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Translator’s day

September 27, 2018

International Translation Day is celebrated every year on September 30thon the feast of St. Jerome, who was a Church Father born sometime between 340 and 347 A.D. in central Europe. He translated, in the course of 15 years of work, all the books of the Hebrew Bible into Latin. He was trilingual. He could speak, write and understand Latin, Greek and Hebrew, something that not many could do at that time. He is considered the patron saint of translators because of his dedication, because he set the basis for how we translate now. He always sought to understand the text in its original culture and historical setting; he used his talent and education to help other believers find, as he did, the true meaning of the original text. He also showed how humble we have to be; he admitted his ignorance, even embarrassment, when warranted, and revisited some of his translations, making any type of corrections and additions. Does this sound familiar?

In 1991, in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries, the International Federation of Translators(FIT) initiated the idea of establishing an officially recognized International Translation Day to show solidarity with the worldwide translation community. This day has been seen by many as an opportunity to organize congresses and events attended by translators from all over the world to share their experience and to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly necessary in this world where information goes from one hand to another in a blink of an eye.

In 2017, the translation profession was recognized in the 71stSession of the United Nations General Assembly as an endeavor that connects nations, fosters peace and understanding. This was done through the adoption of Resolution A/RES/71/288, which was unanimously adopted. Good for us! 

On this day, I want to recognize and praise my fellow translators around the globe for the work we do and what it requires, and address once more any layperson’s misconception that a bilingual person may as well serve as a qualified translator. Although this is so obvious to us, the confusion is still there. Translation is a very specific skill which, just like any specialized capability, requires certain cognitive and operational faculties. Let’s keep on speaking well of what we do and let’s show the world the difference between knowing two languages and preserving the communicative intent of the source message and recreate it in the target language ensuring that there is a linguistic and extralinguistic equivalency.

Translation is a profession where we are constantly learning, we are always working to enhance our understanding of new and specialized subject matters, our linguistic flexibility and prowess, our knowledge of new technology, CAT tools, among many other things. So, to all us who are translators, who love, enjoy and embrace this beautiful, challenging and rewarding profession, CONGRATULATIONS! 

Happy Translator’s (St. Jerome’s) Day!


María del Pilar Sánchez Leiro

was born in Mexico City, she has an extensive background in interpretation and translation. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interpretation, plus different courses of Terminology, Legal Translation, English for Translators, Education, and Finance. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, including business vocabulary and specialized terminology. She has taught several courses for translators at different universities in Mexico City. Currently, she is the Director of Linguistics and Processes at Traduservice. She is in charge of controlling aspects of translation quality, using quality metrics, translation models and processes.