Yesterday, it was 60 years since the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations’ General Assembly (that makes the year 1948, just in case you’re in the throws of a mid-week lull and can’t do the maths).
Clearly, that was as great a day for humanity as the day a certain snake tricked poor Eve into eating an apple wasn’t. But it was also the beginning of a long story for the translation industry. The Guiness Book of Records claims said document is the most translated text in the world – available at last count in 337 languages. (This sparked debate in the office as the Holy Bible, as commented on recently by me, is available in over 2000 languages: something must exclude it from the running – probably its confabulated nature.) Many of those languages are ones we, as a translation agency, have never even heard of – Huasteco, anyone? (spoken in Mexico) – and include even the synthetic language, Esperanto.