Sunday, September 30 is International Translation Day (ITD), the special day to honor translators around the world. September 30 is also Saint Jerome’s feast day. He is the patron saint of Encyclopedists, librarians and translators. Saint Jerome was the one who translated a major part of the Bible into Latin (Vulgate) in the 4th century. He was a prolific writer and wrote many commentaries on the Scriptures.
Celebrating International Translation Day
The International Translation Day was initially created by the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (FIT), or the International Federation of Translators (IFT) in English. The organizers established the event to pay tribute to the interpreters and translators who work hard to bridge the language gap across the globe. The special day is often celebrated with symposia, seminars and language services events.
In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly espoused a resolution making September 30 the International Translation Day. It’s a result of the untiring work of the International Federation of Translators, member associations and the American Translators Association.
2019 has been declared as the International Year of Indigenous Languages by the United Nations. To prepare for the momentous event, this year’s theme for the celebration of the International Translators Day is, “Translation: Promoting Cultural Heritage in Changing Times.”
This year,International Translation Day celebration will focus on the role of language services in promoting mutual respect and cultural understanding within a world that’s constantly changing. FIT and ATA are honoring translators and interpreters from September 24 until September 30.
The International Federation of Translators
The International Federation of Translators is a worldwide federation of professional association of terminologists, interpreters and translators, which was established in 1953. It has over 100 affiliate organizations that represent more than 80,000 translators located in 56 countries across the globe.
The aim of the International Translation Day is to honor translators for their dedication as language professionals in bringing nations and peoples together through cooperation and understanding, making dialogue easier and helping to develop and strengthen security and world peace.
Importance of language professionals
Translation involves the transposition of various written work from a source language to a target language. In professional translation, terminology and interpretation work, it is the task of the linguists to preserve and maintain clarity, productiveness and positive climate in interpersonal communication and international public discussions.
It is this important role of language services and language professionals that has made the United Nations General Assembly create the Resolution 71/288, establishing September 30 as International Translation Day. It is to honor translators for their valuable work in fostering understanding, development and peace and in connecting nations.
It is to be emphasized once again that even if a person knows one or two languages, it does not mean that the person can be a translator or an interpreter. Translators and interpreters are a special breed and they will continue to foster understanding among cultures.
When it comes to translation, there is always a debate about whether human translation is better than machine translation. Right now, there should be no debate at all because machine translation is not capable of accurate translation. Machines are able to translate words, phrases and short sentences that are already in their databases. Machine translation is not capable of picking up the nuances of the language and specific linguistic typology.
If you need thorough translation, it requires the human touch, so it is better to work with professional translators than commit errors in the translation, which could prove costly.
Benefits of working with human translators
Translators have been serving peoples and nations for ages, and while some are touting the merits of machine translation, it still has a long way to go before it can replace human translators.
Professional translators will always be needed as long as international communication is needed. Human translators have to learn new skills and adapt to new trends in the global digital era, but the need for professional translators is not going to slow down. In reality, the increase in the demand for language services continues to rise due to content revolution and globalization. Translation work is more demanding today and requires more from professional linguists in many ways. Here are some of the work that translators do.
Does more work
The professional translators today do more work than their predecessors. For their translation projects, they have to do research, check terminology, review and apply style guides and in some cases, quality check their work aside from using new language and translation tools, especially those who work from home. Most of them are also required to have knowledge and expertise in specific subject matters, such as healthcare, engineering, information technology, law or finance.
One of the reasons why we should honor translators is their capacity for creative thinking. They are intuitive as well, meaning they have the ability to decide which type of translation will fit the subject matter and the intended audience. Human translators are creative. They gain the skill through practice and their exposure to the language pairs they handle. They are able to choose the best way to transpose certain words and phrases to fit the sensitivities of the target audience. Their expertise in the language pair allows them to translate information in the right context to ensure that the message is correctly delivered while conforming to the linguistic and cultural preferences of the target user.
Subject matter expertise
Human translators have the capability to work with industry-specific documents. They may have been actively practicing their chosen profession prior to being a translator, thus they have a deep knowledge of the terminology required for a particular subject. They are required to be fluent in the source language and native speaker of the target language, which helps them to navigate the different nuances and contexts of the language pair.
Provides better quality translation
You will have better quality translation when you work with a professional translation company. The company can assign your project to the most suitable translator and depending on the content, call on a subject matter expert to handle your translation request. Better quality assures you that the translation is accurate. There is usually a team that works on each translation project: a project manager, the translator, an editor and a proofreader. Only after the translation passes the quality control process will it be submitted to the client.
Professional human translators understand the complexities of the language. They know that in different languages, words can have several meanings. Without their deep knowledge of languages, their translations work will not be in context, which is something that machine translation lacks.
Every culture has its own set of norms and values, which is ingrained into their language. Translating for international audiences requires the translator to be knowledgeable and sensitive to the target culture. This is more evident when the translator is tasked to do localization. For whatever type of translation work you require, the translator has to know the specifics of the target audience, in order to properly adapt the translation to the values, norms and even the level of understanding of the target culture. The aim of translation is to facilitate communication, so it is essential that no one will be offended by the translated work.
Proper and accurate translation is vital for business translations, in particular, as the success of your business in the target culture rests on the proper dissemination of information and the accurate delivery of the intended messages.
It will be a folly to undermine the work of translators and interpreters. Translators and interpreters foster proper communication and understanding among individuals and nations. In today’s era of globalization and advanced communication technology, more parts of the world are opening, thus people are able to interact with other cultures. This may be so but the fact remains that the language barriers are always present. Without translators and interpreters, people from different nations will not be able to understand one another, and for that, we salute the exceptional men and women linguists around the world.
Honor translators and interpreters on International Translation Day for the exemplary work they do by giving them recognition and attending events. Donate to nonprofit organizations and small presses that promote literature in translation or buy books that have been translated for yourself or give them as gifts.
Cheers to translators around the world
Day Translations, Inc. joins our fellow language services professionals around the world in celebrating the International Translation Day. As professional translators and interpreters, let us applaud one another and give each other a good pat at the back for always aiming to provide the best linguistic service we can offer our clients, whether we are working on small and big projects. Day Translations prides itself in providing accurate translation with the fastest turnaround time. We work with native speakers who live in-country, enabling our translators and interpreters to immediately respond to client requests. We are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year so clients will not miss any deadline, in whatever time zone they are located. For your translation and interpreting requirements, send us an email at Contact us or call us at 1-800-969-6853 at your convenience.
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