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International Translation Day 2023, Date, Significance and History

International Translation Day, observed on September 30 every year, serves as a global celebration of the invaluable contributions made by translators and language professionals. These individuals play a pivotal role in facilitating cross-cultural dialogue, contributing to global development, and fostering world peace.

Origins of International Translation Day

International Translation Day was first established in 1991 by the International Federation of Translators (FIT). FIT is a collective organization representing translators, interpreters, and terminologists worldwide, founded in 1953. The day was instituted to foster unity within the global translation community and to raise awareness about the significance of the translation profession.

The Connection to St. Jerome

The choice of September 30 for International Translation Day is symbolic, as it coincides with the feast day of St. Jerome. St. Jerome is a revered figure in the field of translation studies and is considered the patron saint of translators. He was a Christian scholar and priest known for his monumental task of translating most of the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, making it more accessible to readers. His pioneering work laid the foundation for translation as a profession.

St. Jerome’s Legacy

St. Jerome’s remarkable linguistic abilities are evident in his fluency in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Born in North-eastern Italy and of Illyrian ancestry, he learned Latin in school and further honed his language skills through studies and travels. He is credited with translating not only the Bible but also parts of the Hebrew Gospel into Greek. St. Jerome’s dedication to making sacred texts accessible to a broader audience is a testament to the power of translation.

Significance of International Translation Day

In an increasingly globalized world, the role of translators has become more vital than ever. These language professionals contribute to positive public discourse, facilitate interpersonal communication, and promote understanding between cultures. Through their work, translators transpose literary, scientific, and technical content from one language to another, enabling progress and cooperation on a global scale.

Supporting Multilingual Communication

Translators and language professionals are instrumental in ensuring effective communication between nations. Their expertise in translation, interpretation, and terminology aids in bridging language barriers, fostering diplomacy, and facilitating cooperation on international issues.

Translation at the United Nations

The United Nations, one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals, relies on their skills to handle a wide range of documents and communications. From Member States’ statements to reports from expert bodies, UN translators ensure that information is accessible in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. This multilingual approach promotes transparency and inclusivity in global affairs.

As the world continues to move toward greater interconnectedness, the role of translators and language professionals remains indispensable in promoting effective communication, mutual respect, and cooperation among diverse cultures and nations. International Translation Day stands as a tribute to their vital contributions to our global community.

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