International Translation Day

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Did you know that the 30th of September is International Translation Day?

The first International Translation Day was in 1953, and it has been celebrated annually ever since. The holiday was set at the end of September to coincide with the Feast of St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin from older Hebrew and Greek texts and is therefore considered to be the patron saint of translators.

However, International Translation Day itself is non-denominational. According to the International Federation of Translators, its purpose is to:

“remind users of translation and interpreting services of the important work performed by translators, often with exemplary dedication and, more often still, in the shadows.”

This year’s theme is “Translation Quality for a Variety of Voices,” focusing on the importance of developing the cultural understanding necessary to offer quality translations in many different languages and to promote linguistic diversity worldwide. The International Federation of Translators notes that globalization has:

“increased the burden of responsibility on language professionals: their work must meet exacting standards of accuracy and quality yet lose none of the nuances of the original language.”

In London, English PEN is celebrating International Translation Day with an event called “Writers in Translation.” As you might have guessed, the event focuses on literary translation and includes seminars on foreign language education, promoting translated literature and training future translators.   Through the event, English PEN is trying to bring together professionals in the translation industry to find ways of addressing expected drops in funding for translating foreign literature. There will also be a “live translation slam,” a competition between two highly respected translators to see who can produce the most accurate translation of a text. If this sounds interesting, check out their flyer for more information.

How will you be celebrating International Translation Day?