Appreciation for translators

Did you know that International Translation Day is celebrated each year on September 30th? It originated as the day of St. Jerome, Biblical translator, and has been in existence since 1953. These days it marks a day of appreciation for the often overlooked work done by translation professionals.

Translation is easy to spot when it has been poorly done. Most people can think of at least one instance of an awkwardly translated sign or even advertising containing a failed attempt at localizing humor or slang. Rarely do we hear about the countless instances of quality work being done by translators and how it impacts our lives on a daily basis.

Translation is all around us, frequently in areas that aren’t as visible as signage, packaging or ads. Many companies produce multilingual internal communication and documentation, sometimes through the work of bilingual employees and other times with the expertise of translation professionals. Translators contribute to political and intelligence efforts, and they facilitate communication between families and loved ones. Translators in some areas work under circumstances which could constitute a personal risk, and there have even been accounts of violence targeting translators.

As Jost Zetzsche said in his most recent newsletter, What we do matters. Let’s tell the world.