“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

We're Translators, Don't Hurt Us!

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

Who knew? Apparently a shady consortium of literary types known as the International Federation of Translators pulled some strings in the UN, leaned on a few world leaders, and got September 30th (that’s today) declared International Translation Day. Good to know we’ve got the clout of a transnational cartel behind us! Ruining the effect slightly is this year’s rather apologetic theme: “Don’t Shoot the Messenger!” Granted, there are incidents of violence against translators (though I can only think of the Rushdie situation at the moment), but this is hardly the way to signal our pride. Rectify the situation! Today’s your day to read a book in translation, brush up your foreign languages, or kiss a translator.

If you’re curious, September 30th was picked because it was originally the day sacred to St. Jerome, best known for translating the Bible into Latin.

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