30. September has been celebrated worldwide as International Translation Day since 1991, when it was established by the International Federation of Translators (IFT). On this day translators, linguists, students, writers and other members of language industry conduct special activities to celebrate their profession, raise the awareness of the importance of their work and express solidarity with the fellow translators worldwide.
International Translation Day
History And Significance
Since its inception in 1953, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) has organised the day. The first formal ITD celebration took place in 1991. The United Nations General Assembly enacted Resolution 71/288 in May 2017 on the importance of language experts in linking nations and encouraging peace, understanding, and advancement, and designated September 30 as International Translation Day.
According to the UN’s website, “St. Jerome was an Italian priest from the north-eastern region of the country who is most renowned for his efforts translating the New Testament from its Greek manuscripts into Latin. On September 30, 420, Jerome died near Bethlehem.” The role of translators rose dramatically as the world moved toward globalisation. Language specialists aid in the development of healthy public discourse and interpersonal communication. (International Translation Day)
Translators aid in the translation of literary, scientific, and technical materials from one language to the other, which aids in the advancement of a better world. They promote mutual respect for different cultures by assisting in the understanding of each other’s civilizations. They also aid inappropriate translation, interpretation, and nomenclature, all of which are necessary for guaranteeing communication across countries. The role of translators and language specialists will only become more vital as the globe becomes more linked.
Translation Profession Today
The modern, digitalized and technologized world is marked by the swift and dramatic changes of the ways we communicate. The exchange of information has never been faster, the world has never been smaller, but the need for professional human translators has never ceased.
On the contrary, the role of translators in the globalized world is essential. While the communication is flowing in a heartbeat, it is the task and the duty of translators to make sure it is flowing in the right direction and that the precise meaning, intent and style of the message remain intact.(International Translation Day)
The way the things work has changed and it is going to change even more, but the essence of the translation profession remains the same – to facilitate the exchange of ideas between different languages and cultures in various ways and on different levels. This is exactly what we do at all times, regardless of what it is that we translate – a poem, a novel, a movie, an instruction manual or a website.
The role of language professionals
International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.(International Translation Day)
Transposition of a literary or scientific work, including technical work, from one language into another language, professional translation, including translation proper, interpretation and terminology, is indispensable to preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international public discourse and interpersonal communication.
Thus, on 24 May 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development, and declared 30 September as International Translation Day.
Why 30 September?
30 September celebrates the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator, who is considered the patron saint of translators.
St. Jerome was a priest from North-eastern Italy, who is known mostly for his endeavor of translating most of the Bible into Latin from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He also translated parts of the Hebrew Gospel into Greek. He was of Illyrian ancestry and his native tongue was the Illyrian dialect. He learned Latin in school and was fluent in Greek and Hebrew, which he picked up from his studies and travels. Jerome died near Bethlehem on 30 September 420.(International Translation Day)
Every year since 2005, the United Nations invites all its staff, accredited permanent missions staff and students from select partner universities to compete in the UN St. Jerome Translation Contest, a contest which rewards the best translations in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, as well as German, and aims to celebrate multilingualism and highlight the important role of translators and other language professionals in multilateral diplomacy.(International Translation Day)
Multilingualism, a core value of the United Nations
Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and the planet.
There is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but also in attaining quality education for all and strengthening cooperation, in building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage, and in mobilizing political will for applying the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development.(International Translation Day)
An essential factor in harmonious communication among peoples, multilingualism is also regarded by the United Nations General Assembly as a core value of the Organization. By promoting tolerance, multilingualism ensures effective and increased participation of all in the Organization’s work, as well as greater effectiveness, better performance and improved transparency.
Translation at the UN
The United Nations is one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals. Several hundred language staff work in UN offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, or at the United Nations regional commissions in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva and Santiago. Translators are one type of language professionals employed at the UN.(International Translation Day)
UN language specialists include:
- Editorial and desktop publishing assistants;
- Production editors and desktop publishers;
- Verbatim reporters
United Nations translators handle all kinds of documents, from statements by Member States to reports prepared by expert bodies. The documents they translate cover every topic on the United Nations agenda, including human rights, peace and security, and development. New issues arise every day. UN documents are issued simultaneously in the six official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Some core documents are also translated into German. This multilingual documentation is made possible by United Nations translators, whose job is to render clearly and accurately the content of original texts into their main language.(International Translation Day)
Worldwide Cloud Solutions wishes Happy Translation Day to all our team members, partners, colleagues, friends and all translators of the world!