当前位置:中华考试网 >> 经典译文 >> 人物译文 >> 他她话题:新加坡的国庆造人计划


中华考试网   2015-12-12   【

  When this small Asian city-state celebrates its independence today, Singaporeans are encouraged to show their patriotic fervor by displaying their country’s flag proudly, sharing snapshots of their favorite local foods and dancing along to a fresh new national theme song.


  But there is another, distinctly unofficial, national song in Singapore these days. It is asking locals to try something else on their country’s big day: Make love for Singapore.


  The soulful rap, which is part of a new ad campaign to promote Mentos mints, is called ’National Night,’ and it exhorts Singaporeans to ’do their civic duty’ to help solve the city-state’s low birthrate by making a baby on Aug. 9.

  这首热情的说唱音乐是曼妥思(Mentos)薄荷糖全新广告宣传的一部分,名叫“国庆之夜”(National Night)。歌曲倡议新加坡人“履行公民义务”,在8月9日的国庆日积极实施造人计划,帮国家解决出生率过低的问题。

  ’It’s National Night, let’s make Singapore’s birthrate spike,’ a female vocalist sings over jittery synthesizers and drumbeats, as her male counterpart shouts phrases like ’that’s right’ and ’the birthrate won’t spike itself!’


  ’Singapore’s population, it needs some increasin’, so forget waving flags, August 9th we be freaking,’ the rap continues.


  The song has gone viral, taking on a life of its own on social networks across the famously staidcity-state. It is also raising the eyebrows of older residents who fret that it is mocking a seriousissue.


  Singapore’s leaders have worried for years about the country’s birthrate, which is among the lowest in the world at 7.72 births per 1,000 people, according to 2011 estimates from the CIA World Factbook. That means the country’s population would keep falling every year if authorities didn’t let in immigrants - a policy that doesn’t go down well with many locals, who say they resentnew arrivals who take jobs and strain local resources.

  多年来,新加坡的领导者一直在担心这个国家的出生率。根据《美国中央情报局世界概况》(CIA World Factbook)2011年的估计,新加坡出生率为千分之7.72,处于全世界最低水平。这意味着如果政府不引入移民,这个国家的人口每年都会减少;而移民政策并不为许多本地人所认可,他们认为新移民会抢走工作岗位,给当地的资源供应带来压力。

  The government has tried just about everything to get the birthrate back up. It has offered ’babybonus’ tax breaks and government-paid maternity leaves to new mothers. It has also set up a special government unit, the Social Development Unit (SDU), now renamed the SocialDevelopment Network, to help singles meet and mingle. Thanks to the unit, locals can sow the seeds of romance at government-subsidized speed dating events and salsa dance classes.

  政府已采取几乎一切手段来提升出生率,给予“生育奖金”(baby bonus)税收优惠,向新妈妈提供政府买单的产假,还设立一个特殊的政府部门“社交发展部”(Social Development Unit,简称SDU),现在更名为社交发展网(Social Development Network),帮助单身男女约会交往。在该部门的推动下,本地人可以在政府补贴费用的速配活动和萨尔萨(salsa)舞蹈班上擦出爱情的火花。

  Over the past year, the government has designed a series of instructional comics, including one exploring different ’love fallacies’ that singles often have. In one of the strips, a young woman tells her friend she is waiting for the ’right one’ to come along, only to find a 100-year-old man, lonely and wrinkled, as the only one who agrees with her. The comic comes with this advice: ’[A relationship] is a matter of going out of your comfort zone to meet new people. . .and not being afraid to love and commit.’


  National Day, which includes giant parades presided over by Singapore’s top leaders and lots ofmilitary displays, has become a prime forum for messages about making babies. At the 2008 National Day, for instance, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent more than 5,000 words discussing Singapore’s falling birthrate. The speech included advice on how to change diapers.

  新加坡国庆日的庆祝活动包括政府领袖出席的盛大巡游和许多阅兵表演,同时也成为一个宣传“多生孩子”的主论坛。举例而言,在2008年的国庆日,新加坡总理李显龙(Lee Hsien Loong)用超过5000字的篇幅谈论新加坡不断下跌的出生率,演讲中甚至还提及了如何给婴儿换尿布。

  ’In the days before Pampers, you actually got to fold the cloth, you got to put it on, you got to put the safety pin in and I haven’t pricked any baby yet,’ Mr. Lee told a rapt nation. ’If I can do it, it means everybody can do it.’


  All that talk of making babies does seem to be having some impact. In 2003, according to surveys by condom maker Durex, Singapore was among the bottom three nations in the world when it came to frequency of having sex. Five years later, more Singaporeans were having sex at least once a week than Australians, Americans, British and Canadians, according to a similar survey by Durex.


  But the birthrate has continued to decline steadily, although with a slight improvement in the number of babies born last year, according to government statistics.


  Enter the Mentos campaign, which was composed independently of the government as a parodyof officially sanctioned National Day songs that play in the months leading up to Aug. 9 each year, and are sung during National Day parades.


  There is a new official song each year. This year, it is called ’Love at First Light,’ and comes with a music video highlighting Singapore’s newest attractions, like a new billion-dollar public park called Gardens by the Bay. It also celebrates Singapore’s ’lively ways’ and ’warm sunny days.’

  新加坡每年都有一首新的官方国庆日主题曲。今年的歌曲名为“爱在晨曦中”(Love at First Light),并配有音乐电视片展现新加坡最新热点,如在滨海湾(Bay)建设的耗资上十亿美元的公众公园Gardens等。歌曲还着意勾勒新加坡的“生机蓬勃”和“阳光明媚”。

  The Mentos rap has other ideas.


  ’Let’s not watch fireworks, let’s make ’em instead,’ the rap’s male vocalist croons. ’It’s National Night and I want a baby, boo, I know you want it, so does the SDU.’


  The song, devised by ad agency BBH Asia-Pacific and spread via social media, is part of Mentos’s plan to launch a special ’I Heart SG’ pack of their signature mints for this year’s National Day. The agency was asked to come up with a campaign to ’prove how much Mentos really ’hearts’ ’ Singapore, according to the project’s creative director, Adrian Chan.

  这首歌由百比赫亚太广告公司(BBH Asia-Pacific)策划,并通过社交媒体传播开来,其目的是宣传曼妥思为今年国庆日推出的一款主题薄荷糖“我爱新加坡”(I Heart SG)。该项目的创意总监阿德里安•陈(Adrian Chan)说,曼妥思要求百比赫公司想出一个广告方案来,“证明曼妥思真的很爱新加坡。”

  ’Mentos has always stood for ’fresh thinking,’ so we decided to apply some to an issue that is very close to home: our declining national birthrate,’ said Mr. Chan.


  In one part of the song, one of the singers advises, ’come on now, let’s get that baby bonus.’ And in case any locals might be offended, a singer says listeners should just get over it and, ’well, get [their] National Night on.’

  在歌曲中,一位歌手唱道:“现在行动起来,去拿生育奖金。” 有一位歌手说,即使一些新加坡人觉得歌词不动听,他们也应该把不快抛在脑后,“在国庆之夜行动起来。”

  Some Singaporeans were tut-tutting as the song went viral.


  ’The clip should not be shown during the National Day Parade season. . .you do not want totrivialize the baby issue,’ said Lee Chun Wah, a professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore specializing in brand communication.

  “这首歌不应该出现在迎接国庆的日子里……出生率这种大问题不能拿来随便调笑。”新加坡南洋理工大学(Nanyang Technological University)讲授品牌沟通技巧的教授Lee Chun Wah说道。

  ’The conservative folks - the traditional ’heartlanders’ - may be offended,’ he said, adding that he personally finds the song ’hilarious.’


  Mr. Chan said he hopes the government will like it, given the importance and urgency of the issueof fertility in the city-state. Officials contacted about the song and its video said only that Singapore’s government wasn’t involved.


  The video does come with an important disclaimer. Only ’financially secure adults in stable,committed, long-term relationships should participate,’ it advises.