The United Nations (UN) International Translation Day (ITD) is annually observed across the globe on 30 September to recognise and honour the invaluable contributions of translators and language professionals, who facilitate communication between nations strengthening global peace, cooperation, understanding, and development.
- The theme of ITD 2023 is, “Translation unveils the many faces of humanity”.
- The annual theme of ITD is chosen by the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators (FIT).
i.Since 1991, the FIT has been annually celebrating the International Translation Day to highlight the significant role of translators all across the world.
- FIT celebrates the Internatioal Translation Day by creating an annual theme for the celebration.
ii.On 24 May 2017, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in its 71st session adopted the resolution A/RES/71/288 and declared 30 September of every year as International Translation Day.
iii.The first UN-recognised ITD was observed on 30 September 2017.
Why September 30?
The date September 30 was chosen to coincide with the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator, who is considered the patron saint of archaeologists, Biblical scholars, librarians, students, and translators.
About St. Jerome:
i.St. Jerome was born around 340 as Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius in Stridon, Dalmatia (present-day Croatia).
ii.He has translated most of the Bible into Latin from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He has also translated the Old Testament against the Hebrew original.
iii.He died on September 30, around 420 near Bethlehem in Palestine. In 1989, he became a Father and Doctor of the Church.
Translation at the UN:
i.The UN is one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals, particularly translators.
ii.Translators are one type of language professional employed at the UN in its major offices.
iii.UN documents are issued in 6 official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), with some core documents also translated into German.
iv.UN language specialists include:
- Editorial and desktop publishing assistants;
- Production editors and desktop publishers;
- Verbatim reporters
i.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document. It exists in more than 500 languages.
ii.The UN is one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals.
ITD 2023 Poster:
FIT Council presented its ITD Poster for 2023 with the theme “Translation unveils the many faces of humanity”. The 2023 poster pays tribute to the many human faces and stories made visible through translation.
FIT organised an International Translation Day Webinar 2023 to commemorate ITD 2023 with a panel discussion about the value of human interpreting and human translation across the world on 2 October 2023.
About International Federation of Translators (FIT):
President– Alison Rodriguez
Secretary-General– Alexandra Jantscher
Headquarters– Paris, France
Established in– 1953
FIT is the federation of professional associations of interpreters, translators, and terminologists. 2023 marks the 70th Anniversary of the founding of FIT.