Celebrating International Translation Day (ITD)
“In order to recognise the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on 24 May 2017 – declaring 30 September of every year as International Translation Day.”
(Taken and adapted from this video from the UN)
On International Translation Day, we are reminded to pay tribute to translation professionals around the world and honour them for the part they play in bringing the world together and making it a more harmonious and peaceful place. The date – 30 September – is the feast day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, credited for his contributions towards the translation of the Bible.
Every year, translation industry professionals and companies organise different activities to mark and celebrate this day. It is a time to honour the role of translation and translators. For many, it is a time to connect and interact with other professionals in the industry. There are usually events organised by various organisations and groups on the day itself or the days before or after.
ITD Events around the World
The Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (FIT), the first to introduce the idea of having an International Translation Day in 1991, would select a different theme for the celebrations every year along with a poster design based on the theme. This year’s theme is “United in translation”.
The United Nations (UN) often holds the St. Jerome Translation Contest during this time in past years, which is open to current and former UN staff members, interns, staff and students from partner universities.
The English PEN, the first worldwide association of writers that is based in the UK, hosts a programme of talks, workshops and networking opportunities for literary translators. This year, the association is collaborating with National Centre for Writing to gather and feature events from across England and celebrate ITD with the intention of making it into a nationwide programme.
ProZ.com, the freelance translators’ community portal, is holding a free virtual event to celebrate International Translation Day on 29 and 30 September – two full days with 20+ hours of content, chat, live Q&A and networking opportunities.
Trends in the Translation Industry
The world has changed a lot since the days of St. Jerome; we have easy access to so many more tools and resources these days to aid us in translation. The push from the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the transition of the commercial world to the online sphere. The industry’s shift towards A.I. and machine translation has spawned job titles like UX Designer and Localisation Engineer, scopes that may have more to do with design and programming than translating. Indeed, translation industry practitioners now comprise many skilled and experienced professionals who bring their diverse expertise into the process of translation. Those involved in translation themselves have also increased their specialised skills set too. A translation colleague recently introduced herself in her new position as a Terminologist. As the machine improves, the role of a translator changes and adapts too to the different needs of society and the market.
So let us express our thanks on this day to all professionals in the translation industry, both present and past, who contributed or are contributing in various ways to connect the world and bring us closer to one another!
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