Wednesday, 30 September 2020

International Translation Day 30 September


International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.
Transposition of a literary or scientific work, including technical work, from one language into another language, professional translation, including translation proper, interpretation and terminology, is indispensable to preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international public discourse and interpersonal communication.

Launched in 1953, International Translation Day is a relatively recent entry into the calendar of world events. Established by the International Federation of Translators, the annual celebration is an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of translators who endeavour to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers and allowing great literature to be enjoyed far more widely. The work of translators is seen as being of growing importance due to growing opportunities for international travel and globalisation of trade markets.

Thus, on 24 May 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development, and declared 30 September as International Translation Day.

30 September celebrates the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator, who is considered the patron saint of translators.
St. Jerome was a priest from North-eastern Italy, who is known mostly for his endeavor of translating most of the Bible into Latin from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He also translated parts of the Hebrew Gospel into Greek. He was of Illyrian ancestry and his native tongue was the Illyrian dialect. He learned Latin in school and was fluent in Greek and Hebrew, which he picked up from his studies and travels. Jerome died near Bethlehem on 30 September 420.
Every year since 2005, the United Nations invites all its staff, accredited permanent missions staff and students from select partner universities to compete in the UN St. Jerome Translation Contest, a contest which rewards the best translations in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, as well as German, and aims to celebrate multilingualism and highlight the important role of translators and other language professionals in multilateral diplomacy.

Source: UN

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Why use a professional translator?


Any company or organisation that wants to communicate effectively must make its case clearly and convincingly. This applies whether you are providing information for investors, explaining how to use medical equipment, running crisis communications, selling goods or services, or soliciting donations for a cause. In all these cases, where the original message is in another language, the translation must be bulletproof.  

And in cases where laws are passed in multilingual jurisdictions – think not just the European  Union,  but also countries like  Canada,  Switzerland, and  Belgium  –  it’s imperative that citizens understand their rights and obligations under those laws. Here the need for accurate translations is even keener (and the challenge more daunting) – conveying not just the meaning of the words but also the precise legal concepts behind them. That’s where the professional translator steps in.  

Qualified professional translators come with a  guarantee that their work will be a faithful, accurate, and convincing reproduction of the original message, and one that uses the correct terminology. Whatever your sector, this will help your organisation present itself as credible, professional, and trustworthy.  

Changes in the translation profession 

The translation profession has seen a lot of change in recent years, due to the rise of novel technologies,  such as machine translation and other computer-based tools. 

Indeed, machines are taking over the lower end of the market, for less demanding texts or those that have lower quality requirements.  

But computers can also help translators with repetitive tasks, leaving them more time to focus on trickier tasks that require advanced reasoning. Indeed, given the risk of publishing an automated translation without it first being seen by human eyes, this is 



A campaign to promote the translation profession to audiences outside the language industry precisely where the combination of translator and machine comes into its own, offering both the speed of the computer and the fine polishing that only a human can provide. 

Professional translators/linguists are indispensable in many segments of the market, especially the higher end,  where perfect quality is essential.  Examples include advertising,   formal/official correspondence,   international relations,   drafting of contracts, manuals for medical equipment, and prestigious publications (brochures, magazines).  

And as well as converting texts into a language you understand, translators can also add value in a consultancy role, especially when they work more closely with their end client, advising them on approaches to adopt for different text types, for example in terms of quality and terminology. 

But even at the lower end of the market, language professionals have a role to play. 

Post-editing of machine translations is a growing business, and if done properly it can benefit both the customer and the translation service provider.  Much like in other professions, from surgeons to bankers, translators work with the automated tools they need to help them deliver better and faster service to their clients. 

Source: European Union