International Translation Day 2023 Theme, History, Activities, and Quotes

International Translation Day 2023 falls on Saturday, 30 September.

3 min read

International Translation Day (ITD) is celebrated every year on 30 September. The day is observed by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) to highlight the significant role of translators all across the world.

International Translation Day is recognised on a global level to promote the role of language translators, and to create awareness about the commendable contributions of translators and interpreters in bridging the linguistic and cultural divisions.

Translation is a connecting link between diverse cultures and communities. It reflects and influences power disparities. International Translation Day is focused on showcasing these complex dynamics, and provide a better understanding of the issues faced by translators of indigenous languages.


International Translation Day 2023 Theme 

The theme of International Translation Day 2023 is "Translation Unveils the Many Faces of Humanity." According to UNESCO, "The theme places a special emphasis on scrutinizing power dynamics within the realm of translation, particularly concerning indigenous language communities."

International Translation Day History and Background

International Translation Day was established by United Nations in 2017. The day is observed to honour boisterous efforts of language translators and interpreters in promoting understanding, peace, and dialogue among people belonging from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This day is observed alongside the feast of St. Jerome (a patron saint of translators who translated the Holy Bible).

According to the International Federation of Translators, "In 2017 we achieved an historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, with the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting Resolution A/RES/71/288, recognising the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development. In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day, celebrated across the entire UN network."


International Translation Day 2023 Activities

Following are some of the activities to celebrate the International Translation Day 2023.

  • To participate in educational events, workshops and seminars related to International Translation Day, and learn the importance of the day.

  • Take part in International Translation Day campaigns which are specifically organized to provide knowledge about the role of translators, interpreters, and terminologists in bridging the linguistic and cultural division. You may also learn about specialized translation techniques, technology tools, and industry trends.

  • Organize an event and invite some motivational speakers who will discuss about the irreplaceable role of translators.

  • Run online campaigns for International Translation Day to highlight the exhilarating role of language translators and interpreters. Use hashtags like #TranslationDay and #InternationalTranslationDay.


International Translation Day 2023 Quotes

It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work. [Walter Benjamin].

  • Never trust the translation or interpretation of something without first trusting its interpreter. [Suzy Kassem].

  • Every act of communication is a miracle of translation. [Ken Liu].

  • Western Europe owes its civilization to translators. [Kelly Louis].

  • In translation language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret. [Samuel Putnam].

  • To have another language is to possess a second soul. [Charlemagne].

  • The translator is the author’s accomplice. [Jorge Gonzalez Moore].

  • Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes. [Günter Grass].

  • No glass renders a man’s form and likeness so true as his speech. [Ben Johnson].

  • Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture. [Anthony Burgess].

  • Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”
    [Italo Calvino].

  • If the translator does his job as he should, he is a benefactor of humanity; otherwise he is a veritable public enemy. [Miguel Sanz].

  • Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature. [José Saramago].

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