International Translation Day on 30 September celebrates the work of the professionals who dedicate themselves to this important task, promoting dialogue and understanding between cultures.
This year marks 32 years since this day was first celebrated at the initiative of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). For this reason, we would like to take this opportunity to share some interesting facts about Translation Day.
Why is International Translation Day celebrated on 30 September?
The FIT chose 30 September as a day of commemoration in 1991, because it is dedicated to Saint Jerome, who is considered the patron saint of translators.
Who is St Jerome and why is he the patron saint of translators?
He was chosen as the patron saint of translators because he was responsible for translating most of the Bible into Latin, making it possible for Romans to understand the Holy Scriptures. He translated the texts into the "vulgar language", so his translation is known as the Vulgate and was the official text of the Church until 1979.
Saint Jerome was a priest in north-west Italy and lived in Rome in the 5th century. His mother tongue was Illyrian, but he studied Latin and also spoke Greek and Hebrew. In the last years of his life, he decided to escape Roman luxury and live in a cave near Bethlehem. He died there on 30 September 410 at the age of 80.
How is International Translation Day celebrated?
Every year, the FIT chooses a theme for the occasion and invites people to celebrate the day with various activities. The theme for 2023 is "Translation unveils the many faces of humanity".
In many countries, faculties of translation and interpreting and translators' associations organise interesting events, workshops and lectures on World Translation Day.
Why is International Translation Day a day to celebrate?
García Yebra, a famous Spanish translator, once said: "a translation must say everything the original says, say nothing the original does not say, and say everything as correctly and naturally as the language into which it is translated allows". And he adds: "Translation is perhaps the most important process for the dissemination of culture".
Languages are complex, so professionals are needed to facilitate communication between people who do not speak the same language. It is important to promote development and cultural diversity. In other words, translators have the ability to connect two different cultures.
In everyday life translations are useful for all of us:
- When we buy a household appliance, the instructions can be read in different languages
- Books or scientific studies are translated into different languages so that information and knowledge can reach everywhere.
Translation makes our lives easier and makes the world linguistically borderless.
In business, translation is also important as it allows companies to test new markets and expand their business.
For these reasons, International Translation Day is a very important day for all of us.
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FAQ on International Translation Day
International Translation Day is celebrated every year on 30 September. It is a day to raise awareness of the importance of translation.
Saint Jerome is the patron saint of translators. He was responsible for translating most of the Bible into Latin.
Translation is not only used to translate texts, but is also needed, for example, in the context of humanitarian aid, promotes intercultural exchange and supports human rights.
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