Translation plays a very important role in spreading knowledge. History suggests that the whole world had never been at the same pace of development. Besides, nations from different parts of the world could make progress in various branches of knowledge. This, from the very beginning of the civilization, ultimately forced to communication and exchange of knowledge among nations.
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It was after the tenth century when literate sections of the society began translating books of philosophy, science, medicine, religion and others from their thrust of knowledge and the sense of responsibility to educate the new generation with the latest development of respective fields. Thus, progress and prosperity were accelerated on one hand and exchange and sharing through translation got pace on the other hand.
The Greeks, Romans, Arabs and other nations made remarkable success in mathematics, astronomy, medicine as well as other branches of knowledge in the Middle Age. Some greats of these nations translated books written by other nations for newer generations of their own people. As a result, translation got a base from where it ultimately turned in to an organized industry in course of time.
It’s not only the sharing of academic issues that led people to translate books, rather issues like governing other nations, preaching, touring etc created demand for translation. With the advancement of society and flourishing of civilization, the need for communications among nations increased to a great extent which continues till the present time. Literature is really another very important an issue for spreading of translation. Great literary works have often been translated in various languages and thus translation helped nations know other cultures.
The colonial rule by the European nations, especially in countries in Asia and Africa helped rapid spread of translation. The trend was observed till mid-nineteenth century and after that the new scenario of the world, i.e. the alignment of nations with super powers helped maintain the trend.
Due to this alignment, inter dependence and cooperation among nations increased significantly resulting increased need for translation in concerned languages. There’s no denying that the cold war situation, created from this alignment, forced super powers to translate materials and learn languages even of the enemy nations.
Apart from these, the League of Nations first and then the United Nations are the key players that helped spread of the translation industry. Nations all over the world are members of the United Nations where they cooperate and share a lot of issues with other nations. This is obviously a forum for exchange, cooperation, integration and united efforts where activities of translation are necessary.
Major languages of the world like English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic are the official languages of the United Nations and its bodies- engaged in specific activities. So documents of different nature are written and translated in these languages and other nations for their own purpose also translate the documents of the world body in their respective languages.
There are so many international and regional organizations and a huge translation activities go on for their smooth handling of programs. Even for the friendly and fruitful bilateral relationship among different language speaking nations, there are needs for translation activities. Indeed the scenario is different if the parties concerned are the same language speaking nations.
The industrial revolution in the eighteenth century changed the consumption pattern of the world. It also spread the role of advertisement for marketing of the goods in the next century. For introduction of newer goods or the same goods with new features among different nations, translation is necessary. Without translation, creation of a successful advertisement for the target nations is next to impossible.
The world is now called a global village. In view of the tremendous boost of the information technology, communications and interactions among nations have been increased many fold now-a-days. In fact this is the era of globalization and the need of translation is now much than one could think earlier. It is now expected that this trend will continue and demand for translation will increase day by day.
For flourishing of civilization, establishing peace in the world as well as reaching fruits of development to the doorsteps of people, sharing of knowledge and ideas as well as communications among nations at an increasing rate is necessary. There’s no denying that translation, with some other important factors, plays the most vital role in line with this.