International Translation Day

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Today, September 30, we celebrate, internationally, the Translation Day, on the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered to be the patron saint of translators and interpreters.

St. Jerome’s Day celebrations began in 1953, when FIT (International Federation of Translators) was established. It was FIT Council’s effort to promote the profession worldwide. However, it was only in 1991 that the Public Relations Committee of FIT launched the idea of an International Translation Day. The slogan for 1993 was “Translation, a pervasive presence,” and the press release included some valuable information, such as:

  • Imagine how difficult it would be to assemble furniture or bicycles, or to use video recorders, that you bought in a kit if the instructions were not translated (and everybody knows what problems badly translated assembly instructions can cause).

  • People with allergies to specific products would be at a risk if the ingredients on product labels were not translated.

  • Well-translated labels, instructions and marketing material can enhance a company’s image, while faulty translations will certainly do a company’s reputation no good!

As translators/interpreters, we should be responsible for – ideally every day, but especially today – spreading the importance of our profession for global undertanding, for communication among different cultures and peoples, and for building bridges among them. We should also take this day to show the importance of a well-qualified professional translator/interpreter, as opposed to anyone who can speak a foreign language.

Happy Translation Day to all my colleagues who help build a professional community of excellent translators/interpreters!

 

Reference: The history of International Translation Day

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