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Goh Beng Choo
Goh Beng Choo

Goh Beng Choo

literary translator

home-based

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Influenced by
My husband (67) is most important to me as I knew him when I was 16 and picked up knowledge on Chinese literature and art from him. He started writing poems when he was 21 and has been writing his whole life, having won four literary awards and been conferred the Cultural Medallion - our country's highest honour, for his life-long contributions to literature. Being a mature and sensible person he has also given me good advice on character and values.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
Wisdom, maturity, ability to make sound decisions, courage to take risks, an open mind and an open heart, concern for the welfare of every staff.
Couple of years from now
I can't be too excited about my prospect, given the reality of my age but I do hope to build up my health and continue with my love of classical music. I would like to have more freelance work in translation (Chinese/English) particularly in the field of art as I enjoy viewing good paintings. If there ever is an opportunity I would like to engage myself in music therapy to heal people with my singing. It can be in another country, not necessarily in Singapore. India perhaps?
More about myself
My husband's novels have received attention from a regional magazine named Yazhou Zhoukan (a Chinese journal similar to Asia Week Magazine)-two of his novels have been selected by this magazine to be Top Ten Chinese-language Novels of the world. One of his novels titled Art Studio has been translated into Italian language and has received good reviews in Italy, he has been invited by a major literary festival organiser in Italy to attend the festival in this September with full sponsorship-a great honour for a small country in south-east Asia. He would like this book to be translated into another language of a big country -Tamil, perhaps.
My achievements
My bilingualism, my knowledge in Chinese art and culture.
Ensuring success
I read to continue improving my English as I do translation of literature and arts from Chinese to English (both ways)I read books on fine art as I am interested in paintings. Most importantly I practise the Karnatic songs and Theevaram songs which I've learned from different teachers as singing them helps me to elevate my energy. I listen to music and practise yoga to enhance my energy.
Important lesson learned
The important lessons I have learned are really "lessons" in my South Indian Karnatic courses ahd Thirumurai songs which help me to combat aging and to lift my stamina.
Important decision
I think they are: a mid-career switch to bilingual-journalism and my decision to cultivate my daughter in music education. My career switch enabled me to learn more about journalism and writing, culture, art, and much more. My daughter successfully got a degree in music from the University of Birmingham and after marriage, can work comfortably at home to teach music as well as look after her nine-month old baby.
My family background
I came from a poor family, my parents (who had passed away)had little education, my father came from China. My parents were very loving but could not help me academically.I happened to have very good teachers for English and Chinese, which laid the foundation for my bilingualism in later years. I worked very hard and enjoyed studying. Because of good results I went to the best schools and the best university in my country- all the way on scholarships. I also worked as a reporter on the country's major newspaper The Straits Times for 10 years.
Brief description about me
I am a 62-year-old Singaporean Chinese, I'm married and have a daughter (who has a baby son) and my husband is a well-known Chinese-language writer who has written 26 books (poetry, drama, critique, novels, short stories)I have translated seven books from Chinese to English mainly about Chinese culture and Singapore literature, including a collection of poems by my husband and two award-winning novels by him. I went to the former University of Singapore and graduated with a BA in Social Work in 1974. I did social work in the first 10 years of my career life and switched over to be a bilingual journalist with The Straits Times, where I wrote reports and art stories in Chinese and English for publication in the major paper.My forte is Chinese arts and I listen to Western and Indian Classical songs and meditation music a lot.I'm very interested in classical Indian song, music and dance.
My role model
Madam Xu Xuan Ling, my Chinese-language teacher from my secondary school. She came from Fuzhou in China. She was very strong, physically and mentally and always encouraged me in my study in Chinese language and literature.I did well and cultivated an interest in classical Chinese poems from her.She is now a robust 93-year-old woman!
Degree that I recommend
This is not applicable.
My strongest skill
Translation and interpretation (Chinese and English), social work (counselling), knowledge in Chinese culture.
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