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International Translation Day 2018 Promotes Cultural Heritage in Changing Times

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Transposition of a scientific, literacy and technical work from one language to another and professional translation which contains proper interpretation and terminology is indispensable to clarity preservation, productiveness and a favourable climate in international, interpersonal communication and public discourse. The International Translation Day (ITD) 2018 was celebrated on 30th September 2018. ITD 2018 highlighted the role of interpretation and translation in enhancing cultural mutual respect and understanding in our changing world.

The year 2017 is known to have marked a historical milestone for all professional interpreters, translators, and terminologists. The United Nations General Assembly 71st Session unanimously adopted Resolution A/RES/71/288, which recognized the role played by professional translation in fostering peace and connecting nations, bringing development and understanding.

In the same resolution, 30th September was declared to be the International Day of Translation for UN by the United Nations General Assembly, which is celebrated throughout the entire UN network; thanks to FIT and its members of the association for their longstanding work, including ATA. FIT, therefore, decides on a theme for every year, inviting all of its member associations to be a part of it in the celebration of the day around the theme.

ITD 2018 was a great opportunity which spotlighted the critical work of interpreters, translators, and others individuals in the language services industry. As United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) define ITD 2018, cultural heritage not only ends with collections of objects and monuments.

It also encompasses intangible cultural heritage like beliefs, knowledge, and practices which concern nature, people, and our relationship with the universe. As a global community, ITD 2018 saw changes which bring cultures which were previously separated into face-to-face contact. UNESCO also pointed out that the intangible cultural heritage understanding of different communities will encourage mutual respect for other ways of life and aid in intercultural dialogue.

The primary goal was using the platform of ITD 2018 in raising awareness for the profession within personal networks; this was an incredible opportunity in changing how the world views interpreters and translators, just by sharing more about their jobs and being bold. Debunking the unfortunate misunderstandings and myths about interpreting and translation would help pave the way to a better future for the profession.

ATA, therefore, was set to make this year’s International Day of Translation all about changing how the world sees interpreters and translators and reaching. On September 28, a social media blitz on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram promoted the professions. Tweets, posts, and downloadable infographics were put out for people to share with family, clients, and friends.

The annual ITD is usually marked with a series of dedicated seminars, events, and symposiums all over the world. The ITD 2018 engaged professionals who shared their experiences, and involved the following activities;

Professionals shared what they have figured out about translation

Theodora Danek; English PEN, chaired a discussion which engaged these practitioners and academics. Rahul Bery; a British Library Translator in Residence, Rebecca May Johnson; The Poettrio Experiment, and Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen; a Senior Lecturer in Scandinavian Literature, discussed three things they have drawn from their experience of which they have learned about translation so far.

This International Translation Day was an opportunity that paid tribute to the role of language professionals, who play a vital role in bringing together nations, facilitation of dialogues, cooperation, and understanding, and contribute to the strengthening and development of the world security and peace.

Pitching of what professionals shared

Ailah Ahmed; (Little, Virago and Brown), Federico Andornino; (Nicolson & Weidenfeld) and Isabel Wall (Penguin Random House, Viking) discussed three pitches for translation which were chosen from the submissions.

Translation party

The translation party engaged having drinks from the bar, making use of the creative nametags, and networking! For those who liked to send a translation pitch, they were able to fill in the online form. They were required to read the bios of the participating editors carefully, and then proceed to choose one of them to pitch to. If the editor picked their pitch, they were informed before the event. They were then asked to present their pitch live on stage.

The International Federation of Translators was established in 1953 and is the world federation of professional associations. It brings together interpreters, translators, and terminologists.