It’s the 22nd International Translation Day today. The Congolese member of the Federation of Interpreters and Translators chose the theme “Beyond Linguistic Barriers – A United World,” because the work of TTIs (translators, terminologists and interpreters) breaks down global barriers in so many ways: negotiating peace treaties, ensuring machinery can be used safely or that people get the right medicine.
A great way to celebrate is to support Translators Without Borders, whether you join as a volunteer translator, or just donate. This fantastic organisation translates for NGOs like Doctors without Borders and Oxfam.
Why today? Because it is the feast of St Jerome, the patron saint of translators, who translated the Bible from the original Hebrew instead of the Septuagint Greek. He move to Jerusalem to improve his Hebrew – though how good he got is debated – and worked on the text in Bethlehem, where he died in 420. This 15th century image of him is my favourite of many, because of the familiar chaos of books around him and also his colleagues – translating together is rarer, but much more fun. There is also a lion in the picture, because Jerome is supposed to have tamed a lion by healing its paw. It shows that translation and healing can go hand in hand.
Happy translation day!