Monday, 5 September 2011

International Translation Day: What's It All About?

September has rolled around already, which means one thing: International Translation Day is on its way.

In honour of our colleagues everywhere, and in plenty of time for the day itself, here is our take on what you need to know about International Translation Day.

Background to International Translation Day

International Translation Day is marked on 30 September each year. It is a non-denominational event celebrated all over the world, and an opportunity for translators, interpreters and terminologists to show solidarity and promote their professions.

The day has been celebrated since at least 1953. The FIT or International Federation of Translators made it official in 1991, and now encourages associations around the world to use it to lobby for recognition of the importance of translation.

Each year has a theme set by the Federation, with this years' theme designated as Bridging Cultures.

The date of International Translation Day coincides with St. Jerome’s Day, who is recognised by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of translators, scholars and editors.

Jerome is known for translating the Bible from Aramaic and Hebrew into Latin. You can find more details on his life in the church, as well as an interesting consideration of the translation challenges he faced here.

Jerome is not the only historical figure associated with translation, of course. Many translators choose to mark International Translation Day with a nod to Kumārajīva, a scholar and translator known for his translation of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit to Chinese.

So where-ever you are based and whatever your language combination, spare a thought for how you would like to mark International Translation Day on 30 September.