International Translation Day

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2023 Date30 September 2023
2024 Date30 September 2024

International Translation Day

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International Translation Day is a global observance that highlights the importance of translators in connecting people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. It emphasises the role of translation in promoting understanding, tolerance, and dialogue between diverse communities. This day also celebrates the work and achievements of professional translators, who play a crucial role in ensuring that the exchange of knowledge across languages is possible, bridging gaps between various societies.

The observance of International Translation Day was initially proposed by the International Federation of Translators in 1991, which later received the UN's endorsement in 2017. South Africa is a linguistically diverse country, with 11 official languages, making the role of translation even more important for social cohesion, education, and access to information. As such, translators play a vital role in the South African context, enabling the nation to communicate effectively among its diverse population and promoting mutual understanding among its people.

In South Africa, International Translation Day is observed through various activities, including conferences, seminars, and workshops where translators and stakeholders discuss challenges, opportunities, and trends in the field of translation. On this day, professionals and linguistic institutions collaborate to raise awareness about the significance of translation and how it contributes to the country's social, cultural, and economic development. International Translation Day takes place annually on the 30th of September, serving as an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate the valuable work of translators and appreciate their contribution to a more connected, diverse, and thriving society.

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International Translation Day facts

  • The theme of International Translation Day in 2023 was Translation unveils the many faces of humanity.
  • In 2023, the global translation industry was valued at around $39 billion.
  • St. Jerome was the first person to translate the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, making it accessible to a larger audience.
  • After the end of apartheid in the 1990s, the role of translators and interpreters became even more essential. They were tasked with facilitating communication between different ethnic and language groups to help heal the divisions caused by apartheid and build a more inclusive, united South Africa.
  • The South African Translators Institute (SATI) is the primary professional association representing translators and interpreters in the country. SATI offers accreditation exams and promotes professional development for its members.

Top things to do in South Africa for International Translation Day

  • Dedicate the day to learning a new language or improving your translation skills. You can use language learning apps, online courses, or language exchange platforms to enhance your proficiency in another language.
  • Engage in online forums, social media groups, or translation communities where you can share experiences, insights, and tips with other translators. Learn from their experiences and contribute your own knowledge.

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