UN declares 30 September World Translation Day

The United Nations General Assembly lauds the work of translators, interpreters and terminologists, while stressing crucial role of multilingualism.


Language professionals ply their trade in the background – translators in their office and interpreters in their booth at the back of the meeting room or up a level "with the gods". Such invisibility blends with the job description because speeches and documents belong to those who produce them; we are no more than the means of transmission. And we interpreters take it as the greatest praise if delegates tell us they forgot what language people were speaking, that they were simply communicating.

It is therefore very motivating to step out of the shadows to receive the recognition of the United Nations for the work of translators, interpreters and terminologists.

The UN General Assembly passed Resolution A/RES/71/288 on 24 May 2017. In it the United Nations pays tribute to the role of the language professions in fostering peace, understanding and development.

In recognition of this vital contribution the UN has declared 30 September World Translation Day.

The Resolution text talks about the importance of multilingualism and diversity in general. We as interpreters cannot but welcome recognition of our role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, in promoting openness, equality and dialogue, and in bringing clarity and a positive climate to international communication.

Of particular importance is the recognition given to interpreters employed both in “conference servicing and in the field”.

It is also timely that the UN General Assembly endorses the very arguments about the role of our profession that AIIC is currently using in its on-going negotiations with the UN system.

To read the Resolution, please click on https://undocs.org/en/A/71/L.68 or download it below.


Recommended citation format:
United Nations Negotiating Delegation. "UN declares 30 September World Translation Day". aiic.net June 20, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017. <http://aiic.net/p/8052>.



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