September 30th marks International Translation Day, an annual event acknowledging the importance of the translation profession in an increasingly globalized world. Celebrated since the formation of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) in 1953, the day was chosen to coincide with the feast of St. Jerome (342-420 AD), the patron saint of translators and interpreters worldwide due to his translation of the Bible into Latin.
This year the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted the holiday in recognition of the importance of translators in “bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.”
So why is International Translation Day so important?
As an industry, translation is not in the forefront of the public consciousness—and with good reason. A high quality translation is virtually indistinguishable from content authored in the target language. Every day, people all over the world interact with advertisements, product manuals, contracts, websites, and other important content with no inkling that the source content may originally have been in another language.
As a company, TransPerfect would not have enjoyed 25 years of consecutive growth without the exceptional talent and commitment of our linguists around the world. We rely on our family of freelance professionals to interpret the nuanced instructions of clients, provide constructive feedback on both linguistic and technical levels, adapt to changing translation technologies, and evolve along with their industries of specialization.
We have witnessed huge technological changes since the company’s founding, including the wide-spread adoption of translation memory tools, the overall digitization of enterprise content, and new content delivery platforms, including social media and smartphone apps. The coming decades promise the next stage in the translation industrial revolution, including the rise of higher quality machine translation. While TransPerfect has been at the forefront of our industry for past quarter century, we continue to work diligently behind the scenes to meet the training and development needs of our linguists as technologies evolve.
Our production and vendor management teams are continually updating our on-demand and live online training offerings. We don’t expect our linguists to keep up with the industry trends all on their own; we make sure we’re giving them the support and training to always be one step ahead of trends. We also provide Certificates of Training to help our linguists meet the professional development requirements of associations such as the American Translators Association and Chartered Institute of Linguists.
While technology and training are key components of our day-to-day business, it’s really the personal relationships that are the cornerstone of our success. We recently hosted a small open-house event in our London office for translators working for our life sciences team. We had a very enlightening chat over cupcakes and coffee about their personal trajectories in linguistics and combating the loneliness of freelance work. It was evident how much they appreciated being treated as more than “a name in a database.” For all the attendees, it was the first time in their careers that a translation company had expressed interest in meeting them face to face.
We also host annual events in various global locations to meet linguists in person, update them on the latest developments in the industry and the company, and recognize them for all they do for us, day-in and day-out, to deliver a high quality service to our Fortune 500 and Global 1,000 clients worldwide.
It isn’t enough just to be focused on the present; we’re also looking to the future of our industry and the next generation of translators and interpreters. We recently exhibited at the FIT Congress in Brisbane, and look forward to meeting current and future freelancers at the upcoming ATA Conference and Language Show Live. These shows provide a great opportunity for us to meet not just experienced linguists, but also students and graduates looking for advice and support on making the leap from university to the world of professional translation work.
Our University Partnership Program actively engages with universities worldwide to provide career advice, talks and workshops, and industry training to give young people a much needed step up in an industry where career opportunities are often hidden in plain sight. It is only by investing in the future of our industry that we can truly be ready for the coming decades.
In short, we are nothing without the thousands of talented people we work with on a daily basis around the world. On this International Translation Day, we want to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to the translators and interpreters around the world that contribute to TransPerfect’s success. We wouldn’t be the company we are today without you.