International Translation Day 2016 – Translation Round Up

October 4, 2016
International Translation Day 2016 – Translation Round Up

International Translation Day 2016 was celebrated around the world on 30 September. Anyone and everyone in the world of translation – professional human translators, bloggers, booksellers, publishers and more – was invited to use the day to promote and honour their craft. In that spirit, here is our round up of the best and brightest snippets of news from the translation industry over the past few days. 

Chairlie and the Chocolate Works 

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is set to reach new audiences after undergoing a delightful translation by Scottish translator Matthew Fitt. The newly published ‘Chairlie and the Chocolate Works’ sees the Oompa-Loompas become the Heedrum-Hodrums (named after a word for old-fashioned Scottish music) and ends with Chairlie going up and oot in Wullie Wonka’s muckle gless lift. 

It is not Fitt’s first attempt at translating Roald Dahl – a copy of his conversion of The Twits, which became The Eejits for Scottish readers is said to adorn the mantelpiece of illustrator Quentin Blake, who has declared it his favourite edition of any of Dahl’s books. 

Test your translation knowledge

For those who know their translated fiction (or at least think they do), The Guardian newspaper’s literature in translation quiz is a fantastic way to put your knowledge to the test. Covering everything from famous quotes about translation to original book titles, it’s a great way to enjoy a few minutes, so take a quick coffee break and see how highly you score! 

Prize-winning literature

If you missed International Translation Day, you can still celebrate by enjoying a newly published translation of Nobel prize-winner Patrick Modiano’s outstanding Villa Triste. Translator John Cullen presents the French novel in beautifully translated English, bringing the impact of the advancing Algerian war of independence to life for a new readership. 

Translation for the modern shopper

On a lighter note, the New Yorker has presented its own take on the translation industry, presenting a ‘bilingual dictionary’ to allow shoppers and sales assistants to communicate more clearly. The fabulously irreverent translation include snippets such as:

Sales Assistant: “We have a tester here if you’d like to try out the product.”
Translation: “For the love of all that is holy and good, please use the item marked ‘tester’ or ‘try me’ instead of the brand new one that you’re not actually going to buy.”

Customer: “So, do you guys do samples, or . . . ?”
Translation: “I want a sample, but am too polite and embarrassed to ask you outright, in case you think I’m cheap or wasting your time.”

International Translation Day around the world

International Translation Day has been celebrated since being proposed by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) in 1991. It is acknowledged by countries around the world in order to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community. It recognizes their contribution to a world in which communication is enhanced between different countries and different cultures. It is held on 30 September every year on the feast of St Jerome, who is considered to be the patron saint of translators due to his translation of the Bible into Latin. 

As globalisation picks up pace, the role of translation is becoming increasingly important in order to ensure the smooth running of trade agreements, the enhancement of political understandings and the interaction of different societies at every level. This valuable profession is often underestimated, but thanks to International Translation Day it has been thrown into the limelight once more. 

Final thoughts

How did your country celebrate International Translation Day? What did you personally do to mark the occasion? And do you think that such a day is valuable to the translation industry? Share your thoughts via the comments. 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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