Singaporean actor Karthikeyan Somasundram took to Facebook on Tuesday (11 August) to censure NDP2020 Committee for making “blatant” mistakes in a number of Tamil words that were projected on-screen during the live evening show.
He said that while officials are always excited to speak or write in Tamil, which is one of Singapore’s four official languages, but they never try to make sure it is done correctly.
“Why is it that officials are so excited to talk in Tamil or write in Tamil but never ensure the accuracy? Despite so many cries of disappointment over the years officials are still ignorant when it comes to Tamil,” the local actor said.
As such, he asked: “What does it take for officials to take this seriously?”
It appears that during the live show, Mr Karthikeyan spotted three spelling errors made in the Tamil words, which he detailed out in the comment section of his post.
The three errors made were for the word Singapore, siblings and friends. He explained that for the word Singapore, the Tamil word that was projected on the big screen “shows gibberish like an attempt of a child to write the word with macaroni”.
As for Tamil words for siblings and friends, they were both spelt wrongly, according to the actor.
As such, Mr Karthikeyan said that while the errors might seem minor in comparison of the scale of the entire event, but when such “blatant mistake” is made, he can’t help but question if no one person in the entire committee spotted the error.
“Dear NDP2020 Committee, it might be a minor mistake amidst the stupendous effort of organising a one of a kind impressive parade this year. I understand mistakes do happen,” he wrote.
He added, “But when you make a blatant mistake like this, the question that gnaws my brain is… Didn’t you have one person to point out the mistake? ONE?”
Having said that, Mr Karthikeyan humbly pleaded for all officials to be extra careful when it comes to the Tamil language.
“It’s not easy as throwing words into Google and taking whatever it vomits. It’s not as easy as churning words out using any Tamil font.
“But you know what’s easy? All you have to do is just as one..ONE… ANY one of us. Your Tamil speaking colleague, secondary school friend, or even a stranger on the streets…’Is this correct?’ We will be more than happy to help,” the actor concluded.
On Wednesday (12 August), the organisers of NDP have apologised for the errors that were made in the evening show that was broadcast live on television on Sunday (9 August).
In a Straits Times (ST) article, the chairman of the NDP2020 Executive Committee, Brigadier-General Frederick Choo, said: “Unfortunately, the animation effects resulted in one line of the Tamil song lyrics having misaligned characters.”
He continued: “The NDP2020 Exco apologises for the error. The Exco had engaged Tamil translators to ensure the accuracy of the Tamil song lyrics and the Tamil translations of the films and performances in other languages.
“All lyrics for projection were accurate prior to digital animation. We will further strengthen the production process and be mindful for future NDPs.”