‘Traduttore traditore’ becomes the farmer of our global village
TAUS as a neutral and independent language data network embraces all members of the translation and localization society. The 30th of September is hence a great opportunity for us to celebrate the amazing work the translation society produces together and to appreciate the efforts of each and every translation enthusiast whether it be in a small translation office or in a corporate, computer-aided or machine supported translation environment.
History of the International Translation Day
Language professionals usually ply their trade in the background; translators in their offices and interpreters in their booths performing “the art of the impossible”. Such invisibility blends in with the nature of the job because documents belong to those who produce them; and the ones translating them are no more than the mere means of transmission, according to popular perception. It is therefore highly motivating to step out of the shadows to receive the due recognition and celebrate the 30th of September as the International Translation Day.
Almost every calendar day that is dedicated to a certain cause would inevitably have a striking or interesting story in store for the curious bunch, and the International Translation Day is no exception. 30th of September was originally known as St. Jerome’s Day who was praised for his translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew into Latin and considered to be the patron of all translators and interpreters.
Most ancient professions have their own masters or saints; for instance Adam is the master of farmers, Idris the master of tailors, Noah the master of carpenters. Communication being probably the most ancient of human needs, and translation as the prime enabler of communication across different cultures, it is only fair that translators have their own saint. St. Jerome (~342 - 420 AD) has been praised not only by the Biblical theologists but also contemporary linguists for a number of reasons: in his translations he would refer back to the original source text which was a tremendous endeavour in his era when solely one handwritten copy of each book would be available in some distant part of the world.
It was not until 1991 that the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (FIT) launched the idea of an International Translation Day. Translators from all over the world were then invited to display the pride they take in their profession and showcase their solidarity. Ever since, each year a different theme has been selected for the celebrations. These themes can also be viewed as the indicators of how much the translation industry has evolved over time paying specific tribute to industry trends and inclinations every year. The first theme, launched in 1992, was “Translation – the vital link”. As the need for making the significance and role of translation visible shifted towards making technology an indisposable part of the profession, the theme in 2000 was “Technology serving the needs of translation”. The current theme for 2017 is “translation and diversity”.
The year 2017 also marks a historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, with the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting Resolution A/RES/71/288, recognizing the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development. In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September to be the UN International Translation Day, celebrated across the entire UN network.
The work of translators and interpreters is far from finished. It's still being carried out silently and diligently every single day, often without appreciation or recognition. International Translation Day draws attention to that work, and gives the world the opportunity to thank those who have given us so much in efforts to allow smooth communication across cultures and continents.
Translators have come a long way from being called ‘traduttore traditore’ and trying in vain to perform a mission impossible to becoming farmers of our global village who make it possible for the globe to revolve in cohesion.
TAUS proudly wishes a Happy International Translation Day to all of you!
This was the history of translation. What is in store for the future of translation? Download The Translation Industry in 2022 Report to find out about it!