Happy International Translation Day! International Translation Day is celebrated on the 30th of September as this is the feast celebration day for Saint Jerome. Saint Jerome is known as the Patron Saint of Translators as he translated the Bible in the year 382. He used his knowledge in Hebrew and Greek to translate the Bible from these languages into Latin, which gave a wider audience access to the Bible.
The 30th of September is a day which is promoted by the ‘International Federation of Translators’ which was established in 1953.
International Translation Day allows us to reflect on issues and developments within the Translation and Interpretation sector. The role of the translator has not changed, translators are still there to provide cultural understanding and to enable communication. Advances in technology have changed how we approach translation. It is now possible to put a 10,000 word document into a machine to give a good quality machine translation. However the role of the translator is still as important as ever:
- Translators enable expansion and globalisation by understanding companies’ and individuals translation requirements
- Although Machine Translation provides good quality translation, human language is imprecise, so correct word use can vary depending on the context and intention of the text
- Translators are intercultural mediators, they are not only bilingual but also bicultural. They understand the source and target culture which gives them an added understanding of the translation requirements.
More than ever we require the help of translators to facilitate global movement and intercultural exchange.
Our sentiments echo those of Italo Calvino when he says “Without translation I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the World.”