The Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs / International Federation of Translators (FIT) established this celebration in ad hoc fashion, originally as St. Jerome’s Day. This day originated as a tribute to Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translators and interpreters, born on September 30. In 1991, FIT launched the idea of an International Translation Day in an effort to show solidarity and promote the translation field.
FIT has announced a theme of “Connecting Worlds” for this year’s celebration and the description they put together says it all:
“The world of the translator and the world of the interpreter are two professions dedicated to one goal: facilitating communication between people. As the world becomes more integrated, fostering understanding between the multitude of speakers is more critical than ever. Whether it is in writing or in speech. Interpreters and translators are at the junction point that impacts the development of business, science, medicine, technology, international law, politics and a host of other areas. We provide the ability for each of these worlds to learn from each other to the benefit of society as a whole. The role of translators and interpreters in connecting worlds is to open up the whole world to all of us.
We love the idea of a day dedicated to shining light on our industry which often operates in the shadows of most businesses. As of the latest research by Common Sense Advisory in 2015, the language services market is worth $38.16 billion and growing at a rate of 6.46% each year. Although we operate in a massive global industry, it is rarely thought of, and often lumped together with “Google Translate”. However, professional translation services are a far cry from an automated machine, and due to the continued growth in the industry, deserves more recognition.
Our country is a melting pot of different cultures and unlike many countries, we do not have an official national language. Furthermore, federal laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protect the rights of all no matter their country of origin or language spoken. Considering the highly diverse population in the United States and increasingly global economy, translation services are needed now more than ever. It is up to us, language companies and linguists, to educate those around us on our industry. Although it is an extremely large one, there is still an ever growing need for more linguists of all languages including American Sign Language. We must continue to promote ourselves and to gain recognition, in order to serve those in need of our services, especially in the healthcare, legal, and government sectors.
A Note to Our Linguists:
Today we say thank you to all our linguists – interpreters and translators alike. Your dedication to the mastery of multiple languages is making an impact on bettering the world we live in. We are facilitators – we facilitate communication and understanding among different groups of people and work towards uniting cultures. With so much negativity in the media on racial tension in our country, we are proud to take steps each day to connect people across our country and world and bridge the language gap.