International Translation Day 2011
Translation: Bridging Cultures
Imagine a world without translators: How would we communicate with each other? With nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the globe, trade and cultural exchange would be impossible. Leaders of nations could not talk to each other. Scientific discoveries could not be shared. Books could be read only by those who speak the author’s language. Cross-border traffic would come to a halt. Breaking news would reach only a select few. The Olympic Games could not be held. Nations in distress would not receive assistance from more fortunate ones.
The professional translators, interpreters and terminologists represented by FIT member associations build bridges between cultures and facilitate communication that creates prosperity and cultural enrichment. They are brokers of peace and mutual understanding. They open national literatures to the world. They make international assistance in disaster areas possible. They are the voice of politicians, religious and intellectual leaders, and all other people who influence our daily lives. They are gatekeepers of information. They are cultural ambassadors. They are absolutely indispensable.
Thanks to translators, interpreters and terminologists, peoples around the world can preserve their cultural heritage while being active participants in the “global village”. Cultural diversity makes our world a better place, but we have to understand each other in order to avoid international conflicts and to help each other in times of need. We have to understand each other to appreciate our cultural differences. Bridging Cultures is the theme of both this year’s XIX FIT World Congress and International Translation Day 2011, and the ultimate objective of all FIT member associations.
Member associations are encouraged to mark ITD through activities that raise awareness among the public of this important function of translators, interpreters and terminologists as well as giving practitioners the opportunity to celebrate their craft. This might be by highlighting the different cultures represented within the association, presentations on the challenges of cultural adaptation when translating, or considering the role of translators, interpreters and terminologists in world events, as just a few examples. However you do it, make 30 September a day of celebration!
(Text: Dr Jiri Stejskal)