We celebrate International Translation Day on September 30 to pay tribute to the tireless work of translators and language professionals all around the world. The role of a translator is indispensable in maintaining productive, positive, and clear interpersonal communication in international circles. From translating sensitive documents to the lyrics of your favorite K-Pop song, translators are the foundation of international peace deals and global media consumption. International Translation Day honors the contribution of language professionals in furthering the cause of peacekeeping, the promotion of human rights, and the shared quest for sustainable development.
History of International Translation Day
Ever since the inception of the U.N., translators have played a great role in bringing all 51 founding nations on the same page. The United Nations recognizes that all civilizations and their respective cultures are crucial enablers of sustainable development.
The U.N. recognizes the work of professional translation as an art and a trade. Translators uphold the charter of the United Nations and deserve global appreciation. Through the resolution adopted in the United Nations General Assembly on May 24, 2017, every September 30 is celebrated as International Translation Day. The day is dedicated to honoring the role of language professionals in fostering peace, development, and camaraderie between linguistically distinct nations.
International Translation Day also coincides with the feast day of St. Jerome, a priest, and scholar who is credited with the first translation of the Bible. Thousands of years ago, St. Jerome embarked on a journey to translate the Bible from Hebrew into Latin. St. Jerome is called the patron saint of translators for his efforts to make the Bible accessible to a far wider audience.
We celebrate International Translation Day by raising awareness of professional translation and being mindful of the fact that the fusion of languages reflects the strength of a united world stemmed in diversity.
International Translation Day timeline
The United Nations is established with 51 founding members after the dissolution of the League of Nations.
English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese, are adopted as the official languages of the United Nations.
The U.N. adopts a universal declaration of human rights, encouraging respect for human rights regardless of race, sex, language, or religion.
The U.N. announces September 30 as International Translation Day to honor language professionals all around the world.
International Translation Day FAQs
What is the role of a United Nations translator?
U.N. translators fill the communication gap by translating official languages into the desired dialect and vice versa. They also provide real-time translation services on the floor and are responsible for handling sensitive diplomatic information.
How many official languages does the U.N. have?
Today, the United Nations has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian, and Spanish.
How can I get a job as a translator in the U.N.?
The United Nations recruits translation professionals through its language competitive examinations (L.C.E.). Interested candidates can find details about the exam on the official U.N. website.
How To Celebrate International Translation Day
Learn a new language
You don’t need a fancy coursebook or an expensive mentor to learn a new language. This September 30, just use the tons of free resources available on the internet and kick-start your dream of being a polyglot.
There’s beauty in diversity and opportunity in our differences. September 30 is the perfect day to promote ethnic diversity through clothing, food, and traditions.
Call up an estranged friend
Take inspiration from the translators who fill the communication gap between two distinct cultures and resolve your personal issues with an estranged person.
5 Facts About The English Language That Will Blow Your Mind
What the U.S. ignores, 67 other countries claim
67 countries have recognized English as an official language, and the United States is not one of those.
Britain has bragging rights, not birthright
Britain did not invent English, it was introduced to them by the Germanic people.
English packs a hefty punch
The English language has the most number of words — totaling around 250,000.
Somehow, it still ain’t complete
The English dictionary sees the addition of 4,000 new words each year, making it the most evolving language in the world.
Because English can go rogue
Unlike Russian, French, or any other major language, English has no guiding institution that can control its evolution.
Why International Translation Day is Important
Every culture deserves global respect
It is an honor to see your culture and language have representation on the global stage. Rather than forcing world leaders to abandon their language, translators lend their intellect and polyglot wisdom to honor their mother tongue.
The dialogue must never stop
Global peace relies on our abilities to put our differences aside and come together for a common cause. Translators bridge the gap between two different entities. On the global stage, language is a barrier. Thanks to our tireless and underappreciated translators, we can overcome it.
It’s a great career choice
In an increasingly globalized world, there are tons of job opportunities for translators. If you are seeking a pivot from your career and can speak more than one language, then the translation industry needs you.
International Translation Day dates