September: A Month for Languages

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For most people, Friday, September 30th was just a normal day. But for those of us who work at K International, it was a day that was near and dear to our hearts: International Translation Day!

International Translation Day was established by the International Federation of Translators in 1953, to coincide with the feast of St. Jerome (the patron saint of translators). Every year has a theme to guide the celebrations; this year’s was “Bridging Cultures” for the way translation allows us to build bridges between different cultures.

On its website, The International Federation of Translators reminds us that people and companies who perform translation services are “absolutely indispensable,” saying

“They 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.”

This year, events included seminars and prizes in Lithuania and China, industry dinners and conferences in several different locations and a conference on Arab literature in the Netherlands.

But International Translation Day isn’t the only language-related holiday in September. On the 26th, the European Union also celebrated the 10th annual “European Day of Languages.” This holiday celebrates Europe’s 225 indigenous languages and encourages language learning.  The European Day of Languages website notes that “There have never been more opportunities to work or study in a different European country – but lack of language competence prevents many people from taking advantage of them” and calls foreign language skills “a necessity and a right for everyone.” We couldn’t agree more!