Translator’s Day

Translater’s Day is celebrated every year on 30 September, the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators. On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring September 30 as International Translation Day to recognize the role of professional translation in connecting nations.

However professional translation is often being replaced by digital translation. I live in China and regrettably don’t speak Chinese so I depend a lot on translation apps. In the five years that I’ve been here I’ve seen a definite improvement in digital translation. I used to (and still do) tell my students not to use a translator because often the translation is very very strange (and still is.) However it seems to me that translation apps are becoming more and more accurate. I was recently able to negotiate a fairly complicated transaction with China Mobile using mobile apps.

Have you ever wondered why in Star Trek everyone speaks English? It’s the universal translator embedded in their teeth. Remember you heard it first on 365 Holidays a Year.

This image is a photograph of Saint Jerome in His Study by Domenico Grillandajo. It was commissioned by the Vespucci family together with Saint Augustine in His Study by Botticelli. The original Saint Jerome in His Study currently resides in the Church of Ognissanti, Florence, Italy.


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