WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY?
There are special days and occasions for a great many professions; some of them being national, some of them international. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, carpenters etc. What about us translators? As translators, we are just like the other professions when it comes to having a special day. And ours is an international one. That very special date is the 30th September – International Translation Day.
Why 30th September?
One may ask: “Why 30th September, instead of any other 364 days of the year?” The answer lies in the history of translation/translators. This occasion dates all the way back to 30th September, 420 AC. It was the day that St. Jerome, who is a Bible translator and is regarded as the patron saint of the translators, passed away. The date is dedicated to him as the St. Jerome Feast Day in the Christian World. It has been celebrated and promoted by FIT (International Federation of Translators) as International Translation Day since 1953, and it was also acknowledged by a UN Resolution in 2017 to “recognise the role of professional translators in connecting nations”
Importance of Translatorship
The very fact that there is a special day for translation reminds us how an important role the translators play across the world. However, the profession of translation may not be always perceived clearly, the reason being our occupational standards are different than that of other professions. We may have different workplaces, different work procedures or different working times. These different circumstances and some automated tools (which are still in testing & development process) may sometimes lead one to consider translation less of a profession. When this is the case, our first responsibility as a translator is to explain the unifying power of translation both in professional and daily life where people are increasingly connecting to each other throughout the globe.
If we are to exemplify, a text that can be regarded as perfect in one language will just be a bulk of incomprehensible words for foreigners when they try to read it. The translators are the ones that make the text meaningful in many other languages. This is only a glimpse of what translators accomplish. It is the same case when it comes to dialogues as well, one may be as proficient as they can be in the oratory of their native language; but when they need to communicate with foreign individuals, their proficiency will not mean anything to people that cannot understand their language. This is where translators step in and make that proficiency in one language meaningful in other languages and be the voice of the speaker who is trying to make a point to other people that do not understand the language spoken.
The translation is the bridge between different languages and cultures, and translators are the very architects building that bridge.
With all these in mind, we celebrate International Translation day of all the translators around the world, who are always ready to practice and promote their professions proudly, and to act with solidarity with their colleagues.
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