International Translation Day – 30 September

Saint Jerome, best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, is the patron saint of translators. In 1991, the International Federation of Translators selected 30 September, Saint Jerome’s day, as International Translation Day, with the goal of bringing together the global translation community once a year to celebrate the art of translation.

This year, the British Library is holding its fourth International Translation Day symposium, with a programme full of interesting-sounding seminars. One topic concerns how translated literature is reported in the press. Translated literature receives little attention in the press, and when it does, the translator’s contribution is generally either ignored or mentioned only very briefly. This is also often the case with the book itself; whereas the author is frequently lauded with a page detailing their life and previous works, the translator is usually just listed on the title page and that is it!

Is this really fair? Translation is an art, and translators should be recognised for the work they do. Translating an entire book takes months of research, creativity and hard work. The final translated book’s style, tone and how interesting it is to read, depend largely on the translator. Different translators will produce incredibly different books, directly affecting popularity and sales. Let’s take today to reflect on the efforts of talented translators around the world. Thank you to all of the Web-Translations translators – we appreciate what you do for us!