opportunity to emerge as a leader

Translators Associations Asia-PacificAsia-Pacific – or Asia Pacific – is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. The region varies in size depending on context, but it typically includes at least much of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. It is difficult to point out exactly the number of inhabitants in such an imprecise area, but according to the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the region covers “two-thirds of humanity” – the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012.

Even though imprecise, this designation became popular in the late 1980s in commerce, finance and politics.

This region includes countries like Australia, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, and Taiwan.

The term may also include Russia (on the North Pacific) and countries in North and South America which are on the coast of the Eastern Pacific Ocean,

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, for example, includes Canada, Chile, Russia, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.

Alternatively, the term sometimes comprises all of Asia and Australasia as well as Pacific island nations – whether they are small, medium or large. For instance, when dividing the world into large regions for commercial purposes.


The economies within the region are heterogeneous, they are mostly emerging markets experiencing rapid growth.

Asian economies, along with America and Oceania, are included in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a block formed due to the growing interdependence of economies in the Asia-Pacific.

APEC was established in 1989, initially only as a discussion forum between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and some business partners of the Pacific region. It would only become a bloc in 1994, when countries pledged to transform a Pacific free trade area by 2010 for developed countries and 2020 for developing countries.

APEC currently has 21 members: are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.

Together they aim to reduce tariff barriers and promote the development of the region's economy.

Many countries already have agreements for total or partial reduction of tariffs, others are under negotiation.

The three pillars of the bloc's activities are: trade liberalization and investment, business facilitation, economic and technical cooperation.

The giant China

Today, China is neck-and-neck with America, which for over 100 years was the world’s leading manufacturer, and is one of the Asia-Pacific lower-wage countries that companies all over the world use as workshops.

China – and India as well – benefited from the rise of outsourcing and offshoring and the growth of sophisticated supply chains that went on in the last years.

Nowadays, some Western policymakers reckon it is about time their countries returned to making stuff in order to create jobs and prevent more manufacturing skills from being exported.

Construction and reconstruction in Africa’s emerging markets, led by Angola, have also been important for the giant China, as the People's Republic of China has been building increasingly stronger ties with African nations.

Looking ahead

“The opportunity is now for Asia-Pacifi c to emerge as a leader: in the global economy, in the realm of social progress, and in safeguarding the global environment”, said Noeleen Heyzer, United Nations Under-secretary-general and Executive Secretary, with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The region can demonstrate that its development can be balanced if these pillars work together, says Heyzer: “its economic wealth shared, its social gains secured, and the gifts of the earth protected”.

“Only then, will there be a resilient Asia-Pacific founded on shared prosperity, social equity and sustainability”.


In Asia-Pacific, there at least 18 translations associations, distributed by Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, China, South Korea and Taiwan.

The Japan Association of Translators (JAT) and the Translators Association of China (TAC) are the most known and dynamic translators associations in this region.

Australia has the biggest number of translators associations, being the home to the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT), the Australian Association of Health Interpreters and Translators, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and the Australian Association for Literary Translation (AALITRA).

Other translators associations in Asia-Pacific are the Association of Indonesian Translators (Indonesia), the Medical Interpreters and Translators Association and the Japan Translation Federation (Japan), the Malaysian National Institute of Translation and the Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia (Malaysia), the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (New Zealand), the Hong Kong Translation Society and the Science and Technology Translators' Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hong Kong), the Korean Society of Translators and the Korea Association of Translation Studies (South Korea), and the Translation and Attestation Association of Taipei (Taiwan).

Mandarin is not only the most spoken language in Asia-Pacific, it is also the language with more speakers in the all wide world. With over 845 million speakers, it often called Chinese by non-speakers, despite being in fact only one of many Chinese languages.

Mandarin is the largest of the Chinese languages, and is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. It is also one of four official languages of Singapore.

If you add to that the large scale immigration from both mainland China and Taiwan to the United States and Europe, you’ll easily conclude that there are large populations of Mandarin speakers outside China.

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