Last month, the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Multilingualism unanimously approved Resolution A/71/L.68, titled “The role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development.”
The Assembly affirmed that: “professional translation plays an important role in upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security” and declared 30 September – International Translation Day – to be celebrated across the entire UN network, welcoming the holding of the annual Saint Jerome Translation Contest to commemorate the day.
Resolution A/71/L.68 states that: “professional translation, including translation proper, interpretation and terminology, is indispensable to preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international public discourse and interpersonal communication” and recognizes “the practical contribution of language professionals to furthering the cause of the United Nations, including in the maintenance of peace and security, peacekeeping, the promotion of human rights, and operational activities for sustainable development.”
And the International Translation Day is to be celebrated in order to further raise awareness of the importance of the translation profession.
The ITD celebrations have been promoted by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) ever since its founding in 1953. Each year FIT decides on a theme and invites all of its member associations to join in celebrating on 30th September, on the feast of St. Jerome, best known for translating the Bible into Latin and considered the patron saint of translators.
This year, for the first time the European Commission and the European Union will also be observing and celebrating the International Translation Day in conjunction with the European Day of Languages (celebrated on 26th September, and proclaimed in 2001).
The official uniform recognition and celebration of one of the oldest professions is a step forward in the quest of the translation industry to bring people together and answer the ever increasing demand for international interaction and cooperation.
An important highlight of the resolution is the emphasis on the need to train a next generation of professional translators, interpreters and terminologists to play a critical role in international security and prosperity across the UN. And finally, the resolution paves the way for higher international standards within the frame of the profession, establishing better working conditions for linguists in generally and in particular focusing on the protection of translators and interpreters who work in high-risk settings, as conflict zones, for example.
We, at EVS Translations, see the recognition as an opportunity to commend the hard work of all professional linguists around the Globe.