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Wishing translators and interpreters a Happy International Translation Day September 29, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.

Translators and interpreters celebrate September 30th as their day, since it is the Feast Day of the patron saint of librarians, scripture scholars, students, and of course, translators and interpreters. St. Jerome is one of the greatest biblical scholars of all time, having translated the Bible from Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin (the Vulgate) in the early 5th century. For more on St. Jerome, check out my September 30, 2008 post.

The Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators (FIT-IFT) came up with the celebration back in 1991 to raise awareness of the profession. This year’s theme for International Translation Day is “Working Together.” As it says in the linked press release, FIT-IFT “invites translators around the world to take a fresh look at why and how it pays to join forces. The days of the fiercely solitary translator working in splendid isolation are numbered, say many industry observers.”

I plan to celebrate International Translation Day by grabbing my laptop, dressing up in my translator gear and heading to the local Starbucks to work for an hour – just to be visible. Would anyone local care to join me?

What are you planning on doing for International Translation Day?



1. Fabio - September 30, 2009

Hi Jill,

Happy Translation Day!

I plan to work all day from home, as usual, but will try to attend the Proz.com virtual conference. Lonely work and virtual networking, things I do all the time. 🙂

By the way, thanks for the tip on Salzburg. Unfortunately I only saw your tweet when I came back. I left at about midnight just to be able to have breakfast in Hallstatt, a beautiful village in Salzkammergut. See photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fsaid/tags/austria/show/
It was a great trip, the sun was shining bright all weekend.

Nic loves languages - September 30, 2009

Hi Jill
Happy World Translation Day to you too!

It took me until about 5pm to realise that it was today. I had spent the day reading Jeremy Munday and reworking a German translation project. Sadly I won’t be able to join the ProZ seminar tonight as it goes through the night here. Hopefully it’s recorded.

What a nice tradition.

jillsommer - September 30, 2009

I love Hallstatt. I’ve been there several times. It’s definitely worth visiting. Did you do the salt mine tour?

2. Kitty - September 30, 2009

Happy translators’ day! I’m translating, of course, deadly-lions don’t wait.

3. Chinese Translator - October 12, 2009

Oh boy! I was late in reading this. Anyways belated Happy Translator’s Day! And yes, I’d like to join you in starbucks! 🙂

4. Anahita - July 3, 2010

hi. I live in Iran, here we dont celebrate this day decently, what can we do in this day? please help me!

Jill (@bonnjill) - July 3, 2010

Hi Anahita,

We don’t really “celebrate” it here either. We simply wish fellow translators a happy translator’s day. There are no fireworks or celebrations to speak of.

5. John Berkeley - September 30, 2014

Hearing on BBC Radio 4 that this is International Translation Day reminded me that there were family stories that my late father-in-law served as a translator/interpreter at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials. However, as he refused to talk about his post-war experiences, we could never be sure. Can anyone tell me if there is a list somewhere of those who provided this invaluable service?

Jill (@bonnjill) - October 1, 2014

That is a good question! I am putting it out to my colleagues. A little googling led me to discover that there were 108 people total (six interpreters, twelve translators, nine stenographers for each of the four languages). There is also a picture of the interpreters in the booth on the Truman Library website. I’ll let you know if anyone knows of a list.

6. Cathy Mayes - May 31, 2018

My father Thomas Patrick Mc Egan was also an interpreter or translator for the Nuremberg trials. Has anyone found out any more about whether a full list exists?

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