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2017.06.27 UN adopts International Translation Day
On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared September 30 to be UN International Translation Day (ITD). The day was adopted as part of a draft resolution called ‘The role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development’. ITD was first celebrated in 1953 when the International Federation of Translators (FIT) was established, and the FIT had since been striving for ITD’s official recognition. September 30 is the feast of St. Jerome, considered the patron saint of translators and best known for translating of most of the Bible into Latin. 

Andrei Dapkiunas, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN and the presenter of the draft, emphasized the significance of the resolution. It was timely to be discussing the importance of language and translations, he said, because language has ‘played an underappreciated role in human society’ when ‘deeper respect for culture and language could help [build] greater unity […] among […] cultures’. He continued to say that the resolution was about much more than translation simply as a ‘profession […] linked to diplomacy and international affairs’, but that ‘it was […] about people, the invisible workers and unsung heroes of the linguistic profession’. 

The resolution also complements the 1976 Nairobi Recommendation by UNESCO (Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators, among others), which recognizes the role of professional translation as a connection between nations. This was the theme for ITD in 2016. The theme for ITD 2017 is ‘Translation and Diversity’.

For more information, please refer to the following websites: