International Translation Day 2019

International Translation Day (ITD) will be celebrated around the globe on Monday, 30 September.

ITD 2019 “Translation and Indigenous Languages” signals the final act in a week of celebrations that also encompasses the International Day of Sign Languages on 23 September and the European Day of Languages on 26 September. Inaugurated in 1991 by FIT – Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs / International Federation of Translators – ITD was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2017.

ITD gives translation, terminology and interpreting professionals and their associations throughout the world the opportunity to highlight the vital yet frequently invisible role they play in all spheres of life and in a multilingual world of global cooperation.

Translation is ubiquitous but often hidden. Most visible in the translation of books by foreign authors, or the dubbing or subtitling of films and TV programmes produced in other languages, the bulk of translation happens behind the scenes. Yet, many translators work on texts read by millions, such as product packaging or user manuals for household devices. Furthermore, the explosion in digital content means more and more material produced online is being translated for global consumption.

Terminologists are also an essential component in interlingual communication, although their activity is barely known outside the circle of language professionals. Nevertheless, global innovation would be inconceivable without the meticulous work of terminologists and translators on patents that ensure intellectual property rights are upheld around the world.

Individual interpreters at high-level political summits hit the headlines fleetingly, but they are a drop in the ocean compared with the total number of professionals facilitating communication in diverse settings every day, from boardrooms to courtrooms, and kindergartens to care homes.

In addition to facilitating politics, trade and entertainment at an operational level, translating and related activities also play a strategic role in the promotion and protection of cultural heritage across borders and language barriers. Translators, terminologists and interpreters bring cultural narratives alive as they convey them to a wider, cross-cultural audience. To coincide with the UN’s celebration of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, FIT Council has adopted “Translation and Indigenous Languages” as the theme for ITD 2019.

The UN International Year of Indigenous Languages highlights the need to promote and protect indigenous languages and the rights of those who speak them. Translators, terminologists and interpreters play an important role in this mission as they allow indigenous peoples to continue to use their own languages, keeping the worlds of these fragile communities turning. Around the globe, events will highlight the role of all translation-related activities –including terminology and interpreting – in promoting the understanding and survival of indigenous languages and cultures.

In Italy, ASSOINTERPRETI – Associazione Nazionale Interpreti di Conferenza Professionisti (National Association of Professional Conference Interpreters) has been representing professionals specialised in simultaneous, consecutive, and whispered interpreting services since 1974.

ASSOINTERPRETI will join FIT and its member organisations in celebrating the International Translation Day across the world.

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