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Poll: Did you know Sep. 30 is International Translation Day?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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Sep 29, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Did you know Sep. 30 is International Translation Day?".

This poll was originally submitted by Susan Koyama-Steele

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:34
Spanish to English
St Jerome or San Geronimo Sep 30, 2006

St Jerome, the bible translator, has always been considered to be the patron saint of translators and interpreters throughout the world. For a long time, the days and weeks (and sometimes months) around 30 September have therefore been used by translators and interpreters (and their associations) to celebrate the occasion. Ever since FIT (International Federation of Translators) was established in 1953, St Jerome's Day celebrations have been encouraged and promoted by the FIT Council and Executive Committee in an ad hoc fashion. It was not until 1991 that the Public Relations Committee of FIT launched the idea of an International Translation Day.

JERÓNIMO (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius), el Padre de la Iglesia que más estudió las Sagradas Escrituras, nació alrededor del año 342, en Stridon, una población pequeña situada en los confines de la región dálmata de Panonia y el territorio de Italia, cerca de la ciudad de Aquilea.
Corría el 420, concretamente un 30 de septiembre, cuando, tras vivir 35 años recluido en una cueva cercana a Belén, moría debilitado por la penitencia y por sus 80 años de edad el que sería conocido como San Jerónimo, padre y doctor de la Iglesia. Muchos siglos después, ese día sería declarado Día Internacional del Traductor, según creía yo por la Unesco, pero ahora, consultando los “días y semanas” de la ONU, no lo he encontrado por ninguna parte.


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
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German to English
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Hooray for translators! Sep 30, 2006

Translators are awesome—thanks for being there, everyone.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:34
English to German
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Soooo... Sep 30, 2006

Do we have this weekend off?

Happy International Translation Day!


Nicole


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:34
German to English
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Free time... (off-topic) Sep 30, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Do we have this weekend off?

Happy International Translation Day!


Nicole


I do—for the first time in about five months! I'm even going to a party this evening.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:34
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Yes, I knew it! Sep 30, 2006

They told me that when I started studying Translation at university. It's because it's St. Hieronymus Day, the priest who translated the Vulgata (Bible) to Latin and patron of translators and writers. Ever since, my former classmates and I, celebrate it. We are a nice, jolly group. Sometimes, they've come to my place, other times we've been out somewhere. We celebrated it yesterday, the 29th, as today a translator friend is getting married in the evening, and went out to have some drinks and snacks.

Happy Translator's Day to all!!!!


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Happy Translation Day! Sep 30, 2006

Though I am the original poster of this poll, to be honest I was not aware of the significance of this date for us translators!
When someone informed me about this only few days ago, and me being a professional translator for twenty plus years, I was pretty excited there is such a day already designated and celebrated.

Given the history of Bible translations and the fact that enormous tasks associated with, nobody can deny this is a driving force that pushed our civilization forward. For this reason a Christian monk is so honored as our patron Saint makes complete sense.
Thank you very much for the information, David.

On the sidenote:
Do you also know a famous American Indian (an Apache tribe of today's Arizona) whose name is Geronimo (Jerome in Anglo pronounciation)?
Of course he is nothing to do with translation, but he lived two cultures and two languages.

Happy St. Jerome's Day, happy International Translation Day!!


[Edited at 2006-09-30 14:11]


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
Italian to English
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September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate day.... Sep 30, 2006

When international days have sunk to such a level, they lose all relevance and I can't see that having a day for translators will do anything whatsoever to raise our profile or provide us wih any other benefit.
And as a friend of mine - also a translator and whose birthday happens to be September 19th - says, "At least talk like a pirate day is fun..."

[Edited at 2006-09-30 15:40]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:34
English to Spanish
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Geronimo Sep 30, 2006

The Apache chief Geronimo (Gerónimo in Spanish) has never been called anything but "Geronimo" in the USA.

Of course he has nothing to do with translation, and he lived in his own culture and language. He had great conflicts with two other cultures (Mexican and USA) and was willing to fight them to the death. He only surrendered when he realized that his struggle would indeed result in total extermination for his people at the hands of either the US or Mexican Army.

He chose to surrender to the US Army because he believed the Mexicans might kill them all anyway. He died an old man and there are still Apaches around today.

That, more or less, is the way history actually was.

But to get back on the subject, happy Translators Day! I do hope that a few outside our profession are also aware of it.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:04
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
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The Bible and Indian languages Oct 1, 2006

The translation of the bible into Indian languages is a very significant event which contributed greatly to the standardization of Indian languages.

Although the Europeans came to India mainly as traders and later took advantage of the anarchy that followd the decline of the Mugal empire after Aurangzeb to gain political control of India, many missionaries too came with them to India with the aim of converting Indians to Christainity.

Proselytization was no easy task here as India had a rich religious tradition and every religion of the world was already thriving here. This included Christianity. Judaism, and Zorstrianism. It is said that St. Thomas, one of the twelve original disciples of Jesus Christ, fled to India soon after Christ's crucification to escape Roman persecution and set up a church in Kerala and converted a few local Brahmins to Christianity. Their descendents still are Christians and they represent a Christian tradition that predates European Christanity by several centuries.

The greatest hurdle that the eighteenth and ninteenth century Chrisitian missionaries faced in converting the local populace was language. Firstly, these missionaries did not speak the local Indian languages, and the locals did not know any European languages. So, the missionaries had no alternative but to learn Indian languages. This again was no easy task, as grammars, dictionaries and other language learning aids were not available in any Indian language in those times. Only Sanskrit was formally studied in India and had a rich corpus of grammar and dictionaries. But Sanskrit was not understood widely.

The missionaries therefore got down to the task of compiling grammars and dictionaries of all the major Indian languages and published them. They developed fonts for Indian languages to print their missionary literature and set up printing presses in India.

The earliest grammar treatises and dictionaries in most modern Indian languges were prepared by these missionaries. They were no doubt imperfect in many respects, but they were pioneering efforts that spurred Indian scholars to better them.

So, in a way, bible translation played a significant role in the standardization of Indian languages and in the development of lexicography and codification of their grammar.

But more importantly, it is the interaction between Hinduism and Islam, through the Arabic language that spurred the renaissance of Europe. The 800 year rule of Spain by Islam in a way bridged three great civilizations, the Hindu, Islamic and Christian, as Islam had also entered India at around the same time. Naturally language and translation played a significant role in the exchange of ideas between these three civilizations. It was through the Moslems that fundamental concepts like the mathematical notion of zero and the decimal system of representation of numbers, both of Hindu origin, found their way to Europe thorough Arabia, and revolutionalised mathematics and science there.

Translation has always been important to the development of a common culture and science down the centuries, and it may not be very wise or accurate to pin it upon any one person or time.

[Edited at 2006-10-01 06:57]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:34
English to German
+ ...
A quote Oct 1, 2006

From last year's Proz.com's homepage from 9/30, Translators Day, the printout is still hanging on the wall in my office:

"- The right to express oneself in one's language.
- The right to be served in one's language.
- The right to information.
- The right to culture.
- The right to knowledge.
- The right to a fair trial.
- The right to legal aid.

These rights, now known as human rights, could not be respected, if no translator was present.

(International Federation of Translators)"


Did I miss anything on this year's homepage? I didn't see any announcement...


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Thank you very much for you edifying me, Balasubramaniam! Oct 1, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:

Translation has always been important to the development of a common culture and science down the centuries, and it may not be very wise or accurate to pin it upon any one person or time.

[Edited at 2006-10-01 06:57]


Hi Balasubramaniam!

Thank you for your thoughtful essey regarding Bible translation in India and its historical ramifications.
I agree citing one person or incidence then credited him/her or it for all that have happened create danger of limitation. I myself sure aware of such, and consider such as a "simplication of Universe".
On the other hand, we may well be aware the need of "symbols" (or rather "icons" in this MS-driven computer age) and their roles.
"St. Jerome as guardian saint for translators" as well as designation of "International Translation Day" would bring clear recognitions in symbolic manner onto our minds, and that's what it counts, isn't it?


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Hi fellow Arizonan! Oct 1, 2006

[quote]Henry Hinds wrote:

The Apache chief Geronimo (Gerónimo in Spanish) has never been called anything but "Geronimo" in the USA.

Of course he has nothing to do with translation, and he lived in his own culture and language. He had great conflicts with two other cultures (Mexican and USA) and was willing to fight them to the death.


Thank you for correcting me. Yes you are right he also dealt with Mexicans who more often than not displayed cruelties and commited atrocities to his people in general, and his own band in particular, than Americans.
But I do not think he never dealt with those alien cultures and languages. How could he afford not to!? He had to face up with them, and he dealt with them with extreme intelligence. Please do not think he did not possess it.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:34
English to Spanish
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So Right Oct 2, 2006

Geronimo dealt with both Mexicans and Americans with extreme intelligence. But he did not participate in either of those cultures because they were alien to his. He fought them both and did not seek to understand either.

The Mexicans killed his family in the area of Janos, Chihuahua when he was away. He had great hatred for the Mexicans, even greater than for the Americans, and was intent on vengeance against all those he considered invaders of his territory.

His intelligence is reflected in the fact that he chose life for his people, even a life that was substandard, for the only other choice was death for all.

Surely the surviving Apaches would have an opinion on this. I don't know if there are any here.

[Editado a las 2006-10-02 03:26]

I'm a graduate of the University of Arizona, a native of California and a reseident of Texas. My wife is a native of Fronteras, Son., Mexico, one of the towns Geronimo attacked; they even claim to have captured him briefly, though the history books claim he was never captured until his surrender to the US Army at Rodeo, NM.

[Editado a las 2006-10-02 03:30]


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:34
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translators' Day Oct 2, 2006

I also celebrated the Translator's Day, translating, BTW. To me, like for many others, St. Jerome is an icon in the translation world. I hold in my office a replica of Domenico Ghirlandaio's "Saint Jerome in His Study" fresco, a wonderful work accomplished by a Mexican painter and friend. You are very welcome to take a look.

Best regards,

Elías


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