September 30- International Translation Day

3 Min ⏰ 

“International Translation Day”, observed on September 30th, serves as an opportunity to honor the work of language professionals. Their role is crucial in fostering global unity, enabling dialogue, promoting understanding and cooperation, contributing to development, and strengthening world peace and security.

The translation of literary, scientific, and technical works from one language into another, including professional translation, interpretation, and terminology, is indispensable for maintaining clarity, a positive atmosphere, and productivity in international public discourse and interpersonal communication.

On May 24, 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288, recognizing the vital role of language professionals in connecting nations, fostering peace, understanding, and development, and officially designating September 30th as International Translation Day.

Why September 30th?

September 30th coincides with the feast day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators. St. Jerome, a priest from northeastern Italy, is renowned for translating most of the Bible into Latin from Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He also translated parts of the Hebrew Gospel into Greek. Fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, Jerome’s linguistic prowess was instrumental in his translations. He passed away near Bethlehem on September 30, 420.

Multilingualism: A Core Value of the UN

Languages, with their intricate role in identity, communication, social integration, education, and development, hold strategic significance for both people and the planet.

Increasing recognition highlights the pivotal role of languages in development, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, quality education, cooperation, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the application of science and technology to sustainable development. Multilingualism is deemed a core value by the United Nations General Assembly. It promotes tolerance, ensures wider participation in the UN’s work, enhances efficiency, performance, and transparency.

Translation at the UN

The United Nations is one of the largest employers of language professionals worldwide. Hundreds of language experts work in UN offices across New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, and regional commissions in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, and Santiago. Translators are among the language professionals employed by the UN.

UN translators handle a wide range of documents, from Member States’ statements to expert reports, covering diverse topics on the UN’s agenda, including human rights, peace, security, and development. UN documents are simultaneously issued in the organization’s six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), with some core documents also translated into German. This multilingual documentation is made possible by UN translators, tasked with accurately conveying the content of original texts.

TRANSLATION: Bridging Worlds

What does translation truly entail? Translation serves as the gateway to accessing a rich, diverse global culture. Explore the profound significance of translation in this edition of the UNESCO Courier.”

TRANSLATION: From one world to another

What does it really mean to translate? Translation is often the essential prerequisite for accessing a universal, multiple, diverse culture.

In this issue of the UNESCO Courier, explore what this really entails.