In order to translate books like arts, culture, and tourism, careful preparation is important and funds need to be given by the government.
Sakri Abdullah, General Manager of the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books (ITBM), said that it was difficult to publish local books in foreign languages because they needed high costs.
“To elevate Malaysian works internationally, it is necessary to involve the government for the provision of substantial funds such as translation grants or joint ventures with international publishers either through bearing the cost or division of labour,” he said.
On Tuesday, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, expressed her hope that more local works and books concerning arts, cultures, heritage and tourism will be translated into foreign languages.
Nancy said the international community should make an effort to learn about Malaysia's different cultures and tourist destinations.
So far more than 150 book titles have been translated into English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic and other foreign languages, says Sakri Abdullah.
“Among the books selected to be translated into foreign languages are the works of national writers, the Malaysian genre as well as those related to Malaysian society and culture,” he said.
In the meantime, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP)focuses on publishing in various foreign languages additional books on art, culture, heritage and tourism while encouraging local authors to produce quality works.
DBP director-general Datuk Abang Sallehuddin Abang Shokeran said the development of the work will also underlines the beauty and the unicity of the country to give visibility for international visitors and draw them to Malaysia.
“DBP has previously published various books that highlight various features in the country such as places of interest in Malaysia, local handicrafts, martial arts, flora and fauna and many more.
"These books have received encouraging response from readers both local and especially abroad because they are really interested to learn more about the unique elements available in our country,” he said.
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