September 30, St. Jerome’s Day, was International Translation Day. Some of the translation companies and associations that celebrate the occasion scheduled their programs for today — the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) meeting on “Translating Europe” in Athens, Greece, for one, and a series of “powwows” arranged by members of ProZ.com.
“Translation is a risky business,” says a statement from the International Federation of Translators (FIT-IFT). “Translators and interpreters bear an enormous responsibility in carrying messages between languages and cultures, and problems getting the word across can spell disaster on all sides. For without such experts – translators, interpreters, terminologists – our globalised world would be an uncomprehending place indeed.
“From the embedded translator in the battle zone to the interpreter whispering in the ear of a visiting dignitary to the specialist
translating the owner’s manual for your next car or subtitling a news report, the work of the language professions is present in
every part of the globe, in every walk of life. Everyone, everywhere, is increasingly dependent on the services of those who make language their business. And the savviest leaders are already aware that the messenger is no fall guy, simply there to take the flak when things go wrong. They know that the language professional is to be celebrated, to be welcomed for insightful comments and questions that lead to messages — text and speech — whose clarity and impact do credit to their organisation’s image.”
The FIT-IFT chose the theme “Don’t Shoot the Messenger!” for the day, intending “to draw attention to the hazards faced by translators, and also by those who believe that professional language services are an unnecessary option.”
Thank you, translators and interpreters everywhere, and we wish you a safe and prosperous year!