The time has come again to celebrate International Translation Day! True to tradition, the Translation Service is holding an event tonight to mark the date. We’ve invited all our freelance translators and revisers to celebrate our profession together and say ‘thank you’ for the work they’ve done over the year.

Unfortunately, many are based outside of Wellington, and won’t be able to attend. We’ll take some photos of the event and post them here, but we hope that you will celebrate in some way!International Translation Day was first established by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) in 1953. In 1991, FIT launched the idea of an officially recognised day to show the solidarity of the translation community and promote the translation profession. The 30th of September was chosen to coincide with the feast of St. Jerome. He was the first person to translate the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, making it accessible to a much wider audience. He is now universally acknowledged as the patron saint of translators.

FIT Poster for Translation Day 2015
FIT chooses a International Translation Day theme every year.

FIT’s theme for this year’s International Translation Day is the changing face of translating and interpreting. The theme underlines the extensive changes that our profession has gone through in the past 50 years. Since it was founded in 1949, the Translation Service has certainly experienced radical changes – from typewriters to cloud services, from physical dictionaries to online terminology databases, from in-house translators to translators based all around the world, from being the only translation provider in the country to the rise of professional and dynamic private translation companies etc. Needless to say that our clients, their expectations and their requirements have changed too…

While change is often unsettling and resisted, it can also provide countless opportunities. New technology and new processes have increased translation speed and volume, have allowed for greater quality control, and have given us easier access to more resources to translate better and faster. Regardless of the changing parametres of our activity, our essential role has remained the same: we are communication enablers, and quality remains the cornerstone of our work.

So let us celebrate our profession, the changes that we’ve seen, and those to come – happy International Translation Day everyone!