Did you know there was such a thing as International Translation Day? It’s celebrated every year on Sept. 30th – the feast day of St. Jerome. St. Jerome, a Christian scholar and priest, is considered the patron saint of translators, since he was the first to translate the original Hebrew Bible into Latin. Here is a little of his history, along with different ways this special day is celebrated.

St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, was a notorious roustabout in his earlier years. At some point,  after the death of two of his companions and a serious illness of his own (accompanied by a vision), he began looking for a way to serve penance. Out into the desert Jerome went, joining other hermits who were studying and meditating. He learned Hebrew and translated parts of the Hebrew Gospel, given to him by friends, into Greek. Later, back in Antioch, his association with the Catholic hierarchy in Rome required him to revise the Latin Bible to match more closely with the Greek New Testament. He wrote profusely, traveled and studied in other Christian locations, including Palestine, and was highly influential for his translations and his running commentary on public life.

In celebrations of International Translation Day, the history of St. Jerome is often mentioned. The event was first introduced in 1953 by the International Federation of Translators (FIT). Its purpose was to promote the bridging of cultures all over the world through accurate translation of cultural, political, and business texts. The celebration helps promote the profession in different countries – essential during these times of increased globalization.

In 1991 FIT began promoting official recognition of the celebration as a way of creating solidarity within the translation community. Wherever it’s celebrated, the day is filled with events, seminars and symposiums. Translators, students, publishers, and others involved with translation gather to debate issues and developments in techniques and opportunities, discuss challenges, and celebrate successes. The celebration is great for both networking and professional development.

Each year FIT chooses a new theme for the day. This year, 2015, the theme was the changing face of the translation profession.Dialog One‘s website has a lot to learn from, so be sure to do some exploring of your own. Their language experts are highly skilled, and the company knows the professional well.