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International Translation Day is a worldwide observance that honours the vital role translators play in fostering communication, understanding, and cooperation between diverse linguistic and cultural groups. Though not well-known by everyone, this observance serves to highlight the importance of the translation industry, which often goes overlooked despite its essential contribution to intercultural exchange, global trade, diplomacy, and social cohesion. Celebrated annually in various countries around the world, this day is dedicated to bridging cultures, allowing easier access to knowledge, and promoting multilingualism.
The origins of International Translation Day can be traced back to the establishment of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) in 1953, though it wasn't until 1991 that the celebration was officially launched to coincide with the feast day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators. As an influential figure in biblical translation, St. Jerome's legacy has had a lasting impact on the United Kingdom, with English translations of the Bible being instrumental in shaping religious thought and literary history across the nation. This day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role that translators have played in the past, as well as the evolving and ever-expanding field of translation in the era of globalisation.
Though International Translation Day is not an official public holiday in the United Kingdom, it is often celebrated by professional associations, educational institutions, language service providers, and other organisations involved in language-related fields. Events, seminars, workshops and even informal networking sessions are organised to promote dialogue and the sharing of knowledge amongst translators, interpreters, and language professionals. International Translation Day faithfully occurs on the 30th of September each year, providing an opportunity for people in the United Kingdom to appreciate the importance of translation in our increasingly interconnected world.
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