For those of you who don’t know, Friday, September 30th marked the 58th annual celebration of International Translation Day. Celebrated around the world every year, this holiday was originally started by the International Federation of Translator’s in 1953. The date, September 30th, falls on the birthday of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators and the translator of the Bible.
As the world is becoming more and more globalized, and the necessity of translators is becoming ever greater, there has been a push to make this holiday more international. In 1991, the International Federation of Translators started an effort to make the day officially recognized around the world, not only in Christian countries, in order to promote the translation profession.
This year, in order to celebrate this important day in the field of translation, various translator organizations around the world hosted a range of events. The Tibónidas group of translators in Granada, Spain put on a series of events related to this year´s holiday theme proposed by the International Federation of Translators: bridging cultures. The first event they hosted was a multilingual reading of romantic poetry. The second was an event called “Alien versus translator” and was about machine versus human translations.
Other member organizations of the International Federation of Translators hosted events including the LLVS (Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators) and the TAC (Translator Association of China) which held various seminars and prize giveaways. The APTI (Panamanian Association of Translators and Interpreters) held a dinner with Dr. Etilvia Arjona (Pierre-François Caillé Award winner in 2005). Others, like the STIBC (Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia) celebrated their organizations’ anniversaries.
These events held around the world help to promote the importance that translators have in the International Federation of Translators´ theme for this year´s celebration: bridging cultures. As so eloquently expressed by Dr. Jiri Stejskal of the IFT, translators are “…brokers of peace and mutual understanding. They open national literatures to the world. They make international assistance in disaster areas possible. They are the voice of politicians, religious and intellectual leaders, and all other people who influence our daily lives. They are gatekeepers of information. They are cultural ambassadors. They are absolutely indispensable.”
We hope that you were able to recognize and celebrate in some way the “indispensible” translators in your life this past September 30th and will continue to raise awareness about the importance of translation around the world! Happy Belated International Translation Day!