Translator Profile: James Toh
ATA Associate, AITI, CIOL Student Affiliate, B.A. (Hons) Chinese
A professional English-Chinese language translator with a decade of localisation and revision experience under his belt, and exposure across various text types requiring sensitivity to context and tone, including certificates, courseware materials, legal and corporate documents, advertising copies, and websites.
Translation & Revision | Project Management | Subtitling
National Translation Committee (NTC) Ambassador | Professionally & Academically Trained
Qualifications, Memberships & Achievements
- Ongoing: Graduate Diploma in Translation and Technology (GDTT) | Singapore University of Social Sciences, 2023 (Expected)
- Bachelor’s Degree of Arts (Honours) in Chinese | Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2013
- American Translators Association (ATA): Associate Member
- Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL): Student Affiliate
- Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI): Associate Member (AITI)
Awards & Appointments
- 2022 National Translation Committee (NTC) Ambassador
Appointed by National Translation Committee (NTC)
- 2021 Translation Talent Development Scheme (TTDS) Co-sponsorship Grant
Awarded by National Translation Committee (NTC) / Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore
In The Beginning
In 2013, after graduating from university, James began his journey into the professional translation industry.
At first, it was not easy. Vacancies for in-house translators were rare.
To gain more experience, James volunteered his services for a non-profit organisation, providing Chinese-English translation for articles on compassion relief.
This experience proved to be more beneficial than imagined. He learnt quickly that behind each word and phrasing to be communicated, was a human factor which required adequate and effective representation across language. Simply speaking, words conveyed must touch the heart.
Eventually, he clinched a role as an in-house translator with a game company, translating in-game conversations, background story, and also legal documents.
Fun factor and accuracy were the focus of this period, as he worked on to realise Skopostheorie in practice, all the while striving to continually attract the interest and anticipation of fellow gamers.
Moving on, James progressed to join an established multi-language service provider in Singapore as a translation editor, where he was exposed to wide range of document types and translation requests on a daily basis.
From proposing localised companies’ name to translating/revising translated wedding speeches, advertisements, financial reports, contracts, investment content, commercial explosives, perfumes, websites, etc., every single day was never boring as he gained perspective on how to mold translations into a quality, fit-for-purpose product.
In addition to translating and revising/editing translations, he constantly exercised his knowledge of translation studies theories, to explain to internal and external clients on the thinking involved in the art of translation, ethics and professional concerns.
Within the company, he led the editorial department and mentored new editors/interns after successfully expanding the department from himself to a three-man team. He was also responsible for reviewing aspiring and existing translators to ensure that translation quality was maintained at all times.
Seeking New Challenges
In due time, as he felt ready to gain additional competencies and expand his skillset, James took a leap of faith to switch to the education and learning field by joining an adult learning agency as translator, further exposing himself to the specialised field of courseware translation and interpreting.
As part of his calibrated path towards diversification, he took the chance to simultaneously build his soft skills such as communication and coordination, preparing to develop himself in a larger background of professional service.
After that, he progressed to the medical postgraduate education and training sector to put his coordination skills to test, at the same time, develop competencies in budgeting, programme and project management, strategic planning, and tender and audit preparation.
An Ongoing Effort: Freelance Translator
James started his freelance translation journey since 2013, providing professional English – Chinese translation services for individual and corporate clients, including language service providers.
Through the years, he gained translation experience in various fields, including automobiles, informed consent forms, medical, business and courseware documents.
Apart from his core set of translation skills, he also fully utilised his knowledge on budgeting, communication, project coordination and management to provide dedicated translation services with a personal touch.
With an ever inquisitive mind, James is open to provide translation services for all topics and content, while specialising in legal, business and courseware translation.
Get in touch with James to see how he can assist you with your translation needs.