THE TRANSLATORS’ AFFAIR WITH SAINT HIERONYMUS
The 30th September is the International day of translators. Every year on this day we celebrate with happiness and heartfelt pride, the anniversary of the death of Saint Hieronymus.
What made Saint Hieronymus the patron saint of Translators? Not only did he tamed a lion by pulling out a thorn from its paw, but importantly, and amongst other writings, he was the first to translate the Bible from Hebrew to Latin.
Although translators rarely work in the limelight, their work is still an indispensable and integral part of this globalised world. Just like a living box into which one may throw in a text, and by pushing the right button, as if by magic, one would receive the crispy newly translated document. However, this box contains zealous, yet almost invisible specialists who not only translate, but also trans-create, for they are all too aware of the cultural circumstances and aspects of such specific text, aligned crucially of course, to the parlance of the targeted country.
As our partner, we hope that you will join with us in celebration of this special day, for as proud translators we reveal some fascinating information from around our world. Whilst reading, please do raise your champagne flute high and ‘clink’ with us to our past successes and indeed the challenges and adventures that lie ahead. Let us celebrate together – here’s to the International Day of Translators!
5 POINTS OF INTEREST FROM AROUND THE WORLD
1.) Between 2000 and 2010, a 78% of books were translated to French and German.
2.) The Bible is the one publication translated into the most languages. It can now be read in 650 languages. This is followed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, available in more than 500 languages. This means that 6500 languages are still missing! Go translators go!
3.) Several classic pieces of literature have been translated to several languages, including The Adventures of Pinocchio (260 languages) or The Little Prince (300 languages). Harry Potter is up to the challenge having been translated to 70 languages… so far.
4.) According to UNESCO’s electronic database „Index Translationum”, the most reliable statistical database of book translations by author, name the world’s most translated works as being penned by Agatha Christie, Jules Verne and William Shakespeare.
5.) Vladimir Nabokov thought translation meant a hinderance in understanding and enjoying the original work. In confirming his position, he made a literal translation (as mostly in the case of Google Translator) with a humorous result. Fortunately, translators do not use this method at all, and let’s face it, it would be a pity, for we would be missing huge volumes of works of literature from our bookshelves.
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