Tomorrow is International Translation Day, and we have produced a free e-card for you to download or pass on. Each year the day takes a theme, highlighting a different area of translation. This year’s theme is “Translation Quality for a Variety of Voices”.
As regular readers will know, this day celebrating translation was established in 1991 by the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs (International Federation of Translators). Our translation agency, WorldAccent, is proud to be a memeber of one of the federated bodies, the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. The date of 30 September was chosen as it is the feast day of St. Jerome (347-420 AD), patron saint of translators, interpreters and librarians. The day celebrates and promotes translation as an essential activity in contemporary society – but one which too often remains invisible and ignored.
This year’s theme partly celebrates the incredible diversity of language around the globe. As the Federation note in their press release for International Translation Day 2010:
“The estimated six to seven thousand languages spoken around the globe are the repository of our collective memory and intangible heritage. But the linguistic and cultural diversity they offer is under threat: 96% of these languages are spoken by only 4% of the world’s population and hundreds of them will soon be lost forever.”
With that “variety of voices”, the need for “translation quality” becomes clear:
“Translators, interpreters and terminologists, indispensable as mediators in interlingual and cultural contexts, have a special responsibility to help preserve multilingualism and promote smooth interaction among all the world’s languages. The burgeoning growth in information technologies, the widening reach of the Internet, the expansion of trade globally and ever-increasing scientific and cultural cooperation have undoubtedly enhanced the role of translators, interpreters and terminologists in the modern world and ushered in a ‘time of plenty’. This has in turn 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.”
Also of interest is an event taking place to mark this year’s International Translation Day in London. It is organised by English PEN, which promotes “literature as a means of greater understanding between cultures”. The event will focus on the future of literary translation, with speakers including Boyd Tonkin, Simon Winder, Michael Kelly, Kirsty Dunseath, Sarah Ardizzone and Mark Thwaite.
To celebrate this day we have produced a free e-card to download for yourself, or to send to friends and colleagues.