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.
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.
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