8 Facts About Language Diversity for International Translation Day 2017

Our favorite holiday is almost here! International Translation Day is happening tomorrow, 30 September. Set to coincide with the birthday of St. Jerome, this is a day to celebrate translators and the art of translation. And this year is special. Although International Translation Day has been celebrated since 1953,  the United Nations officially recognized it as a holiday this year. 

Every year has a theme. The theme for 2017 is “Translation and Diversity.” So, here are 8 fascinating facts about language diversity around the world.

There are over 7,000 languages in the world today.

7,099 to be precise, at least according to Ethnologue. But the exact number is up for debate and constantly changing.  This uncertainty exists for a number of reasons.

First of all, it’s sometimes difficult to draw the line between a language and a dialect. So, the way languages are classified can change. Unfortunately, languages can also die out. Occasionally, linguists discover new languages in remote parts of the world. For example, researchers found a new language in India in 2013. 

And every so often, linguists catch a brand new language evolving.  Read more

International Translation Day

International Translation day is celebrated every year on the 30th September.

The 30th September is the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators, interpreters and librarians. The day celebrates and promotes translation as an essential activity in contemporary society. Translation services have become more popular over recent years as each country finds itself dealing with a multicultural society.

Each year the celebration has a theme. The theme for 2009 is “Working together” and as the International Federation of Translators explains it presents an opportunity to “take a fresh look at why and how it pays to join forces.” K International, a UK based translation services company, is always looking for new and exciting ideas to improve its services and join forces with other individuals and companies in its field to improve client services.

The event is promoted by IFT (the International Federation of Translators) and has been since 1953! In 1991 the IFT officially launched the celebration as a show of solidarity of the world wide translation community and in an effort to promote the translation industry.

World Accent has produced another greetings card for this years event. Download it today.

September: A Month for Languages

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 Read more

Google and Facebook Release New Translation Tools

Both Google and Facebook released new translation tools for websites over the past week. Both companies announced the new tools on wednesday, in honor of International Translation Day.

Google’s website translation gadget allows you to make your web content available automatically in 51 different languages. To use it, all you have to do is insert a few lines code into your page.

The code checks the browser settings of your site’s visitors to see what language they use. If their preferred language is different than the language your page is written in, they will see a banner offering them the option of automatically translating the page into their language. All they have to do is click on the magic button, and presto, your website is translated for them.

Facebook’s translation tool, called Translations for Facebook Connect, also translates the text of your page to make it more accessible to your visitors. However, it’s a little bit different…instead of automatically translating the text; it allows you to crowd source the translation process to other Facebook users. You also have the option to translate the page yourself. However, the translations only work for visitors who are on Facebook and log in to Facebook Connect.

These automatic translation tools are a great way to expand the number of people you can reach with your website. However, if you are aiming for viewers from a particular country or language group, it is still worth it to invest in professional translation.

As Jeff Chin of Google noted in his blog post announcing the new website translation gadget:

“Automatic translation is convenient and helps people get a quick gist of the page. However, it’s not a perfect substitute for the art of professional translation.”

International Translation Day 2012

Over the past weekend, we observed one of the world’s most underrated holidays: International Translation Day! Every year on September 30th, translators and interpreters across the globe gather to celebrate this important profession.

Why September 30th? That’s the feast day of St. Jerome, considered to be the patron saint of translators. Born in 347 AD,  Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (aka St. Jerome) was responsible for most of the Vulgate, the most important Latin translation of the Bible.  Jerome took his translations from the most respected Greek texts and from the Hebrew Tanakh. It was a monumental task.

According to Wikipedia,

“[Jerome]  acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament…The later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.”

Today,no matter what your faith,  International Translation Day is a day to reflect on the importance of translation, with meetings and symposiums on translation-related topics taking place in cities across the globe. Each year, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) sets a theme for the celebrations. 2012’s theme was “Translation as Intercultural Communication,” focusing on how translation can help build bridges between different cultures. As FIT put it in a press release:

“Facilitated by the major changes and shifts in the global economy, culture and information technology in the last three decades, we now have a radically altered linguistic, socio-political and cultural context for intercultural communication. If “to be or not to be … global” is hardly a question for people and nations in the contemporary era, then “to live or not to live … in translation” is no longer an option but a reality of our everyday life.”

Can you see why this is one of our favorite holidays?

Most excellent e-card via the Making Sense blog

5 Ways Translators Are Helping to Preserve Cultural Heritage Around the World

This Sunday, 30 September, is 2018 International Translation Day. This year’s theme is Translation: Promoting Cultural Heritage in Changing Times.  So, what is cultural heritage, anyway, and how can translators help promote and preserve it?

Cultural heritage “is the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and preserved for the benefit of future generations.” Language is a type of “intangible culture.” Beyond that,  language also preserves other bits of intangible culture, like values, traditions, and folklore.

In many places, cultural heritage is under threat from conflict, poverty or just a world that’s changing more rapidly than ever – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five ways translators are helping to preserve cultural heritage around the world.

Translators without Borders – Gamayun, The Language Equality Initiative

We love Translators Without Borders. You may know them best for their work in providing vulnerable people with the information they need to survive the aftermath of conflicts, crises and natural disasters. On top of that, they are also gathering data to bring twenty underserved languages online during the next decade.

Machine translation, while far from perfect, does allow people to access information that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. However, machine translation relies on data. For many languages, that data is scarce. Translators Without Borders aims to bring voice recognition and text translation to languages like Kiswahili, Bengali and Hausa.

Read more about this project and contribute here. Read more

International Translation Day

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.” Read more