A translator’s work often goes unnoticed, to such an extent that the phrase “A good translation seems as though it were an originally written text” has become commonplace. However, the work of the translator is of paramount importance to all of us, despite the fact that we rarely reflect on it.
A translator’s job is far from simply interchanging words that are “equivalent” in different languages; they also bridge the gap between cultures. French writer Marcel Proust said: “The fortunate discovery of a good book can change the destiny of a soul.” Thanks to the translation of short stories and novels, many people have an infinite number of literary worlds at their disposal that they would otherwise not have access to. Perhaps this is the reason so many great writers also worked as translators.
Italian writer, Italo Calvino, reflected on translation as follows: “Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. It is he who introduces me to the world.” In an increasingly globalized world, it is extremely easy to conduct financial transactions between people at opposite points on the globe. However, linguistic distance still exists, and oftentimes, whether or not a business transaction is successfully carried out, depends, to a large extent, on a successful translation.
As for public translators, it is they who effectuate the translation of documents such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, curricula and court rulings, just to name a few. It is thanks to them that a person can apply for an international scholarship or obtain recognition of a court ruling that was declared abroad, for example.
The aspects of daily life that involve translation are truly innumerable. So just as a way to wrap up, we suggest that our readers take a moment to celebrate their translator friends on September 30th, International Translation Day :).