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
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