Celebrating Language with International Translation Day

international translation day

In our community, we celebrate language and translation every single day. Without the communication barriers that translation breaks through, we’d all be isolated. Once a year, however, an official day of celebration is recognized across the world: International Translation Day, September 30th.

In the 1950’s, this day was established as an opportunity to “pay tribute to the work of translators who endeavor to make the world a slightly smaller place” and has more recently been made official by the United Nations General Assembly (May 2017).

We’d like to encourage everyone to take some time on September 30th to think about how language affects you. Have you traveled and experienced cultures and languages firsthand? Do you work with someone who is new to your language? Are you genuinely curious about the history and diversity of communication? We have a few great exercises and ideas to take advantage of this International Translation Day.

  1. Listen to some traditional music in a new language.
  2. Plan a movie night featuring foreign films produced all around the world.
  3. Visit a museum or art gallery dedicated to other cultures and foreign speaking countries.
  4. Volunteer with an organization working towards greater cultural diversity and understanding.
  5. Get started learning another language by translating foreign literature, poetry or lyrics.
  6. Translate your company website to reach even more cultures and new markets.

You can also take the time to really thank someone in your community in their native language! Take a look at these ways to say thanks in 100 different languages: