The erroneous Tamil translations of this year’s National Day Parade theme that were found on some National Day Parade (NDP) publicity pamphlets were made by the printers of the pamphlets, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a written Parliamentary reply on Tuesday (Aug 1).
The Tamil version of this year’s slogan, #OneNationTogether, saw a number of characters switched around, and others missing.
Dr Ng said the original Tamil translation submitted to the printers had been correct, but the errors came about as the pamphlets were not proofread after they were printed.
The incident came to light last month after pamphlets with the incorrect translation were distributed to Primary 5 students attending the National Education shows.
Dr Ng added that printed pamphlets will now be proofread, and that the step has been “incorporated as standard procedure for all translated texts in NDP distribution”.
He added that the NDP executive committee will ensure that the publishing companies it engages in future are equipped with reliable computer software, so the different languages used will be printed accurately.
The NDP executive committee apologised on Jul 11 for the error.
“Such typographical errors are avoidable and should not have happened. We apologise to all Singaporeans for our oversight, in particular to our Tamil community, for the unhappiness this error has caused,” said committee chairman Colonel Ong Yoke Lam Melvin.
The apology follows one by Speak Mandarin Campaign organisers, after the wrong Chinese character was used in its tagline at the campaign’s launch.