This year, the 30th September marks an important date in the translation world calendar – International Translation Day.
Although this annual milestone doesn’t, sadly, count as a holiday, it is nonetheless an important date which brings with it a number of exciting events.
Since 1953, the event has been celebrated on the 30th September on the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator and patron saint of translators.
Setting the benchmark for every translator who followed, it took Saint Jerome 23 years to translate the Good Book into Latin and his interpretation is still used to this day. The event was created to promote the translation and language professions across the world and to allow language professionals to display pride in their essential and diverse industry.
Translation and diversity
The International Federation of Translators (FIT) mark the occasion every year with a number of exciting and helpful articles and posts. Ahead of this year’s event, FIT distributed a press release which stated, “The year 2017 marks an historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, with the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting Resolution A/RES/71/288, recognizing the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development. In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day, celebrated across the entire UN network.” The release was accompanied by a poster with a powerful “Translation and Diversity” theme featuring many hands and banners to signify sharing and connectivity within the industry.
Translation is a virtual bridge between cultures and times.
This unique day in the calendar seeks to acknowledge the work of the translators who help to bring the world together through the medium of language – an industry which becomes important year on year as opportunities for international travel and global markets increase.
To underline the importance of translation, a resolution was called in 2014 to highlight the part played in conflict by translators. Governments were urged to work toward a UN Convention or international safety document for the protection of translators and interpreters in conflict areas both during their service and ensuring security for life afterwards.
As well as the translation of vital texts such as medical information, scientific documents and legal texts, translation plays a hugely important part in the entertainment industry. From the very first dawn of translation, it has been used to translate books for the masses. The very first book translation was, of course, The Bible and, it is believed that the second was Carlo Collodi’s 1881 book, Pinocchio. The art of translation has allowed people from all over the world to enjoy books and stories by the planet’s most talented authors; the most popular books still to be translated into different languages are those written by William Shakespeare and crime writer Agatha Christie.
2017’s International Translation Day will be marked with a series of dedicated events, seminars and symposiums across the world as well as a number of live events and posts on trade social media. Many libraries around the world offer special talks and lectures to translation students as well as career events which allow students to meet with representatives of translation agencies. Visit FIT’s website for information about these events and to find one near to you and help celebrate our special day.