September 30: International Translation Day

St Jerome in his Study by Domenico Ghirlandaio, circa 1480The International Federation of Translators (with about 80,000 translators living in 55 different countries!) celebrates International Translation Day every year on September 30. International Translation Day is meant to show support for translators and the profession of translating, as well as learning other languages. The theme for 2013 is “Beyond Linguistic Barriers – A United World.”

St Jerome in his Study by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, early 1600sSeptember 30 was chosen for a very specific reason; it is also the feast day of St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin (now known as the Vulgate) in the late 300s. He was a priest, and, eventually, a Doctor of the Church, who published a great many translations and commentaries as well as historical and theological writings. Because of this, he is now known as the patron saint of translators, librarians, archivists, and Bible scholars. Thus, it’s fitting for International Translation Day to be held every year on the feast day of such an ancient yet still well known translator.

“Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:10-12

P.S. September 30 is also Chewing Gum Day!

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