Translation fosters multicultural involvement and mutual appreciation. It deepens our respect for our world’s intangible cultural legacy and shared heritage.
“The first rule of translation: make sure you know at least one of the bloody languages!” –Faiz Ahmad Faiz
The International Federation of Translators (FIT) has designated September 30 as International Translation Day to recognise the contributions of those working in the translation industry. Because St. Jerome, the man responsible for translating the Bible into Latin, is the patron saint of translators, this particular day was selected.
In accordance with the resolution issued by the United Nations General Assembly on May 24, 2017, the 30th of September is observed annually as International Translation Day. The purpose of this day is to recognise the contribution of language specialists to promote peace, growth, and brotherhood across linguistically varied countries.
International Translation Day corresponds with the feast day of St. Jerome, the priest and scholar credited with the earliest Bible translation. St. Jerome went on a voyage to translate the Hebrew Bible into Latin thousands of years ago. St. Jerome is known as the patron saint of translators due to his efforts to make the Bible accessible to a far larger audience.
United Nations describes International Translation Day as an “opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals,” which, according to the world body, plays an important role in “bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.” Every year, since 2005, it invites all its employees, accredited permanent missions staff and students from partner universities to participate in the UN St. Jerome Translation contest. The competition rewards best translation works in languages such as Arabian, English, French, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and German.
The United Nations acknowledges that all civilisations and their distinct cultures are essential for achieving sustainable development. Multilingualism, the UN says, is one of its “core values.” The organisation employs hundreds of language staff at its offices across the globe.
We observe International Translation Day by promoting awareness of professional translation and keeping in mind that the blending of languages symbolises the diversity-based strength of a unified global community.
Translation and interpretation are two professions devoted to improving communication between individuals. The progress of commerce, science, health, technology, international law, and politics are influenced by both interpreters and translators. This gives opportunity to people across the globe to learn from one another, to the advantage of society as a whole.
According to UNESCO, the cultural legacy referred to in this year’s subject is not limited to “monuments and collections of artefacts.” It covers knowledge, beliefs, and behaviours pertaining to humans, the natural world, and our place in the cosmos. This not only fosters multicultural involvement, but also mutual appreciation for various lifestyles. Therefore, International Translation Day underscores the significance of translation in fostering an appreciation of our world’s intangible cultural legacy and shared heritage.
Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and the planet. There is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but also in attaining quality education for all and strengthening cooperation, in building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage, and in mobilising political will for applying the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development.
An essential factor in harmonious communication among peoples. Multilingualism is also regarded by the United Nations General Assembly as a core value of the organisation. By promoting tolerance, multilingualism ensures effective and increased participation of all in the organisation’s work, as well as greater effectiveness, better performance and improved transparency.
The writer is a final-year student at BA Govt Degree College (Women) Anantnag