Happy International Translation day! Although it´s never enough to take the chance to celebrate an event, a day or a whole profession that has gained a lot of significance due to the globalization. But exactly because of the ever growing importance of the globalization it´s also time to question the reason of this day and its justification to represent all nationalities and religious instead of only a limited minority that it actually originates from!
We all might know that the day was set up by the FIT (International Federation of Translators) to commemorate all the effort of the translators throughout different countries. So far, so good. But, the problem starts as soon as you start asking what this date actually stands for? And much to your surprise or mine it turns out that there is again something Christian, religious and European about it as it´s St. Gerome day, the patron of translation. He was supposedly the first one to translate the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin back in the fifths century! Let´s be honest and ask ourselves whether the translation of the Bible into Latin for the first time should really set a milestone for this profession that is much more ancient and and is proud to go beyond borders, cultures and religions? Should a Bible related and a Christian figure represent the whole profession? Should again the knowledge, history and interests of a small group represent and replace our own history, heroes and interests? How could we possibly talk about globalization on a daily basis and the role of translator on connecting cultures and bridging gaps while we constantly base our understanding of this profession on “europezation” instead of “globalization”? Let´s celebrate the day one more time and wish happy International Translation Day till we have reached a more representative alternative!